Hanja: 화약 gunpowder – a surprising word with 약 藥 

The other day I came across a word containing the hanja 藥 which surprised me a lot. Usually I think of things related to medicine (e.g. 약학 藥學 pharmacology) when I see this one so I was a bit surprised by 화약 (火藥) which means gunpowder.

The way I can wrap my head around it is that medicine is based on chemical compounds and gunpowder helps “create fire” from a chemical reaction.

Maybe it’s a fairly logical word after all?

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