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See also: Taikonaut



From Mandarin 太空 (tàikōng, “space”) +‎ -naut, modelled after astronaut, cosmonaut, spationaut, etc. The term was coined on 19 May 1998 by Chiew Lee Yih (趙里昱/赵里昱赵里昱/赵里昱 (Zhào Lǐyù)) from Malaysia, who used it first in newsgroups. Almost simultaneously, Chen Lan coined it for use in the Western media.


  • Hyphenation: tai‧ko‧naut
  • IPA(key): /ˈtaɪkəˌnɔːt/


taikonaut (plural taikonauts)

  1. A person who travels in space for the Chinese space program; a Chinese astronaut. [from 1998.]
    Coordinate terms: astronaut, cosmonaut, spationaut
    • 2003, Peter Schwartz, Inevitable Surprises, page x:
      The past decade has seen remarkable events and changes: [] The Columbia disaster and a Chinese taikonaut in orbit


Further reading[edit]

  • “Taikonaut? Yuhangyuan?”, in Mail & Guardian[1], Johannesburg, South Africa, 12 October 2005, archived from the original on 2011-10-29.
  • Paul McFedries (15 October 2003), “taikonaut”, in Word Spy, Logophilia Limited, retrieved 4 June 2017.