This etymology is missing or incomplete. Please add to it, or discuss it at the Etymology scriptorium. Particularly: “Is this a pictogram (象形)? If so, what was it supposed to look like? If not, what kind of character is it?”
覆 was officially simplified to 复 in 1964–1986, but now it only simplifies to 复 in the meaning of "to return; to reply", e.g. 答覆／答复 (dáfù), 反覆／反复 (fǎnfù), and 回覆／回复 (huífù). In other meanings, 覆 no longer simplifies to 复, e.g. 翻覆 (fānfù), 覆蓋／覆盖 (fùgài), 顛覆／颠覆 (diānfù), 傾覆／倾覆 (qīngfù), and 覆轍／覆辙 (fùzhé).