After reading this question, I remembered we can also call some of them 师傅. But I'm not sure which ones.

Any help?

Thank you.

  • mdbg.net: 师傅: respectful form of address for older men (no profession needed,older = at least 20)
    – user6065
    May 2, 2016 at 16:01
  • cf。电视剧<无路可逃>01,06:55:police officer 杨阳 says to passenger on bus(murder suspect, below age 25?):师傅 麻烦你把东西挪一下吧
    – user6065
    May 2, 2016 at 21:41

3 Answers 3


Taxi / Bus driver

"师傅, 我要去天安门."

all the manual workers

"师傅, 我想做一个木头大象"

"Mr.Carpenter, I wanna make a wooden elephant."

"师傅, 你能搬动大象吗?."

"Mrs.Porter, Can you lift an elephant?"

"师傅, 我要给我的大象烫个头发"

"Miss Barber, My elephant needs a perm"

Note: not used in high class barbershop

"师傅, 我不是坏人"

"Mr. Entrance Guard, I am not bad."

In real life, there are some native Chinese call doctors, teachers 师傅, not much, but it really does, the doctors and teachers said they don't know if they should laugh or cry, embarrassing, since in practice, 师傅 are always applied to these professions that do not need to learn from in colleges.

Note You call one 师父 who teach you some professional skills.

  • 3
    What's up with those elephants? lol May 3, 2016 at 1:40
  • I don't know if this varies among different places, but I find mostly 师傅 is used for middle-aged men (stereotype, hmm) – yes it's OK to refer to women, but they might not be very happy because it sounds as if they are old :(
    – Stan
    May 3, 2016 at 10:23
  • @Stan, Yeah, I heard people say 小师傅, 小伙 for youth, 女师傅 for women. Not so often.
    – sfy
    May 4, 2016 at 11:25

I think blue collar workers are more likely to be called 师傅

For example, Chef, taxi driver, auto mechanic.


People still the original meaning of 师傅 to address teachers, instructors, mentors in different professions/fields. Like Pan Mei in Kill Bill 2. In modern times (80's, 90's or even today), 师傅 has been evolved to address those from whom one needs favor or help. Asking for direction: 师傅,去大栅栏怎么走? Needing help: 师傅,把空调给我们开上

  • In that case, what would be the difference between 师傅 and 叔叔? May 3, 2016 at 17:41

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