fang1 means 'square'


fang1 is from the pattern  which means 'a plough'. Its meaning of 'square' may have been from the observation that inserting the plough into the soil at a right angle is the most efficient way of tilling soil. Other meanings of fang1 are 'direction', 'locality', 'method' and 'recipe'.

li4fang1 means 'cubic' and literally translates as 'stand'-'square'.

li4 means 'stand' and is a graphical representation of a man with two legs firmly planted on the ground.

di4fang1 means 'place' and literally translates as 'ground'-'square'.

di4 is made up of the two components.  tu3 which means 'soil' and  ye3 which in ancient times denoted the 'snake'. Together the meaning becomes 'soil where the snakes are'.