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I have a thought that the following 2 words’ meaning is exchanged:
1) 射
2) 短

First of all, I am not saying I AM CORRECT or I want to make changes to these words, it is merely a discussion where I think this forum is about (‘to discuss the finer points of the Chinese Language’). It's merely for fun and knowledge anyways and I want to know other's thought on it.

Here’s the argument:

(original):
射 - shoot
短 - short

(My thought):
射 - short. 身+寸 – body + inches, doesn’t that imply a body that’s only inches long, aka short?
短 - shoot. 矢+豆 – an arrow on a bean, kind of implying the action of shooting an arrow with accuracy?

I could be wrong by defining my arguement only destructing the word into parts and take their meaning, ignoring simplified Chinese / all other method of forming a word. Any thought?

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    I really like your explanation to these two characters. If you are interested, the following two characters have exchanged meanings: 重 vs 出 – Madwyn Sep 21 '15 at 16:44
  • @Madwyn hi Madwyn, thanks! Could you clarify if 重 here (as pre-exchanged meaning) refers to "heavy", "layer", "important", or "repetition"? – Alex Sep 21 '15 at 16:47
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    重 refers to "heavy", 出 refers to "depart" or "go out". I've learned this from an old TV program from CCTV. However, this is debatable. I think the best way to learn the truth is by looking at the ancient writings. – Madwyn Sep 21 '15 at 16:57
  • Interesting. I will see if i've time for some googling later regarding to these 2 words. Thanks! – Alex Sep 21 '15 at 19:55
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射 was originally written 䠶, that is a body and an arrow, giving the meaning shooting. But 身 is here a phonetic component, which just happens to also have a symbolic sense. 寸 is just how the original 矢 has been distorted in writing.

短 is actually an arrow 矢 shot into a 豆, which is not a bean but some sort of vessel. Why it means short is unknown, but we can note that another word for short, 矮, also contains 矢.

  • Thanks on the explanation on 射(䠶), by distorted does it means it's been incorrectly written for too long, that 射 became the "correct" form? – Alex Sep 17 '15 at 20:43
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    “古代弓长箭短,所以用弓的长度作为长物的标准,以箭的长度作为短物的标准。” wangjian930921.blog.hexun.com/84849426_d.html – NS.X. Sep 17 '15 at 21:01
  • That's explains it NS.X. Thanks for the link! – Alex Sep 17 '15 at 21:24
  • Now I can create a new one, 矢犬(shou3), 你这个 矢犬 – Jacob Jan 21 '18 at 6:29

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