The titles of Chinese family members

The titles of members

Before we view all the titles of Chinese family members, we need to know the profound idea in traditional China of that men is superior to women. That's the key reason why there are more complicated for family members and relatives than in English-speaking countries.

For example, in the English world, the word "brother" means the elder or younger brother, it doesn't need to distinguish who is elder or younger, both of them are special and unique. But in China, there are two words for brother, (哥哥) for the elder and (弟弟)for  the younger, the elder and the younger are different in family status.  哥哥 the older is the more respected than the 弟弟 younger; only the eldest son(长子)is eligible to inherit the family property, ever the country.

the titles of Chinese family members
the titles of Chinese family members

KEY WORD TO DESCRIBE THE FAMILY MEMBERS

With pinyin:

Male 男:
ɡōnɡ fù yé  bà bó  shū  jiù  fù  ɡē   dì    xionɡ   zǐ
公      父 爷 爸  伯    叔   舅   父  哥   弟      兄     子

Female 女:
pó  lǎo  nǎi  mā mǔ   shěn  niánɡ   ɡū   jiě   mèi   zǐ   nǚ
婆   姥    奶   妈  母      婶       娘         姑    姐    妹    姊   女

A comparing listing:

公 父 爷 爷 爸 伯 叔 舅 父 哥 弟 兄 子
婆 母 姥 奶 妈 母 婶 娘 姑 姐 妹 姊 女

Have you ever noticed? that many of the words that describe women have a female Chinese character component (女).

2,堂、表、外(TÁNG 、 BIǍO 、 WÀI)

Before the family title, add the prefix words of  堂、表、外 to distinguish the people is belong to father's or mother's side. Father‘s relatives, using the 堂 and (内)表; mother's using(外)表 and 外.

: a hall, the ancient Chinese often held important events in the hall; it means the formal, solemn and official.
: outside, that's mean the mother's relatives is not so important for this family.When a woman marries a husband's family, she prioritizes her husband's family things in everything she does.
: there are two 表, 内表 and 外表, even it can be used for father's and mother's relatives, but 内, the relationship is also closer than 外.

Proverb:

A married daughter is just like water that has been poured.

(she doesn't belong to her parents anymore.)

嫁出去的女儿,泼出去的水。

(jià chū qu de nǚ ér, pō chū qu de shuǐ.)

堂 táng
堂 táng

1/11  Immediate Family
爸爸(bà ba): father; 父亲(fù qin)is the formal way to say 爸爸(bà ba).
妈妈(mā ma): mum; 母亲(mǔ qīn)is the formal way to say 妈妈(mā ma).
爷爷(yé ye): the father of your father (your paternal grandfather);
奶奶 (nǎi nai): the mum of your father (your maternal grandmother);
哥哥 (gē ge): older brother
弟弟 (dì di):younger brother
姐姐 (jiě jie):older sister
妹妹 (mèi mei): younger sister
2/11,  Grandparents and Great Grandparents
姥爷 (lǎo ye): the mum of your father (your paternal grandmother);
姥姥 (lǎo lao): the mum of your mum (your maternal grandmother);
太爷 (tài yé): the father of your paternal grandfather or grandmother (your paternal great-grandfather)
太太(tài tai):the mum of your paternal grandfather or grandmother (your paternal great-grandmother)
太姥爷(tài lǎo ye):the father of you maternal grandfather or grandmother (your paternal great-grandfather)
太姥姥(tài lǎo lao):the mum of your maternal grandfather or grandmother (your maternal great-grandparents)
3/11, Paternal Grandparents' Relatives
姑奶奶 (gū nǎi nai):the sister of your paternal grandfather
姑爷 (gū yé):the husband of the sister of your paternal grandfather
大爷 (dà yé):the oldest brother of your paternal grandfather
大奶奶(dà nǎi nai):the wife of the oldest brother of your paternal grandfather father’s. If he is the second oldest, he is called 二爷 (èr yé), and his wife is called 二奶奶(èr nǎi nai), and so forth.
姨爷 (yí yé):the husband of the sister of your paternal grandfather
姨奶奶(yí nǎi nai):the sister of your paternal grandmother
舅爷 (jiù yé):the brother of your paternal grandmother
舅奶奶 (jiù nǎi nai):the wife of the brother of your paternal grandmother
4/11, Maternal Grandparents' Relatives
姑姥爷 (gū lǎo ye): the  brother of your maternal grandfather
姑姥姥 (gū lǎo lao): the sister of your maternal grandfather
姨姥姥 (yí lǎo lao):the sister of your maternal grandmother
姨姥爷 (yí lǎo ye): the husband of the sister of your maternal grandmother
舅姥爷(jiù lǎo ye):the brother of your maternal grandmother
舅姥姥 (jiù lǎo lao): the wife of the brother of your maternal grandmother
5/11, Your Father’s Side
伯伯(bó bo)or 大爷(dà ye): the older brother of your father
伯母(bó mǔ) or 大娘(dà niáng):the wife of the older brother of your father
叔叔 (shū shū): the younger brother of your father
婶婶(shěn shen):the wife of the younger brother of your father
姑姑(gū gu): the sister of your father
姑父(gū fu):the husband of the sister of your father
6/11, Your Mother’s Side:
舅舅 (jiù jiu):the brother of your mum
舅妈(jiù mā): the wife of the brother of your mum
姨妈 (yí mā):the sister of your mum
姨父(yí fu):the husband of the sister of your mum
表妹夫(biǎo mèi fu): the husband of the daughter of the sister (or brother) of your mum or of the sister of your father, if the daughter is younger than you
表姐夫(biǎo jiě fu):the husband of the daughter of the sister (or brother) of your mum or of the sister of your father, if the daughter is older than you
7/11, Cousins
堂兄(táng xiōng):the son of the brother of your father, who is older than you
堂弟(táng dì):the son of the brother of your father, who is younger than you
堂姐(táng jiě):the daughter of the brother of your father, who is older than you
堂妹(táng mèi):the daughter of the brother of your father, who is younger than you
表哥(biǎo gē):the son of the sister of your father, or the son of the brother (or sister) of your mum, who is older than you
表弟(biǎo dì):the son of the sister of your father, or the son of the brother (or sister) of your mum,who is younger than you
表姐(biǎo jiě):the daughter of the sister of your father, or the daughter of the brother (or sister) of your mum, who is older than you
表妹 (biǎo mèi):the daughter of ther sister of your father, or the the daughter of the brother (or sister) of your mum, who is younger than you
表嫂(biǎo sǎo):the wife of the son of the sister of your father or the wife of the brother (or sister) of your mum
8/11, In-laws
嫂子(sǎo zi):the wife of your older brother
弟妹 (dì mèi): the wife of your younger brother
姐夫(jiě fu):the husband of your older sister
妹夫(mèi fu): the husband of your younger sister
9/11, Nephews and Nieces
侄子(zhí zǐ):the son of your brother
侄女(zhí nǚ):the daughter of your brother
外甥(wài shēng):the son of your sister
外甥女(wài sheng nǚ):the daughter of your sister
10/11, Your Husband's Family
公公 (gōng gong): the father of your husband
婆婆(pó po): the mother of your husband
大伯子(dà bǎi zi):the elder brother of your husband
大伯嫂(dà bǎi sǎo):the wife of the elder brother of your husband
小叔子(xiǎo shū zi):the younger brother of your husband
小婶子(xiǎo shěn zi):the wife of the younger brother of your husband
大姑子(dà gū zi):the husband of your elder sister
小姑子(xiǎo gū zi):the husband of your younger sister
11/11, Your Wife's Family
岳父(yuè fù)or 丈人(zhàng rén):the father of your wife
岳母(yuè mǔ)or 丈母娘(zhàng mu niáng):the mother of your wife
大舅子(dà jiù zi):the elder brother of your wife
大舅嫂(dà jiù sǎo):the wife of the elder brother of your wife
小舅子(xiǎo jiù zi): the wife of your younger brother
小妗子(xiǎo jìn zi) :the wife of the younger brother of your wife
大姨子(dà yí zi):the elder sister of your wife
小姨子(xiǎo yí zi):the younger sister of your wife

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