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

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  • 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
    May 31 '18 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
    May 31 '18 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
    May 31 '18 at 20:10
  • @user3306356 Sorry. I was lazy in shirking the other text. Better?
    – NNOX Apps
    Jun 1 '18 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
    Jun 2 '18 at 0:50

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」.

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「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」.

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

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    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:


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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

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秦律十八87 (遠)

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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...

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