In Hong Kong herbal tea shops, you will see a tea called "廿四味" (24 flavours)

(you will also hear "廿蚊" to mean "20 dollars" in small shops)

In this case 廿 (niàn or pán) has the meaning "20".

Are there any other chinese numerals that represent unusual numbers?

2 Answers 2


This is not only in Cantonese. People in several south provinces say these words. And most Chinese are familiar with 廿 (niàn or pán) and , even though they don't usually say it.

  1. (sà) means 30
  2. (xì) means 40
  3. (bì) means 200
  • cool. I like . 百+百 joined into one character. Can you do the same with 萬+萬? Commented Oct 29, 2012 at 9:55
  • 2
    No, there is only , though I agree it's cool to combine two . And be careful to use and . I guess 99% native speakers have no idea about it.
    – halfelf
    Commented Oct 29, 2012 at 10:00
  • 廿 is also commonly used in the Shanghai dialect. Just thought I'd put it out there, e.g., 廿四路 (Bus route 24). Commented Oct 30, 2012 at 5:36
  • How is 廿 pronounced in Shanghainese?
    – jogloran
    Commented Nov 1, 2012 at 5:49
  • @jogloran niàn. Since my mother is from Shanghai, I know a little Shanghainese.
    – halfelf
    Commented Nov 1, 2012 at 6:07

halfelf's answer is correct, but I'll say a little more about how they're used in Cantonese, since the behaviour of these abbreviations is a little unusual there.

廿 jaa6 indeed abbreviates 二十 ji6 sap6. Similarly, 卅 abbreviates 三十 saam1 sap6. But 卅 is pronounced saa1aa6, an unusual tone contour.

Abbreviations for numbers 40 and above are formed regularly: sei3aa6, ng5aa6 and so on.

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