先生

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Chinese[edit]

 
early; prior; former; in advance; first
 
to be born; to give birth; life; to grow; student; raw
simp. and trad.
(先生)

Etymology[edit]

From (xiān, Old Chinese *sɯːn(s), "before, ahead") and (shēng, OC *shleːŋ, *sreŋs, "to be born"), i.e. "one who was born earlier". Attested in Shijing ("first child"), Yili ("elder brother"), Classic of Rites ("teacher"), Mengzi ("a knowledgeable elder").

Pronunciation[edit]


Note: When following a surname, it is read in the neutral tone.

Noun[edit]

先生

  1. (Beginning Mandarin) mister, sir
    先生 / 先生  ―  Wáng xiānshēng lái le.  ―  Mr. Wang came.
    先生 / 先生 [Min Nan]  ―  Ông--sian-seⁿ lâi--ah. [Pe̍h-ōe-jī]  ―  Mr. Ong came.
  2. (formal) husband
  3. (Gan, Hakka, Min, dated in Mandarin and Jin) doctor
  4. (Cantonese, Gan, Hakka, Min, dated in Mandarin, honorific in Jin) teacher

Synonyms[edit]

Dialectal synonyms of 醫生 (“doctor; physician”) [map]
Variety Location Words
Formal (Written Standard Chinese) 醫生醫師
Mandarin Beijing 大夫醫生
Taiwan 醫生大夫
Tianjin 大夫醫生
Jinan 大夫先生 TCM
Xi'an 大夫先生 TCM
Wuhan 醫生先生 TCM
Chengdu 醫生老師 TCM先生 TCM
Yangzhou 醫生先生 TCM郎中 TCM
Hefei 醫生先生 TCM郎中 TCM
Cantonese Guangzhou 醫生先生 TCM
Hong Kong 醫生醫師 TCM
Taishan 醫生
Yangjiang 醫生先生
Gan Nanchang 醫師郎中
Hakka Meixian 醫生先生
Miaoli (N. Sixian) 先生醫生醫師
Liudui (S. Sixian) 先生醫生醫師
Hsinchu (Hailu) 先生醫生醫師
Dongshi (Dabu) 先生醫生醫師
Zhuolan (Raoping) 先生醫生醫師
Yunlin (Zhao'an) 先生醫生
Jin Taiyuan 大夫先生 TCM
Min Bei Jian'ou 醫生先生 TCM
Min Dong Fuzhou 醫生先生 TCM
Min Nan Xiamen 醫生先生
Quanzhou 醫生先生
Zhangzhou 醫生先生
Taipei 醫生先生
Kaohsiung 醫生先生
Tainan 醫生先生
Taichung 醫生先生
Yilan 醫生先生
Lukang 醫生先生
Sanxia 醫生先生
Kinmen 先生
Magong 醫生先生
Hsinchu 醫生先生
Malaysia 醫生老君
Singapore 醫生老君
Chaozhou 醫生先生 TCM
Wu Shanghai 醫生郎中 TCM
Suzhou 醫生郎中先生 TCM
Wenzhou 醫生先生 TCM
Xiang Changsha 醫生醫師 TCM郎中 TCM先生 TCM
Shuangfeng 醫師郎中 TCM
Note TCM: doctor practising traditional Chinese medicine
Dialectal synonyms of 老師 (“teacher”) [map]
Variety Location Words
Classical Chinese
Formal (Written Standard Chinese) 教師
Mandarin Beijing 老師
Taiwan 老師
Jinan 老師先生
Xi'an 老師先生
Wuhan 老師教師
Chengdu 老師先生
Yangzhou 教師先生老師
Hefei 教師老師先生
Cantonese Guangzhou 老師先生
Hong Kong 老師先生阿蛇 male搣匙 female
Taishan 老師先生
Yangjiang 老師先生
Gan Nanchang 老師先生
Hakka Meixian 老師先生
Jin Taiyuan 老師先生
Min Bei Jian'ou 老師先生
Min Dong Fuzhou 先生老師
Min Nan Xiamen 先生老師
Quanzhou 先生老師
Zhangzhou 先生老師
Taipei 先生老師
Kaohsiung 先生老師
Tainan 先生老師
Taichung 先生老師
Yilan 先生老師
Lukang 先生老師
Sanxia 先生老師
Kinmen 先生
Magong 先生
Hsinchu 先生
Malaysia 先生老師
Wu Shanghai 老師教師教書先生
Suzhou 教師教書先生
Wenzhou 教師教書先生先生
Xiang Changsha 老師教書先生
Shuangfeng 老師教書先生

Descendants[edit]

Sino-Xenic (先生):

See also[edit]

References[edit]


Japanese[edit]

Kanji in this term
せん
Grade: 1
せい
Grade: 1
on'yomi

Etymology[edit]

From Middle Chinese compound 先生(sen sræng, literally first + to be born).

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

先生 (hiragana せんせい, romaji sensei)

  1. one who was born earlier: an elder
  2. one who excels at a subject: a scholar
  3. one who teaches: a teacher or professor
  4. sensei (Japanese martial arts teacher)
  5. sir, a polite form of address to teachers, doctors, etc.

Usage notes[edit]

This is a term of respect, reserved only for speaking about others, and considered somewhat impolite (immodest) to use when referring to oneself. Instead, the term 教師(kyōshi, teacher, literally teaching + teacher) is considered more socially appropriate when referring to oneself.

Derived terms[edit]

Suffix[edit]

先生 (hiragana せんせい, romaji -sensei)

  1. a title used after the name of teachers, doctors, lawyers, or certain other professionals

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ 2006, 大辞林 (Daijirin), Third Edition (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Sanseidō, ISBN 4-385-13905-9
  • 2002, Ineko Kondō; Fumi Takano; Mary E Althaus; et. al., Shogakukan Progressive Japanese-English Dictionary, Third Edition, Tokyo: Shōgakukan, ISBN 4095102535.

Korean[edit]

Hanja in this term

Noun[edit]

先生 (seonsaeng) (hangeul 선생)

  1. Hanja form? of 선생, “teacher”.

Vietnamese[edit]

Hán tự in this word

Noun[edit]

先生

  1. Hán tự form of tiên sinh, “teacher