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I'm trying to determine the meaning of a particular character. Sparing the boring details, I'm trying to figure out what the meaning of this character is:

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As near as i can tell it might be a symbol for "longevity" but, the symbol for that "shou" looks more like that below?

enter image description here

Is the meaning of the top character correct? Is there a difference between these two versions of the character?

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

This is just a variant of 壽.

If you suspect a character is a variant you can always go to the wiktionary entry and refer to the Unihan data which will show common variants or use the service I linked above if it is something more obscure.

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I can't open your link, so I give a new one here, dict.variants.moe.edu.tw/yitia/fra/fra00836.htm, Ministry of Education, Taiwan tells us that the second one 壽 is considered as orthographically correct in current Taiwan, though not every choice they made is orthographically, as put by a Peking University professor 李鐸 (dajia.qq.com/blog/305258009262110), the standard imposed by Republic of China government is not always rigid. –  congliu Aug 20 '13 at 16:54
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