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Came across the character 发 (fā/fà; issue, dispatch, send out / hair) recently and I checked their traditional forms 發 and 髮.

I wanted to know more about how 發 (fā; issue, dispatch, send out, emit [Zhengzhang OC: /*pad/]) got abbrivated into 发, so when I went to go check this character's entry on the Outlier Linguistics Dictionary of Chinese Characters, it told me that 发 was formed with 癶 (two feet; here used as sound component [Zhengzhang OC: /*paːd/]), 弓 (bow) and 几 (from 殳, which is used here to depict a weapon or a tool) being abbreviated into strokes 1-2 and 5 of 发 while 又 (hand) retained the same as it was from it's traditional form 發.

However when I was curious about how it gained the other meaning "hair" and how it was abbrivated, I don't think the Outlier Linguistics Dictionary mentioned on how 发 also got the meaning "hair" from 髮 (fà; hair [Zhengzhang OC: /*pod/]) since it was super vague on it and only listed it under "fà" as "phoentic loan".

I tried my best making some proposals on how 发 could've came from 髮 as shown below: pp

On the left, I proposed that 发 likely comes from the sound component below (犮; Zhengzhang OC: /*boːd/) of 髮 and I'm assuming 髟 was omitted for the simplified form while on the right, I also proposed that the first half of the first stroke and the last stroke of 发 may have been an abbreviation of 髟. I could not come to a conclusion on what's most possible however.

I know for a fact that 发 when it means "hair" possibly comes from the cursive script of 髮 but I'm not too sure myself if the cursive script of 髮 happened to be the same as 發 also in cursive script.

If I could get some clarification here, how did this newly made simplified form 发 at the time came to be used for both 發 and 髮? Did both of these characters in cursive script just coincidentally happened to look the same at the time? I'm definitely curious to find out about this.

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    "Phonetic loan" means using a character (here 發 -> 发) for its sound value to represent a word (/*pod/, hair) that had nothing to do with the character's meaning, only its sound. Outlier suggesting that 发 is a phonetic loan for /*pod/ implies that the character 发 is not connected in any way to the character 髮. (That wouldn't be my first guess though, I thought 发 was an abbreviation of 髮 rather than 發, but I don't really look at or care for Simplified Chinese).
    – dROOOze
    Nov 27, 2023 at 6:40
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    Oh, it's done in the PRC standard quite a bit, Wikipedia has a whole article dedicated to this. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/…
    – dROOOze
    Nov 27, 2023 at 6:52
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    The PRC's character standard (standard = requires a process of standardisation) consists of both (1) stroke-reduction ("simplification") and (2) other changes. Here, When you see 几, 后, and 卜, they're considered "other changes" (merging two characters into one); the other character(s) that were merged weren't "Simplified", they just ceased to exist in the standard. That Wikipedia article has the word "Simplification" in it, but that's a bit of a gloss. The ROC (Taiwan) standard, for example, merged 著 and 着 into 著 (which PRC didn't do), but you wouldn't call that "Simplification".
    – dROOOze
    Nov 27, 2023 at 7:05
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    几 still means "table" in the PRC standard (e.g. in the word 茶几). This character wasn't repurposed, they just removed 幾 and merged its definitions into 几. For 厂, well, if you ever needed to express the word hǎn in writing, you have no choice but to use the character 厂; this is true of any other "repurposed" characters.
    – dROOOze
    Nov 27, 2023 at 7:17
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    Ahhh, that makes a lot of sense now. Then I guess I'm just thinking about the most most common definitions of 几 and 厂 following the PRC standard. So then the majority of a few characters used for simplified forms still have their original meanings but is overshadowed by the traditional character's definition if that's what I'm thinking of.
    – prismcool
    Nov 27, 2023 at 7:24

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Same with the word 后. It is the simplified word of 後(back). But the word Queen in Chinese is 后(simplified and traditional).

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