New answers tagged word-requests
The most polite/proper way varies among different regions, as shown in each of the other answers. Here are some tips that I know of: If you know the dialect in that region, it would be best to address the elderly with the associated word, e.g. 阿公, 阿嬷(mà) in Taiwanese. Since an elderly (whether male or female) is usually concerned with age, it would be ...
never use 老奶/老爸! 老奶奶 is ok if she is really old.
老奶 and 老爸 is improper. 老奶 is not used at all. It should be 老奶奶(for elder female, typically old enough to be a grandma, because 奶奶 means grandma). 老爸 is usually refering to your father, I think it work as "old man", when talking about someone with no relationship, maybe 大叔 is better. note: 爸 typically means father, only in some dialect it also means father's ...
For an elderly woman, 大妈，大娘，大婶，阿婆，老奶奶 -- what's best really depends on what they are using locally and the age difference between you and the person. You can always just say: 您好, if you are not sure what word to use.
Top 50 recent answers are included