To my understanding, "biáng" is not a sound that exists in Mandarin, though there's some argument on the hypothetical phonological possibility of such here. One might assume therefore that it is a character either unique to or else created within Shaanxi dialect (given the alleged origins of the word). If such a character is read by a speaker of another dialect, how would it be pronounced? How might, say, a Cantonese-speaker or Hokkien-speaker read it?

  • It is usually pronounced as biang 4 biang4 mian4, the fourth tone. Of course, biang is unusual and seldom used. This case is very special.
    – dan
    Jan 13, 2018 at 4:23

3 Answers 3


I don't think this is the answer you want but it's the answer you're getting, at least from me.

明末洪帮图符研究 on the Wikipedia page for Biángbiáng面 notes:

流传于四川盆地的两个妇孺皆知的复杂汉字“Zuí Chongqing.svg”和“Zuí Sichuan.svg”,其内部结构与“缺字图片”字十分类似。类似结构的汉字流传于10多个省市,300多年来均有出现,却仅限民间相传,从无传统典籍收录。

重庆一带的“Zuí Chongqing.svg”字和四川一带的“Zuí Sichuan.svg”字,均念为“ zuí ”,即当地方言中的“贼”,意指强盗。为了方便记忆,它们同样也有歌谣对应[注 8][注 9][注 10],在当地乡村中人人均能背诵。[14][13]

According to:

余云华. 怪字“Zuí Chongqing.svg”、“Zuí Sichuan.svg”、“Biáng.svg.png”考. 民俗研究. 2002, (02).


王纯五. 洪门·青帮·袍哥——中国旧时民间黑社会习俗. 四川: 四川人民出版社. 1993: 71. ISBN 7-220-02058-9.

The biáng character is used for the pronunciation zuí in Sichuanese and Chongqingese.

The characters, though, have slight variations:

Here's the Chongqing variation


enter image description here

and the Sichuanese variation:


enter image description here

According to the materials they mean the same as 贼 or thief.

Sichuanese/Chongqingese words like:

  • 贼呵呵
  • 贼脚摸手
  • 贼脚摸爪
  • 贼眉贼眼
  • 贼娃子
  • 贼货

Could, in theory, be written with biáng instead of 贼.

Funnily enough, though,《广安方言与民俗词典》from Sichuan has also recorded an entry for:


which they have defined as:


The rhyme matches the footnote on Wikipedia for:

重庆一带“Zuí Chongqing.svg”字歌谣为:“一点一横长,二字下来口字方;两边丝绕绕,拉根板凳来坐倒;你也长,我也长,中间夹个马儿郎;心字来打底,月字来包墙,打个金钩银钩挂衣裳。”


So, in Sichuan/Chongqing, is it zuí or biáng?

I guess it depends on the context.

Lastly, according to 辞书收录 on the Wikipedia page for Biángbiáng面:


Biáng.svg.png biáng[piaŋ24] ①“Biáng.svg.png儿面”的biáng。


Biáng.svg.pngBiáng.svg.png面 biángbiangmiàn[piaŋ24piaŋ24-31miã55] 详见下边词条

Biáng.svg.pngBiáng.svg.png儿面 biángbiangrmiàn[piaŋ24.piẽr miã55] 陕西最爱吃的面食之一……

It would go to show that the majority of dialects would follow the rising tone of [piaŋ24] because after all it is a 陕西 thing.


This character is exclusive to the northwestern mandarin, and read in other dialects simply mimicking the pronunciation in the original dialect. It is just treated like loan words in many languages borrowed from English words, e.g. Computer in German.

Exclusive characters are not typical to the northwest, and in fact every dialect has its exclusive words. The character 覅 (fiào) is the only character with its pinyin beginning with fi- in 《新华字典》 and 《现代汉语词典》, and it is an exclusive character to Wu dialects, pronounced as [viau13] in Shanghainese. Due to its frequent appearance the authorities of Chinese dictionaries choose to include it, to some extent as a 'loan word' from Wu dialect to the modern standard mandarin, which is only a variant of generalized Chinese.


I think we don't need to consider its pronunciation in other dialects, because this character Biáng doesn't even exist in the formal Chinese, it is brand new to people from other regions.

入乡随俗 Do in Rome as Rome does

As Biángbiáng miàn is a Shaanxi speciality, it took its name from the sound made in the production, see here for details, in my view it doesn't matter where you come from, you should be interested in learning their culture and history

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