I came across this example sentence translation in Pleco:

Congratulations on your newborn baby!

I think 喜(得) may be a typo for the following reasons:

  • the English translation specifies that the baby is newborn. 喜 does not convey this information, but 新 does.
  • 新的 could very easily be mistyped as 喜得

I believe the sentence should be:


Does this seem correct?


No, it isn't a typo.

喜得 roughly means obtained by good fortune, so 祝賀你喜得貴子 is a congratulatory message meaning something like congratulations on being blessed with a son.

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In fact, 喜得貴子, 新得贵子 is a third party description.

喜得 actually means coincidentally. In some verbs, has nothing to do with the happiness, but coincident luck, i.e. 幸喜. Thus in a novel/essay, before 喜得貴子 context, it always meant the family has difficulty in getting children, i.e. 人丁单薄, 膝下犹虚.

However, over time, poorly literate media editors and movie script writers simply confused the meaning with happiness. That caused many people to start to misuse it.

Since traditional Chinese new born congratulations are gender discriminate, today, simply saying congratulations 恭喜 will do.

  • 喜 has nothing to do with the happiness The oldest quotations containing「喜」usually means happy. 《詩・鄭風・風雨》:「既見君子,云胡不喜?」.
    – dROOOze
    Jan 23 '19 at 9:45
  • 1
    @ droooze I have mentioned in some verb.
    – mootmoot
    Jan 23 '19 at 9:46
  • Ah okay, I guess you mean in 喜得 and 幸喜. Thanks for clarifying.
    – dROOOze
    Jan 23 '19 at 9:51

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