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See also: hútòng and hùtōng



Hutong in Beijing, China.

Borrowed from the Hanyu Pinyin romanization of Mandarin 衚衕, 胡同 (hútòng, narrow street), probably:



hutong (plural hutongs or hutong)

  1. A narrow alley or street in a traditional residential district of a city in China, especially Beijing. [from 19th c.]
    • 1999, Wu Liangyong, “Traditional Courtyard Houses and a New Prototype”, in Rehabilitating the Old City of Beijing: A Project in the Ju’er Hutong Neighbourhood (Urbanization in Asia; 3), Vancouver, B.C.: UBC Press, →ISBN, ISSN 1196-8583, page 74:
      The fish-bone-like transportation network is also present, especially in large neighbourhoods, where a series of major hutong (usually running east-west) are either joined by smaller transverse hutong or lead to even smaller dead-end hutong that occasionally run between housing plots.
    • 2006, Colin Thubron, “The Capital”, in Shadow of the Silk Road, London: Chatto & Windus, →ISBN, page 11:
      'I spent my childhood in those old hutong courtyards. Relationships were warmer then.' His mouth puckered, as if hunting a lost taste.
    • 2007 October 16, Brice J. Bay, “Thanks, but I’ll have the bat on a stick instead”, in The New York Times[1], New York, N.Y.: The New York Times Company, ISSN 0362-4331, OCLC 971436363, archived from the original on 3 November 2015:
      In Beijing, near the Forbidden City, a winding maze of hutongs, or narrow alleyways, is home to one of the world’s most exotic markets.
    • 2009 January 19, Andrew Jacobs, “Finding treasures in a city’s disappearing past”, in The New York Times[2], New York, N.Y.: The New York Times Company, ISSN 0362-4331, OCLC 971436363, archived from the original on 25 January 2021:
      Today, just 1,300 hutong remain, and many more neighborhoods, like the colorful Qianmen district just south of Tiananmen Square, are scheduled for renewal.
    • 2016, Madeleine O’Dea, “Beijing 1986”, in The Phoenix Years: Art, Resistance and the Making of Modern China, Crows Nest, N.S.W.: Allen & Unwin, →ISBN:
      He led me along a dog-legging route through the fifteenth-century alleyways that were the lacework holding old Beijing together. Hutongs, as they were called, defined China's old capital, their grey stone walls pierced at intervals by weathered wooden doors that opened onto four-sided courtyard houses.

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