Sichuanese contains a lot of words from other topolects (Hakka, Min, Cantonese, etc.) thanks to the great migration.

There are a bunch of 阿-prefixed forms of address



阿 a1 (缀)


While also offering the following examples:


阿爸 a1 ba2 (名) 叔父。

阿伯 a1 be2 (名) ①上了年纪的父亲。②伯父。

阿爹 a1 die1 (名) 指年轻的父亲。

阿兄 a1 xiong1 (名) 弟弟 (同“阿哥”相对)。

Here 阿哥 is clearly, also marked as a an 阿-prefixed Sichuanese Hakka form of address - meaning 哥哥 presumably.

《雨城方言》also lists






What do these words mean:

阿妹, 阿姐, 阿妈, 阿孃, 阿祖?

I can guess, but I'm sure I won't be right. (They very well might differ from proper Hakka, as well).

3 Answers 3


According to this site:


釋義: 1.放在稱謂(如爸、嬸、公、姐等)前,表尊敬。2.放在名字前,表親切,同輩之間或長輩稱呼晚輩時使用。 用例: 1.阿爸、阿媽、阿公、阿婆、阿叔、阿嬸……2、阿明、阿小珠、阿飛……

阿妹: 1. 孩子(不管晚輩男女,長輩都可稱其阿妹)。2. 女孩子。

阿姐: 姐姐(部分地區也指姑姑)。許多地區稱姐姐為“阿姊”。

阿妈: 媽媽,母親。

阿孃: 1、伯母,伯父的妻子(五華、惠州等地)。2、泛指老婦女。

阿祖: unable to find; I guess it might belong to meaning 2: "放在名字前,表親切,同輩之間或長輩稱呼晚輩時使用。" So, 祖 might be just a person's name.



[1] [n] prefix to a name or term of address

What do these words mean:

阿妹, 阿姐, 阿妈, 阿孃, 阿祖?

  • prefix to a name: adding 阿 before a noun indicates it is a name, e.g. 阿豬, 阿狗 (if you only say 豬 or 狗, people would presume you are talking about an anime)

  • term of address: adding 阿 before the name or title of someone indicates you are addressing that person. ( if you only say 妹, 姐, 孃 or 祖, they might not know you are addressing them or just acknowledging their present, like a kid looking at an apple and say "Apple!" ) ; you can also address 阿妹, 阿姐, 阿妈 in third person, for example, 我阿妹, 我阿姐, 我阿妈 instead of 我的妹妹, 我的姐姐, 我的妈妈

  • If 阿爹 is (指)年轻的父亲 and 阿伯 is 上了年纪的父亲 ---- then I doubt it is that simple - otherwise I wouldn't need to bother asking this question........ 阿妲 means: 伯母、伯娘、婶娘 |||| 阿宝 means 表兄妹或表兄弟的统称,即老表 -----
    – Mou某
    Commented Sep 24, 2017 at 14:54
  • @user3306356 It might be regional I think.
    – dan
    Commented Sep 25, 2017 at 3:49
  • Yes @dan dan I’m specifically asking about Sichuanese Hakka as I mentioned multiple times in my question.
    – Mou某
    Commented Sep 25, 2017 at 9:18

Let's keep it simple:

If you are a American or familiar with them, you must hear that someone whose name is Lawrence/Timothy/George..... sometimes also can be referred by Larry/Tim/Georgie....

Now you're witnessing the Chinese version of it. And the Chinese version also add rules like Father->something like "Fatherie"? I make it up myself.

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