Is there an indicator or signal when a radical's mnemonic is associated with its kanji usage?

I’m asking because I want to add my own mnemonics to radicals that don’t really match the kanji. Sure, it make sense to associate 王 radical with king because that’s what the kanji means. But for some others, if the only reason for a mnemonic is to have a word associated with the picture, I can make up my own with no downsides. I want to be able to tell when this is the case.

For example, the following radicals would be “tagged”; their mnemonics important:

水、王、止、丁、引, etc. So radicals that are also kanji (but probably there are other types here that i just dont know about. “strong” radicals maybe? Idk

And the following radicals would be untagged, encouraging me to give my own mnemonics:
wolverine ヨ This is just “yo”, I already have a mnemonic
leader イ Again, this is just “i”
loiter イ+テ 's lovechild
umbrella ok that one i would keep
spoon ヒ again, thats just “hi”
etc etc

Is there a way to tell, or do i have to inspect the kanji each radical is used in to examine if the mnemonic is context-appropriate or just random words?

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Actually, that’s イ rather than イ, and it’s a variant of 人. But hey, as always when it comes to mnemonics, you do you. :slightly_smiling_face:

So, the radicals have odd names, like you noticed. But there is a purpose. If you are using the WK mnemonics to remember the kanji, I would stick to the meaning provided on the radical. It is a lot easier to craft a story around a leader, than the kana イ. And that meaning is going to be used across many different kanji on the service.

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This radical does actually get called spoon in Japanese (さじ).匕%20%23kanji

Though it can also be called “hi” for convenience.

Recognizing that something like the “leader” radical in something like 休 is actually 人 but written in a different shape is quite useful to understanding the kanji (it’s a person resting by a tree, for the kanji which means “rest”). イ as a katakana is visually similar, but gives you no information about the meaning of the kanji.


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