殺 (radical 79, 殳+7 in traditional Chinese and Korean, 殳+6 in mainland China and Japanese, 11 strokes in traditional Chinese and Korean, 10 strokes in mainland China and Japanese, cangjie input 大金竹弓水 (KCHNE) or 大木竹弓水 (KDHNE), four-corner47947, composition ⿰⿱㐅朩殳(G) or ⿰⿱㐅朮殳(HT) or ⿰⿱㐅木殳(JV or U+FA96) or ⿰⿱㐅术殳(K or U+F970).⿰⿱㐅𣎳殳(U+2F8F5))
In the oracle bone script, it was an ideogrammic compound (會意): 戈(“spear”) + [Term?] (“hair”) – a man impaled in the head.
In the bronze script, 人 (“man”) was added under the hair to accentuate the killing of the man. In some bronze inscriptions, 殳 (“spear”) or 攴 was used in place of 戈.
In the bamboo and silk script, symbol representing the man being killed corrupted into 杀: 乂(“weapon for killing”) + 𣎳. The seal script inherits this: Phono-semantic compound (形聲, OC *sreːds, *sreːd): phonetic 𣏂 + semantic 殳(“spear”).
Normally, the subject of 殺 should at least be alive. The sentence "A tiger killed many people." can be validly translated as 老虎殺死數人, while the sentence "This accident killed many people." is seldom translated as *這次事故殺死數人. For death caused by non-living things, split forms of 致死 (zhìsǐ) are often used instead: