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I'm especially baffled because 'page' is physical, but 'beforehand' isn't physical. I screenshot Yellowbridge

enter image description here

and quote 預 - Wiktionary.

Phono-semantic compound (形聲, OC *las): phonetic  (OC *la, *laʔ) + semantic .

Definitions

  1. beforehand
  2. † to take part in
  3. (Xiamen, Zhangzhou Min Nan) to participate in an activity
  4. (Xiamen, Zhangzhou, Taiwanese Hokkien) to play (chess, cards, mahjong, hide-and-seek, etc.)
  5. (Xiamen, Zhangzhou Min Nan, of an activity) to start
  6. (Cantonese, Teochew) to foresee; to expect; to anticipate

  • 3
    A general piece of advice: characters were composed a very long time ago, so the logic of characters comes from the meaning and sound of components' when the character was first formed, rather than what the character sounds like or means now. – dROOOze May 4 at 6:43
4

「預」 (Zhengzhang OC: /*las/, ahead/beforehand) is comprised of semantic 「頁」 (head) and phonetic 「予」 (/*laʔ/).


The components of a character contribute hints to the character based on what the components meant and/or sounded like at the time of the character's first appearance. 「頁」 (/*leb/) did not originally mean page; that meaning is a phonetic loan from 「葉」 (/*leb/, leaf > flat sheet > page).

「頁」 (head) was originally a picture of a kneeling person 「卩」 drawn with an emphasised head 「𦣻」 (now written 「首」). The legs of the kneeling person 「卩」 was later replaced with the legs of 「人」.



頁
8780
合集22217
西周

頁
卯簋蓋
集成4327


頁
法律答問75
睡虎地秦簡


頁
頁部
說文解字


頁

 

Forms 1, 2, 4, 5 refer to 「頁」. Form 3 refers to 「項」.

When it is found in other characters, 「頁」 holds the meaning head (anatomy from the shoulders upwards) as a semantic hint. For example,

  • head (+ phonetic 豆)

  • neck (+ phonetic 巠)

  • neck > collar (+ phonetic 令)

  • head > main topic (+ phonetic 是)

  • forehead (+ phonetic 客)

  • summit (+ phonetic 丁)

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  • 1
    What a coincidence! Old English leaf "leaf of a plant, foliage; page of a book, sheet of paper," You know what we say: Great minds think alike! – Pedroski May 5 at 10:40
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Outlier

FORM
預 yù is composed of 予 yǔ and 頁 “head,” which hints at the original meaning “in advance, ahead of time.” “Head” is also used to mean “earlier” in English, in words such as “ahead.” 予 gives the sound.

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0

From Wiktionary

頁 was later used as an alternative popular form of 葉 (“leaf; page”) to mean “sheet; page (of paper)”, which is its main meaning today.

So the part you're looking at changed its meaning in the intervening years.

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