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Complete List Of Titles For Family Members In Chinese

 

In China, there are more complicated titles for family members and relatives than in English-speaking countries. In this article, you are going to learn what to call your family members or relatives in Chinese! You may only use a few of these on a daily basis, but this is a comprehensive list of the titles you may come across while learning Chinese.

 

Immediate family

爸爸(Bà ba): dad;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 dad of your dad (your paternal grandfather);祖父 (zǔ fù) is the formal way to say 爷爷 (yé ye).
奶奶 (Nǎi nai): the mum of your dad (your maternal grandmother);祖母 (zǔ mǔ) is the formal way to say 奶奶 (nǎi nai).

哥哥 (Gē ge): older brother
弟弟 (Dì di) : younger brother
姐姐 (Jiě jie) : older sister
妹妹 (Mèi mei): younger sister

 

Grandparents and Great Grandparents

姥爷 (Lǎo ye): the mum of your dad (your paternal grandmother);外祖父 (wài zǔ fù) is the formal way to say 姥爷 (lǎo ye).
姥姥 (Lǎo lao): the mum of your mum (your maternal grandmother);外祖母 (wài zǔ mǔ) is the formal way to say 姥姥 (lǎo lao).

太爷 (Tài yé): the dad of your paternal grandfather or grandmother (your paternal great-grandfather)

太太(Tài tai) : the mum of your paterrnal grandfather or grandmother (your paternal great-grandmother)

太 姥爷(Tài lǎo ye) : the dad 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)

 

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 dad’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 奶奶(Yí nǎi nai) : the sister of your paternal grandmother
姨 爷 (Yí yé) : the husband of the sister of your paternal grandfather
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

 

Maternal Grandparents' Relatives

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

 

Your Father’s Side

伯伯(Bó bo) or 大爷 (dà ye): the older brother of your dad
伯母(Bó mǔ) or 大娘 (dà niáng) : the wife of the older brother of your dad
叔叔 (Shū shū): the younger brother of your dad
婶婶(Shěn shen) : the wife of the younger brother of your dad
姑姑(Gū gu) : the sister of your dad
姑父(Gū fu) : the husband of the sister of your dad

 

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
(Yí) : 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 dad, 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 dad, if the daughter is older than you

 

Cousins

堂兄(Táng xiōng) : the son of the brother of your dad, who is older than you
堂弟(Táng dì) : the son of the brother of your dad, who is younger than you
堂姐(Táng jiě) : the daughter of the brother of your dad, who is older than you
堂妹(Táng mèi) : the daughter of the brother of your dad, who is younger than you
表哥(Biǎo gē) : the son of the sister of your dad, 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 dad, 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 dad, 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 dad, or 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 dad or the wife of the brother (or sister) of your mum

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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) or 大 妗子 (dà jìn zi) : 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

You may want to bookmark this page or come back when you come across a “family title” you do not know. Just remember: knowing the exact meaning of the different ways to call family members and relatives will put you one step closer to reading and speaking Chinese like a native!

 

Image by Jason D 'Great (CC BY-ND 2.0)