Do Chinese people put a finger on the lips and use the expression "shh" to ask for silence? According to this answer in the English Language Stack Exchange, this expression originated from English about six centuries ago.

Of course people who watch western movies and the internet would know about this expression. But what I wonder is: if I go to a traditional village in a not-so-visited part of China, would they use and understand this expression? Or do they have their own different expression to imply silence?

  • 1
    Yes, and I think most Chinese people understand it.
    – Stan
    Commented Feb 13, 2016 at 15:56
  • TVwatchers may also be surprised to learn that nodding or shaking one's head have the same meaning in China as e.g. in most English speaking countries 可能让电视观众吃惊的是点头跟摇头在中国和大多数讲英语的国家意思一样
    – user6065
    Commented Feb 13, 2016 at 16:51
  • although iciba does not have "shush", nor "hist", jukuu has 5 example sentences with "shush" or "嘘", there also find "hist" again translated as "嘘",
    – user6065
    Commented Feb 13, 2016 at 17:57
  • Darwin made this sort of questions, see his "Expression of emotions in man and animals". I remember not all people studied shaked the head in the vertical for yes, and in the horizontal for no, though most did. Just don't remember if he studied the silencer shhh.
    – Rodrigo
    Commented Feb 13, 2016 at 22:56
  • "现代汉语词典"1140页:嘘 shī 叹词,表示制止,驱逐等:~!别做声。另见1421页xū iciba does have 嘘 [shī] with required meaning (see iciba),not to be confused with 嘘 [xū],i.o.w. 嘘 is a 多音多义字 (cf baike.baidu.com/view/3298981.htm
    – user6065
    Commented Feb 14, 2016 at 15:57

2 Answers 2


Yes. Nearly all Chinese people understand the body language of putting a finger on your lips or saying "shhh." In addition, Chinese also often use 嘘 pronounced xū instead of "shhh" to hush others.


Yes, every Chinese understands "shh."

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