I’ve only ever known 刀削面 as dāoxuēmiàn, maybe that says something about the company I keep.

I’ve noticed recently a lot of people, though, actually say dāoxiāomiàn.

ABC dictionary lists both pronunciations, with slightly different meanings:



shaved noodles

M: wǎn / 碗

See also dāoxuēmiàn




hand-cut noodles

M: wǎn / 碗

See also dāoxiāomiàn

Also, quite bizarrely 汉语大词典 has


面食之一。先将面加水和成硬面块, 然后用刀削成片状, 煮熟食用。此法盛行于 山西 一带。

While 现代汉语大词典 has almost exactly the same definition (minus the spaces around Shanxi) under a different pronunciation:


面食之一。先将面加水和成硬面块, 然后用刀削成片状, 煮熟食用。此法盛行于山西一带。

So, ABC says that they are two different things - while the two big dictionaries say they’re the same thing and differ in pronunciation.

Who says what? And are they the same thing even? Or are they separate entities?

  • Have you checked this out? en.m.wiktionary.org/wiki/削#Pronunciation_1
    – as4s4hetic
    Commented Dec 20, 2017 at 7:59
  • Yeah, this might be more of a set phrase kind of issue though.
    – Mou某
    Commented Dec 20, 2017 at 9:40
  • 刀削面 bkrs:dāoxiāomiàn knife-shaved noodles (pared or shaved into strips), a Shanxi specialty 一种面食,先用面加水和成较硬的面团,再用刀削成窄而长的面片儿,煮着吃。也叫削面。
    – user6065
    Commented Dec 20, 2017 at 13:04
  • Personally, I never heard anyone say xue1mian4 in Beijing
    – fefe
    Commented Jan 24, 2018 at 5:30

2 Answers 2


I believe xiāo is the correct pronunciation, although xuē can also be correct in certain regions; it depends on how you pronounce 削 in its "shave" meaning.

has two pronunciations depending on usage, although both can mean "shave":

削 xiāo  ㄒㄧㄠˉ

 1. 用刀斜着去掉物体的表层。~苹果皮。~铅笔。

 2. 打乒乓球时用球拍平而略斜地击球:~球。

削 xuē  ㄒㄩㄝˉ

 1. 义同削(xiāo),用于一些复合词:~铁如泥。~足适履。

 2. 减少;减弱:~减。~弱。

 3. 除去:~职为民 。

 4. 搜刮;掠取:剥~。

xiāo is the pronunciation used for the "shave" verb, but as you can see, xuē also means "shave" in certain phrases, like 削铁如泥. Apart from that, xuē is usually used in the "pare" or "reduce" meaning, as in words like 削减.

Since 刀削面 is supposed to mean "knife-shaved noodles", the pronunciation should be based on the one for "shave". This is usually xiāo, but in some dialects it is xuē.


I search this word in Pandarow dictionary, and it shows that the pinyin is [dāo xiāo miàn],you can click this link to listen to the pronunciation. https://chinese.pandarow.com/dict/%E5%88%80%E5%89%8A%E9%9D%A2-daoxiaomian

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