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According to mdbg.net, both characters have a meaning of "to tease":

to tease / to disturb

to tease / to play around with

Are both of them primarily used as synonyms for "tease"? Or are they commonly understood to have the connotation difference of "bothersome" vs. "playful" teasing?

If the latter is true, as a comparative Google Image search of the two characters suggests, I'm rather curious about the etymology of "man-woman-man = bothersome" and "woman-man-woman = playful". But my main question is about current common usage of the two.

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I'm afraid there is no "common usage" of these two characters in contemporary Chinese. They are used only in colloquial dialect.

For exapmle: 我嬲都不嬲你 I don't fuck with you

You may hear this sentence, but you can hardly see it in the written Chinese.

To find out their difference, just consider them as pictographic characters, then what is the difference between teasing scenarios "Man-Woman-Man" and "Woman-Man-Woman"? You can imagine it, right?

Edit: Perhaps is more sexy(coquettish) than , according to 《康熙字典》: “娆,嫐也。”

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I am not sure about other Chinese dialects, but in Cantonese, only the character 嬲 is used while the character 嫐 is not used.

As far as I can tell, the two characters do not exist in standard Mandarin.

It seems like the character 嫐 is in use by dialects around Hubei? But I am not too familiar with the dialects in that area and as such cannot specify about it

Regardless, the character seems to carry different meaning in different dialects, so OP might want to clarify which dialect's meaning was he looking at.

  • I didn't know they're not used in standard Mandarin, that's actually what I had in mind. – sigil Dec 30 '17 at 23:40

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