In bone and bronze inscriptions, 冬 resembles the two ends of a knotted rope, indicating that the winter is the end of a year. 冬 is cognate of 终. Later the meaning of冬 is extended to “winter”. 冬 serves as a phonetic component to form characters.
Characters formed by the phonetic component 冬
咚 疼 氡 图/圖 dōng téng dōng tú
终 柊 螽 zhōng zhōng zhōng
佟 峂 tóng tóng