In Chinese, the terms for aunts and uncles are pretty specific, depending on the exact relationship:

  • Father's older brother's wife: 伯娘
  • Father's younger brother's wife: 嬸嬸
  • Father's sister's husband: 姑丈
  • Mother's brother's wife: 舅母
  • Mother's sister's husband: 姨丈

But what terms should be used for spouses of aunts and uncles in same-sex relationships? (I assume that neologisms are required for these "novel" concepts.)

  • Same question could also be posted to the Japanese and Korean websites.. Dec 17, 2017 at 10:23

2 Answers 2


Same sex marriage is a relatively new concept to Chinese. Different people may address the same sex partners of their aunts and uncles differently. Most likely people would call them by the general term 姨姨 and 叔叔 like they would call a stranger who is close to their father's age.

I would suggest:

Your (mother's sister) aunt's partner is also your aunt (姨姨) To tell them apart, you can add the last name before 'aunt' If your aunt married a woman whose last name was Chan. you would call her 'Aunt Chan' (陳姨姨)

Your (father's brother) uncle's partner is also your uncle (叔叔). You also call them 'last name + uncle' (e.g. 陳叔叔)


Your father's sister is your 姑姑, and you can call her partner '(last name)+姨姨'

Your mother's brother is your 舅舅, and you can call his partner '(last name)+叔叔'


Such term simply doesn't exist in Chinese.
Homosexual marriage is still illegal in China (though such de facto relationship won't be punished either). If one MUST call someone in a homosexual marriage by a kinship term, it will be the same as if he/she is calling a stranger.
Therefore, if one's aunt is a lesbian, he/she can only call her partner "阿姨" (which is also used by calling a stranger whose age is close to the one's mother). If one's uncle is a gay, he/she can only call his partner "叔叔/伯伯" (which is also used by calling a stranger whose age is a little younger/older than the one's father). If the one's uncle/aunt's partner is not quite old, it will be called "哥哥/姐姐/弟弟/妹妹", just as calling the one's siblings.
So this is the tragic fate of Chinese homosexuals...they even don't have a calling for their relatives...(I don't know if such terms exist in other languages)

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