Uncle Hanzi says that 少 is derived by augmentation from 小 (xiǎo) “small”. The modern form of this character makes me think of a lonely samurai carrying a long curved sword. It’s safe to say that by now there are only a few samurai left in the world. The key word to remember is “few”.
Have you heard of Shaolin Monastery or Shaolin Kung Fu? The name 少林 (Shàolín) consists of 少 — which, in turn, is an abbreviation for 少室山 (Shàoshìshān), “Shaoshi mountain” — and 林 (lín) “forest”. Maybe that can help remembering the pronunciation of 少, although, you may have noticed, there is a tone change (shǎo → shào) when 少 is used in combination.
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