Graphical etymology
pike; windy-again radical (no. 79)
on: SHU
kun: mata hoko hokotsukuri rumata
strokes: 4
radical: (no. 79)
bamboo or wooden spear; Kangxi radical 79, occurring in 段, 毅, 殺 etc;
pinyin: shū
strokes: 4
radical: (no. 79)

Graphical etymology

Early forms of 殳 show a hand holding some kind of tool or weapon (see below). Interpretations of what exactly is depicted vary: Qiú has “a hammer-like implement for hitting”, while Outlier has “a staff-like weapon”. The original meaning of the word that 殳 pointed is also uncertain. Qiú has “a kind of weapon”, Outlier has “a bamboo or wooden spear”.¹ Kroll has “a bamboo lance”.² In any case, one will see 殳 solely as a component in other graphs.


  1. Qiu, 2000, p. 190; Outlier, entry for 殳.
  2. Kroll, p. 421.

Examples of graphs that use 殳

, , , , , , , 殿, , , , .



Developmental overview for 殳 [source].

Additional details for 殳

Frequency in Japanese: not frequent
Morohashi: 16613 6.0763
SKIP code: 2-2-2
Four corner code: 7740.7
Korean reading: su
Unihan English meanings (for Chinese):
name of old weapon; kill; rad. 79
Unihan on: SHU
Unihan kun: HOKO
Unihan pinyin: shū
Unihan kSemanticVariants: , [kMatthews]