甲骨文Oracle Bone Inscription:
*Compare with the oracle bone inscription of 贝:
*Compare with the seal character of 贝:
Being more connected with its original formation than the simplified, the traditional written form of 买 is a Logical Aggregate, formed from two semantic indicators of 网 (wǎng, Pictogram, literally means a net, an openwork fabric made of threads or cords that are woven or knotted together at regular intervals), and 贝 (bèi, also a Pictogram, usually serves as a frequently used radical in modern Chinese and usually means sth. related to money, wealth. Refer to the previous lesson of 贝 for more details). Just imagine what ancient Chinese were mostly likely to do with a net and money. Or, think about what do you usually take with when going shopping? The absolutely necessary item must be money. (Credit cards haven’t come out yet at that time, right?) And, what’s the second most necessary item you will have to carry? A bag, or sth. you can put into the goods purchased. Bingo! (I know you usually drive to go shopping and your car boot must be far more convenient than any splendid bags). If an ancient Chinese went out with some money and a net, he must have gone somewhere to buy something.
本义Original meaning: 买进，购入 buy, purchase
Lily explains 买 like this:
Frankly speaking, I really find that most of the simplified written form of modern Chinese characters have gone too far to make characters so simple and even crude that we can hardly see the logic and wisdom their original formations usually carries. And 买 is just such a too simplified character. Complaints are of little use in study, and let’s just get back to our lesson and think about how to crack this hard nut.
As the above mentioned, the government of the People's Republic of China took measures to enhance literacy in the new founded socialist state, and, therefore, the complicated writing system of Chinese underwent a simplification to make it easier for everybody to learn some 2000 characters needed for daily life. At that time, China had a Soviet-type planned economy, in which the state or government controls the factors of production and makes all decisions about their use and about the distribution of income. Needless to say, what should be purchased and what should not be purchased are to be determined either by the central or local authorities, that is to say, by the leader in charge. In modern Chinese, the character of 头 (tóu, literally means head of a person) can be used to mean head, chief or boss, the person who have the inviolable right to make decisions. So, 买 tells us that before anything can be purchased, the boss in charge must have checked the requisition and used a pen to ratify it (with an approved mark). Now, look closely at the upper horizontal bar with a little hook in the character of 买. What does it look like? A lying down pen, isn’t it? Here we are, and 买 just symbolizes a leader with a pen, who decides what to be bought or not.
Reviewer: I agree
Such an imivssepre answer! You've beaten us all with that!