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XiaoZhou

Changes in 滑?

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XiaoZhou

While looking up Skiiing in Pablo English-Chinese dictionary, I found that the character 滑 was written differently in this dictionary than in other locations that I'd seen it before. The little box inside the box shifts from the loswer right corner to the lower left corner. Any ideas on why this is?

http://tinypic.com/r/2zyv02u/6

As a vaguely related question, could anyone tell me why the symbol for moon appears in hua? Where they pronounced similarly in ancient times? Is the some rare meaning that they both share?

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OneEye

The "box" can be on the left or right, depending on the font you're using. That 月 isn't "moon," it's 肉, and it isn't the phonetic, 骨 is. 骨 and 滑 were at one point pronounced the same or similarly, and 滑 has been used as a 通假 for 汩.

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Altair

It looks like OneEye beat me to it, but here is what I wrote below:

the character 滑 was written differently in this dictionary than in other locations that I'd seen it before.

This image from Zhongwen.com also shows this variant. In the image, the character on the left is from "traditional" writing, and the character in the brackets is from the "simplified" standard.

The little box inside the box shifts from the lower right corner to the lower left corner. Any ideas on why this is?

I believe that in traditional writing, the box can be written either way. In the Shuōwén Jiězì (说文解字), it apparently was written on the right. In the simplified standard, the box must be written on the left. By the way, the traditional character 過 (过) also has this variation, since it includes the same element.

As for why there is this variation, my guess is that in the original seal writing, it was probably slightly easier to write it on the right, because of the shape of the curve; however, either way was acceptable. You can look here for examples among the first two lines among the seal characters. My own sense is that writing it on the right feels more logical, since the stroke order for the small box feels more like a repeat of the stroke order for the big box. On the other hand, writing it on the left involves fewer strokes, which is probably why it was adopted for the simplified variant.

As a vaguely related question, could anyone tell me why the symbol for moon appears in hua? Where they pronounced similarly in ancient times? Is the some rare meaning that they both share?

What you are calling "the symbol for moon" is actually the "meat" radical. They are usually written identically; but in carefull writing, the two horixontal strokes are written differently, at an angle to each other, as you can see here. In your image, you can see other similar differences in the fonts used in the two circled characters. For instance, the one on the left, common in printing, has strokes in which all the lines have homogenized thicknesses and angles.

The components of the character 滑 can be explained as follows:

The left side is "three dot water," and helps clarify the meaning "slip" or "slippery." The right side is 骨 (gǔ, bone), which suggests the sound. (It probably did a much better job in ancient Chinese than it does now.) At the top of its right side is a picture of some piece of bone. To me, the oracle writing (some of the earliest examples of character writing and seen on this page at the bottom right) made it look like a cow vertebra. At the bottom is the "meat" radical, which helps suggest the meaning.

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