Please see the green arrow beneath. I can't copy and paste from Yellowbridge for 袁:

enter image description here

  • What I read is the whole character 袁 looks like a picture of a person wearing a pendant. 口 in 袁 is like a pendant and 土 is more like the person's head and shoulder.
    – dan
    Commented May 31, 2018 at 5:48
  • 1
    I'm not seeing any references to any pendants, I'm only seeing references to a person wearing clothes.
    – Mou某
    Commented May 31, 2018 at 6:12
  • There is no pendant in the character. As to why Yellowbridge says there's a pendant, you'll have to find out where Yellowbridge references this explanation from.
    – dROOOze
    Commented May 31, 2018 at 20:10
  • @user3306356 Sorry. I was lazy in shirking the other text. Better?
    – user11787
    Commented Jun 1, 2018 at 23:30
  • 1
    What I meant was: in the resources I was flipping through I couldn’t find anything to cooborate what yellowbridge was saying about pendants.
    – Mou某
    Commented Jun 2, 2018 at 0:50

2 Answers 2


There is no pendant in the character. 「袁」 (Mandarin: yuán) originally meant to wear (clothes), where

  • 「土」 is a corruption of 「又」, a picture of a hand, signifying the action of wearing clothes, and
  • 「口」 is a corruption of 「〇」 (yuán), a phonetic hint.
    • 「〇」 is the shape of a circle, and this word is now written as 「圓」.

enter image description here

「袁」 was originally 「⿰衣又」, which is an abstract depiction of a hand 「又」 putting on robes 「衣」. This word is now written as 「擐」 (Baxter-Sagart OC: /*[ɢ]ʷˤren-s/).

「擐」 (to wear, put on) is made by

  1. Adding on an additional semantic 「扌・手」

  2. Complexifying 「袁」 to a pure phonetic 「瞏」 (something like /*[ɢ]ʷˁ<r>en/) by adding on 「目・罒」 to the top.

「瞏」 is systematically written as 「睘」 today across all characters.

「⿰衣又」 had a few variants, produced by some small modifications in two main ways:

  • Sometimes, multiple 「又」 were included, and 「又」 at the top was further corrupted into 「止」.

    enter image description here

    enter image description here

  • Other times, 「〇」 (/*ɢʷ<r>en/) was added as a phonetic hint.

    enter image description here

    enter image description here
    2061 (⿰彳袁)

「〇」 is the shape of a circle, and this word is now written as 「圓」.

Both of these modifications were eventually incorporated:


enter image description here
史墻盤 (遠)


  • 「止」 merged with the top part of 「衣」 and was further corrupted into 「土」
  • 「〇」 was systematically corrupted into 「口」 across all Chinese characters

enter image description here
秦律十八87 (遠)

enter image description here






皃: 通"貌"


Looking of long cloths. This is the original meaning. Today only used as surname. The original meaning is deprecated...

No pendant mentioned...

bone script enter image description here


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.