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See also:
U+59B9, 妹
CJK UNIFIED IDEOGRAPH-59B9

[U+59B8]
CJK Unified Ideographs
[U+59BA]

Translingual[edit]

Han character[edit]

(radical 38, +5, 8 strokes, cangjie input 女十木 (VJD), four-corner 45490, composition)

Stroke order
0 strokes

References[edit]

  • KangXi: page 257, character 28
  • Dai Kanwa Jiten: character 6138
  • Dae Jaweon: page 522, character 23
  • Hanyu Da Zidian: volume 2, page 1034, character 6
  • Unihan data for U+59B9

Chinese[edit]

simp. and trad.

Glyph origin[edit]

Historical forms of the character
Shuowen Jiezi (compiled in Han)
Small seal script
妹-seal.svg
Characters in the same phonetic series () (Zhengzhang, 2003) 
Old Chinese
*mids
*mrɯds
*mrɯds
*mɯːds
*mɯːds
*maːds, *mɯːds
*maːds, *hmɯːds, *mɯds
*mɯds
*mɯds
*mɯds
*mɯds

Phono-semantic compound (形聲, OC *mɯːds): semantic  (female, woman) + phonetic  (OC *mɯds).

Etymology[edit]

Probably Sino-Tibetan. Proposed etymologies:

Pronunciation[edit]


Note:
  • Xiamen:
    • bē - vernacular;
    • bōe - literary.
  • Quanzhou:
    • bēr - vernacular;
    • mūi - literary.
  • Zhangzhou:
    • māi - vernacular;
    • moāi - literary.
  • (Teochew)
  • Wu
  • Xiang
  • Note:
    • mei5 - vernacular;
    • mei4 - literary.

    Rime
    Character
    Reading # 1/1
    Initial () (4)
    Final () (42)
    Tone (調) Departing (H)
    Openness (開合) Closed
    Division () I
    Fanqie
    Reconstructions
    Zhengzhang
    Shangfang
    /muʌiH/
    Pan
    Wuyun
    /muoiH/
    Shao
    Rongfen
    /muɒiH/
    Edwin
    Pulleyblank
    /mwəjH/
    Li
    Rong
    /muᴀiH/
    Wang
    Li
    /muɒiH/
    Bernard
    Karlgren
    /muɑ̆iH/
    Expected
    Mandarin
    Reflex
    mèi
    BaxterSagart system 1.1 (2014)
    Character
    Reading # 1/1
    Modern
    Beijing
    (Pinyin)
    mèi
    Middle
    Chinese
    ‹ mwojH ›
    Old
    Chinese
    /*C.mˁə[t]-s/
    English younger sister

    Notes for Old Chinese notations in the Baxter–Sagart system:

    * Parentheses "()" indicate uncertain presence;
    * Square brackets "[]" indicate uncertain identity, e.g. *[t] as coda may in fact be *-t or *-p;
    * Angle brackets "<>" indicate infix;
    * Hyphen "-" indicates morpheme boundary;

    * Period "." indicates syllable boundary.
    Zhengzhang system (2003)
    Character
    Reading # 1/1
    No. 12914
    Phonetic
    component
    Rime
    group
    Rime
    subdivision
    1
    Corresponding
    MC rime
    Old
    Chinese
    /*mɯːds/

    Definitions[edit]

    1. younger sister
    2. girl; young female
    3. (Hakka) daughter
    4. A surname​.

    Synonyms[edit]

    Dialectal synonyms of 妹妹 (“younger sister”) [map]
    Variety Location Words
    Classical Chinese , 女弟
    Formal (Written Standard Chinese) 妹妹
    Mandarin Beijing 妹妹
    Taiwan 妹妹
    Harbin 妹妹, 妹子
    Shenyang 妹妹
    Hailar 老妹兒
    Ulan Hot 老妹兒
    Tongliao 老妹兒
    Chifeng 妹妹
    Bayanhot 妹妹
    Jinan 妹妹
    Muping
    Luoyang
    Jiedian 妹子
    Xi'an 妹子, 妹妹
    Zhengzhou 妹妹
    Xining 妹子
    Xuzhou 妹妹
    Yinchuan 妹妹
    Lanzhou 妹妹
    Ürümqi 妹妹
    Wuhan 妹妹
    Huanggang 妹兒
    Chengdu 妹兒, 妹妹,
    Guiyang
    Liuzhou 妹子, , 老妹
    Kunming 妹子, 妹妹
    Yangzhou 妹妹
    Nanjing 妹妹, 妹子
    Hefei 妹妹
    Nantong 妹子, 妹妹
    Sokuluk (Gansu Dungan) 妹妹
    Cantonese Guangzhou 妹妹, 細妹, 阿妹,
    Hong Kong 妹妹, 細妹, 阿妹,
    Hong Kong (San Tin Weitou) 阿妹
    Foshan 細妹,
    Shunde
    Zhongshan (Shiqi)
    Doumen (Shangheng Tanka) 阿妹
    Doumen 阿妹
    Taishan 阿妹
    Kaiping (Chikan) 阿妹
    Dongguan
    Shaoguan 阿妹
    Yunfu 阿妹
    Yangjiang 小妹
    Xinyi 老妹
    Lianjiang 老妹, 阿妹
    Danzhou 老姑
    Kuala Lumpur 阿妹
    Ho Chi Minh City 細妹
    Gan Nanchang 妹子
    Lichuan
    Pingxiang 老妹, 妹老子
    Hakka Meixian 老妹, 老妹仔
    Xingning 老妹
    Huidong 老妹
    Qujiang 老妹
    Xiaosanjiang 老妹
    Changting 老妹
    Pingyu 老妹
    Wuping 老妹
    Liancheng 老妹
    Ninghua 老妹
    Yudu 妹子
    Ruijin 老妹
    Shicheng 老妹,
    Shangyou 老妹
    Miaoli (N. Sixian) 老妹
    Liudui (S. Sixian) 老妹
    Hsinchu (Hailu) 老妹
    Dongshi (Dabu) 老妹
    Hsinchu (Raoping) 老妹
    Yunlin (Zhao'an) 阿妹
    Hong Kong 老妹
    Sabah (Bao'an) 老妹
    Senai 老妹
    Sabah (Longchuan) 老妹
    Singkawang 阿妹, 老妹
    Huizhou Jixi
    Shexian 妹妹, 女妹
    Tunxi 令妹兒
    Xiuning 令妹, 令妹兒
    Yixian 奶妹兒
    Qimen 妹吶
    Wuyuan 女妹仂, 女妹,
    Fuliang 小妹, 妹哩
    Dexing 妹子
    Jin Taiyuan 妹妹
    Pingyao 妹妹, 妹子
    Xinzhou 姊妹
    Baochang 妹妹
    Jining 妹妹
    Hohhot 妹妹
    Baotou 妹妹
    Dongsheng 妹妹
    Linhe 妹妹
    Haibowan 妹妹
    Min Bei Jian'ou 妹仔
    Dikou 妹仔
    Songxi 妹仔
    Zhenghe
    Zhenqian
    Jianyang 妹仔
    Wuyishan 妹仔
    Shibei 妹仔
    Min Dong Fuzhou 依妹,
    Changle 依妹
    Fuqing 阿妹
    Yongtai 依妹
    Gutian
    Fu'an
    Ningde
    Shouning 姊妹
    Zhouning 阿妹
    Fuding 阿妹
    Matsu 依妹
    Min Nan Xiamen 小妹, 阿妹 face-to-face
    Quanzhou 小妹, 阿妹 face-to-face
    Zhangzhou 小妹, 阿妹 face-to-face
    Taipei 小妹
    Kaohsiung 小妹
    Tainan 小妹
    Sanxia 小妹
    Yilan 小妹
    Kinmen 小妹
    Magong 小妹
    Penang 小妹
    Singapore 小妹
    Philippines (Manila) 小妹
    Chaozhou 阿妹
    Shantou
    Haifeng , 妹妹
    Johor Bahru 阿妹
    Wenchang 姑𡠤 of a male, 姨𡠤 of a female
    Haikou 姑𡠤 of a male, 姨𡠤 of a female
    Leizhou 尼妹,
    Puxian Min Putian 阿妹
    Xianyou 阿妹, 小妹
    Pinghua Nanning
    Shehua Fu'an
    Fuding 阿妹
    Luoyuan
    Sanming
    Shunchang 阿妹
    Hua'an
    Guixi
    Cangnan
    Jingning
    Lishui
    Longyou
    Chaozhou
    Fengshun
    Wu Shanghai 阿妹, 妹妹
    Suzhou 妹子, 妹妹
    Wuxi 妹子, 妹妹
    Hangzhou 阿妹, 妹妹
    Wenzhou 阿妹
    Chongming 姊妹
    Danyang 妹子
    Jinhua , 妹妹
    Ningbo 阿妹, 妹妹
    Xiang Changsha 老妹, 妹妹
    Shuangfeng 妹妹
    Xiangtan 老妹
    Loudi 妹妹
    Dialectal synonyms of 女兒 (“daughter”) [map]
    Variety Location Words
    Classical Chinese
    Formal (Written Standard Chinese) 女兒
    Mandarin Beijing 女兒, 女花兒, 閨女, 姑娘, 丫頭
    Taiwan 女兒
    Tianjin 女兒, 閨女
    Harbin 女兒, 姑娘, 閨女, 閨娘, 丫頭
    Shenyang 姑娘, 丫頭
    Hailar 女兒
    Bayanhot 丫頭
    Jinan 閨女
    Muping 閨娘, 閨娘子, 女兒
    Jiedian 女子
    Xi'an , 女兒
    Qingdao 閨女
    Zhengzhou 閨女,
    Xining 姑娘, 丫頭
    Xuzhou 女兒, 閨女
    Yinchuan 女兒, 丫頭
    Lanzhou 女兒
    Ürümqi 女兒, 丫頭
    Wuhan 姑娘, 丫頭
    Huanggang 女兒
    Chengdu 女兒, , 姑娘兒
    Guiyang 姑娘, 女娃娃, 女娃兒, 幺女, 幺姑娘, 小丫頭, 小姑娘
    Guilin 女兒
    Liuzhou , 丫頭
    Kunming 囡兒, 姑娘
    Yangzhou 女兒, 姑娘
    Nanjing 女兒, 姑娘
    Hefei 女兒, 丫頭
    Nantong 丫頭
    Cantonese Guangzhou
    Hong Kong , 女女
    Hong Kong (San Tin Weitou) , 妹仔
    Foshan
    Shunde
    Zhongshan (Shiqi)
    Doumen (Shangheng Tanka)
    Taishan
    Kaiping (Chikan)
    Dongguan
    Shaoguan
    Yunfu
    Yangjiang 桓仔
    Xinyi
    Lianjiang
    Nanning
    Wuzhou
    Yulin
    Hepu
    Danzhou
    Kuala Lumpur
    Gan Nanchang , 姑娘
    Lichuan
    Pingxiang , 妹仔
    Hakka Meixian 妹仔
    Xingning 妹哩
    Huidong 妹仔
    Qujiang 妹子
    Xiaosanjiang 妹仔
    Luchuan
    Changting 妹子
    Pingyu 妹子
    Wuping 妹子
    Liancheng 妹子娘
    Ninghua
    Yudu , 女子
    Ruijin , 女子
    Shicheng
    Shangyou
    Miaoli (N. Sixian) 妹仔, 妹子
    Liudui (S. Sixian) 妹仔, 妹子
    Hsinchu (Hailu) 妹仔, 妹子
    Dongshi (Dabu) , 妹子
    Hsinchu (Raoping) 妹仔, 妹子
    Yunlin (Zhao'an) 阿女
    Hong Kong 妹子
    Sabah 妹子, 妹哩
    Senai 妹子
    Singkawang 妹子
    Huizhou Jixi
    Shexian
    Tunxi , 囡囝
    Jin Taiyuan 閨女, 妮子
    Xinzhou 閨女
    Hohhot 閨女, 女子
    Min Bei Jian'ou 阿娘囝
    Dikou 娘囝
    Songxi 阿娘囝
    Zhenghe 阿娘囝
    Zhenqian 娘囝
    Jianyang 阿娘囝
    Wuyishan 阿娘囝
    Shibei 阿娘囝
    Min Dong Fuzhou 諸娘囝
    Changle 諸娘囝
    Fuqing 諸娘囝
    Yongtai 諸娘囝
    Gutian 諸娘囝
    Fu'an 諸娘囝
    Ningde 諸母囝
    Shouning 諸母囝
    Zhouning 諸娘囝
    Fuding 諸母囝
    Matsu 諸娘囝
    Min Nan Xiamen 查某囝, 查某仔
    Quanzhou 查某仔
    Zhangzhou 查某仔, 灶雞
    Taipei 查某囝
    Kaohsiung 查某囡仔, 查某囝
    Tainan 查某囝
    Taichung 查某囝
    Wuqi 查某囝
    Hsinchu 查某囝
    Taitung 查某囝
    Lukang 查某囝
    Sanxia 查某囝
    Yilan 查某囝
    Kinmen 查某囡仔
    Magong 查某囝
    Penang 查某囝, 查某仔
    Singapore 查某囝
    Philippines (Manila) 查某仔
    Pingnan
    Chaozhou 走囝
    Shantou 走囝
    Haifeng 查某囝
    Johor Bahru 走囝
    Wenchang 查某囝
    Haikou 查某囝, 查囝
    Puxian Min Putian 嬸娘囝
    Xianyou 子囝
    Pinghua Nanning
    Guilin
    Wu Shanghai 囡兒, dated, 囡兒大細 dated
    Suzhou 囡兒
    Wuxi 囡兒
    Hangzhou 女兒
    Wenzhou 奶兒
    Chongming 丫頭
    Danyang 女兒
    Jinhua 囡兒, , 女兒
    Ningbo
    Xiang Changsha , 妹子
    Shuangfeng
    Xiangtan , 妹唧
    Loudi
    Quanzhou 女崽

    Compounds[edit]


    Japanese[edit]

    Kanji[edit]

    (grade 2 “Kyōiku” kanji)

    Readings[edit]

    Compounds[edit]

    Etymology 1[edit]

    Kanji in this term
    いも
    Grade: 2
    kun’yomi

    ⟨imo1/imo/

    From Old Japanese.

    The medial /-m-/ means "woman, female", found in a number of related terms such as (me, onna, woman), (omina, elderly woman), and (omo, mother, archaic).

    Pronunciation[edit]

    Noun[edit]

    (hiragana いも, rōmaji imo)

    1. (archaic, usually from a male's viewpoint) a close female companion
      1. one's sister
      2. one's lover
      3. one's wife
    2. (archaic, usually from a female's viewpoint) a woman
    Antonyms[edit]
    Derived terms[edit]

    Etymology 2[edit]

    ⟨imo(1) pi1to2 → */imopitə//imofito//imowito/ → */imowuto/ /imoːto/

    Originally a compound of (imo, close female companion) + (hito, person).[2][3]

    The shift from /imofito//imoːto/ is an instance of ウ音便 (u onbin, u sound shift), found in terms with bilabial consonants (/m/, /b/, /w/) followed by i; commonly seen in terms such as 玄人 (kurōto, professional), 素人 (shirōto, amateur), or possibly, 相撲 (sumō, sumo).

    Pronunciation[edit]

    Noun[edit]

    (hiragana いもうと, rōmaji imōto)

    1. one's own younger sister
      Antonym: (ane)
    2. the wife of one's younger brother; one's sister-in-law
      Synonym: 義妹 (gimai)
    3. a younger female
    Derived terms[edit]

    Etymology 3[edit]

    Kanji in this term
    いもと
    Grade: 2
    kun’yomi

    /imopitə/ → */imoputə/ → */imobutə/ → */imomutə/ → */imontə//imoto/

    Likely a variant shift from derived compound (imo, close female companion) + (hito, person), appears in The Tale of Heiji, written around the mid-12th century.

    Noun[edit]

    (hiragana いもと, rōmaji imoto)

    1. one's own younger sister
      Antonym: (ane)
    2. the wife of one's younger brother; one's sister-in-law
      Synonym: 義妹 (gimai)
    3. a younger female

    Proper noun[edit]

    (hiragana いもと, rōmaji Imoto)

    1. a place name

    Etymology 4[edit]

    Kanji in this term
    まい
    Grade: 2
    on’yomi

    From Middle Chinese (MC muʌiH).

    Proper noun[edit]

    (hiragana まい, rōmaji Mai)

    1. a female given name

    References[edit]

    1. 1.0 1.1 1974, 新明解国語辞典 (Shin Meikai Kokugo Jiten), Second Edition (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Sanseidō
    2. ^ 2006, 大辞林 (Daijirin), Third Edition (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Sanseidō, →ISBN
    3. ^ 1995, 大辞泉 (Daijisen) (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Shogakukan, →ISBN
    4. ^ 2006, 大辞林 (Daijirin), Third Edition (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Sanseidō, →ISBN
    5. ^ 1998, NHK日本語発音アクセント辞典 (NHK Japanese Pronunciation Accent Dictionary) (in Japanese), Tōkyō: NHK, →ISBN

    Korean[edit]

    Hanja[edit]

    (mae) (hangeul )

    1. This term needs a translation to English. Please help out and add a translation, then remove the text {{rfdef}}.

    Vietnamese[edit]

    Han character[edit]

    (muội)

    1. This term needs a translation to English. Please help out and add a translation, then remove the text {{rfdef}}.