3

What is this 某 after the names? Could it be some kind of rank in the Air Force? Listening to the mp3, it sounds like 'mao' not 'mou' to my ear.

陈某和刘某都曾在空军部队。

  • 2
    某某: so-and-so; 陈某: Chen so-and-so – user3306356 Jul 18 '15 at 5:46
  • Hi, I downloaded Pleco as you recommended. There's a lot of stuff to buy! I can't afford all of them! I like it, but the second word I entered came up as 2 characters, not a word: 停发,which was not the intended meaning. – Pedroski Jul 18 '15 at 7:20
  • If you had downloaded (even the free adsotrans dictionary!) some add-ons you would have found the word you're looking for. guifan: 停止发放 ads: to cease issuing GR: cesser de payer; suspendre le paiement. – user3306356 Jul 18 '15 at 7:21
  • I think 'a certain Chen', 'a certain Liu' would be better. It works not just with people's names, but with time phrases as well: '某年某月某日' – wpt Jul 18 '15 at 7:54
  • @Pedroski I don't have the paid add-ons either, only the CEDICT, Pleco dictionaries and the Unicode data, but it's still quite good, this 某 is actually included in the free dictionaries. – Drunken Master Jul 18 '15 at 7:58
7

It indicates that the given name is unknown or intentionally hidden. 'A certain Chen/Liu', 'a Mr. Chen/Liu', 'a Ms. Chen/Liu', etc.

In the case of women 氏 can be used, or was used historically, when only her maiden family name was recorded, e.g. Mao Zedong's paternal grandmother is quoted in Wikipedia as 罗氏, which simply means 'née Luo'.

  • I agree. Just to clarify, this usage of 氏 is for referring to the (possibly multiple) wives or concubines of a man; while 某 as used in the example sentence has no indication of gender to my knowledge. – Fang Jing Jul 18 '15 at 12:45
  • 1
    Yes! This usage of 氏 is frequent in 射雕英雄傳 with examples like :郭嘯天的渾家李氏⋯ – Ludi Jul 19 '15 at 10:47
2

It is not rank related. Family name is Chen and Liu, Mou is just kind of omission.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.