I know the male version when describing gender of an animal or pet is 公,but I have no clue with the female version.

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    – user4072
    Commented Jul 21, 2018 at 14:03

2 Answers 2


To be simple, male/female: 公/母、雄/雌

公鸡、母鸡;公狗、母狗; 公牛、母牛。

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    in Cantonese, female animal is called ~乸 and male animal is called ~公. e.g. 狗公, 狗乸; 猫公, 猫乸
    – Tang Ho
    Commented Jul 21, 2018 at 15:02
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    Glad to know something different. I don't speak Cantonese, maybe you can give another answer about it. Commented Jul 21, 2018 at 15:09

In modern Chinese 公/母 is the commonest way to describe animal gender. 雄/雌 is typically used in written language. 牡/牝 is more literary. 豭/豝(boar/sow)牯/牸(ox/cow)and many other pairs originally meant the animals of either gender and extended to refer to either gender of animals. However, note that they are never used in modern Chinese now, so if you use them in talking or writing, you will have to explain it with 公/母 or something, and give others an impression of pretension.

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