聖→圣

Today’s character is 聖 which means “holy, sacred, saint, sage”. It is a 形聲 so let’s break it down. (It can also be considered a 會意)

聖

So we have 耳 along with 呈. It’s meaning is interpreted either as a 形聲 or a 會意.

形聲:The semantic component is 耳(ěr, ear) and the phonetic one is 呈(chéng) 會意:”the person who speaks 呈 into the ear 耳 – sage”.

So how did they decide to simplify this one? Take a look.

聖simp

So what’s wrong with this? The character already exists. 圣(kū) is a 會意, “to till the ground 土 with the hand 又 – till”.

So isn’t it nice that what once was holy is now just scattered dirt? That’s some nice imagery.