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What is the etymology of 策 and 朿 ?

As per dictionary the meanings are as below:

朿 cì stab

策 cè policy, plan, scheme, bamboo slip for writing(old), to whip (a horse), to encourage, upward horizontal stroke in calligraphy

0

朿 means "thorns". From 说文解字朿,木芒也

Its variant character 刺 is more widely used in modern Chinese.

More ancient usages of inscriptions on bones or tortoise shells of the Shang Dynasty of 朿 is "to stab (ritual animal sacrifices) to death" as in 「朿豕」、「朿羊」、「朿魚」etc, according to 甲骨文合集.

策 means “horse whips” in ancient times, which was usually made of bamboos, some of which have thorns at the front end.

秦始皇陵铜车马马策

Another hypothesis is 策 evolves from the riding command 敕 which meant to drive the horse. 说文解字: 以策擊馬曰敇

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  • Mou, Felix Zhang Thank you very much for the pictures and detailed explanation. It will help in remembering the meaning of both the characters. Thanks
    – user27485
    Mar 25 at 7:15
  • @user27485 If you think this answers your question, you should click the "accept" button to mark it as the accepted answer. :)
    – Betty
    Mar 29 at 8:50
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Here are the etymologies for both characters:

Outlier

FORM
策 cè is composed of 朿 cì and 𥫗 “bamboo,” which points to the original meaning “a bamboo horsewhip.” 朿 gives the sound.

COMPONENTS
𥫗
In 策, 𥫗 “bamboo” is a meaning component, pointing to the original meaning “a bamboo horse-whip.”


In 策 cè, 朿 cì is a sound component.

MEANINGS

1 (orig.) bamboo horsewhip
2 → to whip
3 ⇒ to encourage
4 → walking stick
5 ⇒ to support
6 → bamboo book
7 ⇒ plan

Outlier

FORM
Ancient form:
enter image description here
朿 depicts a three-pointed spear, indicating its original meaning “three-pointed spear.”

MEANINGS

1 (orig.) a three-pointed spear
2 → sharp; pointy

  • 朿 is just a sound component in 策 and shares no semantic meanings
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  • With 朿, the 3 pointed spear what can be stabbed mainly? Why 3 point spear only for stabbing?
    – user27485
    Mar 22 at 23:40

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