The word 摔 means fall:

摔 shuāi to fall, tumble, lose one’s balance

Generally the fall action comes with leg, although hand also related. any mnemonic or story to remember this?

Gugg had given good mnemonic for 摔.

I could not find etymology for 率. any insights into glyph origin ?

  • You may want to rephrase the question in order to achieve its intended purpose – Fishuman Apr 29 at 9:35
  • updated fishuman. hope this is fine – user27485 Apr 29 at 10:52
  • Hello who had downvoted this question? please let me know the reason I can improve on. – user27485 Apr 29 at 11:48
  • 1
    I think it was because you asked 2 questions in one. Not just this topic but some of your previous topics were in this format. One about a mnemonic and another about the phonetic component's etymology in the same topic. It would be better to ask the mnemonic part and etymology part into two separate topics in order to be more concise and straight to the point. PS - I didn't downvote – Fishuman Apr 29 at 13:35

Glyph origins of 「摔」

「摔」 (Mandarin Pinyin: shuāi, to throw down) is comprised of semantic 「手・扌」 and phonetic 「率」 (shuài). The meaning to tumble is a semantic extension (to throw down > to drop, to fall > to tumble).

Glyph origins of 「率」

Glyph evolution table

字形 參考資料

率 308
率 大盂鼎
  Series A
⿲彳幺亍 毛公鼎
𧗵 詛楚文

𧗵 42.198
𧗵 僖卅三年


  Series B
率 漢印文字徵
率 僖廿七年


Shape descriptions of the original characters



「率」 originally depicted a long length of intertwining threads 「糸」 and small dots/markings representing bits of extra thread, indicating the original meaning thick rope. This word is now written as 「繂」 (Zhengzhang OC: /*rud/, Mandarin Pinyin: ). This survives as the Series B characters.

Very early on, this character was also used for the meaning to lead (Zhengzhang OC: /*sruds/, Mandarin Pinyin: shuài), either as a phonetic loan or semantic extension (large rope > to drag, to pull > to lead).


To emphasise the meaning to lead, the small markings were sometimes corrupted into semantic 「行」 (picture of a road intersection > to walk). This forms the basis of the Series A characters.

Glyph evolution description of the modern shapes

Series A




Series B




The upper and lower portions of the 「糸」 part of the original character(s) later had long horizontal lines drawn on them, probably as decorative strokes, leading on to the modern shape of 「率」 and all characters containing 「率」.

Usage notes

  • Series A characters (including 「𧗿」) are not used in modern Chinese - the original character 「率」 has also completely taken over all senses originally represented by Series A characters.
  • 「率」 (Zhengzhang OC: /*sruds/, Mandarin Pinyin: shuài; to lead) should be seen as representing the same word as 「帥」 (Zhengzhang OC: /*sruds/, Mandarin Pinyin: shuài; to lead). 「率」 and 「帥」 appear in different multi-character words/phrases due to a long history of writing habits more than anything else.
  • The meaning ratio (Zhengzhang OC: /*rud/, Mandarin Pinyin: ) may also be seen as either a phonetic loan, or a further semantic extension (to lead > to set standards > to calculate > ratio).


  • 1
    @user27485 I would strongly discourage asking about multiple characters in one question. As you can see, your main question about 「摔」 took about 5% of this entire answer, which is cluttered mostly with the description of 「率」. – dROOOze Apr 29 at 13:03
  • last time I asked glyph origin of both characters of 蕴含 in one question. But 摔 this is one character but with addition of radical. but even 2 questions might be better as mnemonic and glyph origin are completely two different areas of expertise. noted on good feedback – user27485 Apr 29 at 23:45

率(shuài):to lead(率领)

摔(shuāi):(grab something and)smash into ground; fall

where 率(lǜ / rate)is not the case

  • This is a meaning of 摔 that is not taught as much as it could be in Chinese textbooks for the Western market! – Michaelyus Apr 29 at 7:42
  • @Michaelyus for people falling into ground we have another character:跌(diē,跌倒)which is more formal。 – imkzh Apr 29 at 7:46
  • 跌 leg , lost (in the sense slipped) diē make more sense if you fall by slipping leg. for 摔 the meanings given were tumble and lose balance(other than fall), so i was expecting leg/foot rather hand. Over the time the usage by people changes the things i think. – user27485 Apr 29 at 10:50
  • In the case of slippery, we call it 滑倒(滑slippery,倒falling)。跌 is a generic description of falling and does not state the underlying reason。The word 失足 indicates falling because of “missing feet”(mainly because of careless and taking wrong steps) also not because of slippery。 @user27485 – imkzh Apr 30 at 11:23

Think of 2 wrestler (goro from mortal combat) that wants to make each other fall. its an hand movement if you're imagining wrestling. and the right side, resembles 卒 with more xxs in the middle, you can think of goro again, being a fighter/卒 with many arms.

  • thanks for the mnemonic, it works best to remember. Let me update my question for glyph origin, as – user27485 Apr 28 at 23:50

率 is merely the phonetic part of 摔, it has no connection to the meaning of 摔.

率 etymology is unknown; it could either be a sort of net, or a thick rope in water, maybe meant to pull a boat which is probably where the "lead" meaning 率领 came from, though this cannot be confirmed. For mnemonics, they have already been answered.

摔 original meaning is throw to the ground, thus hand is used as the meaning component. 摔 had another variant form 𨄮 which probably obtained the additional meaning "stumble" 𨄮 is no longer used in modern writing.



率 means rate (税率), frequency (頻率), both imply ratio and proportion (比率). In wrestling, you gain points by throwing (摔) the oponent to the mat, with the correct force proportioned between the upper body and lower body, using hands (手) and through a fast movement (速率).

The movement of a fall usually occurs over a very short duration, both the walkers' moving speed and the movement of the fall are rather fast (速率), and the person's hand or hands tend to grab/touch something during/after the fall, thus the word "摔".

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