Some Chinese words mix Roman letters and Chinese characters. For example:

  • AA制, meaning to split the bill evenly (or "go dutch" as that's often called in English).

  • N次方根, meaning "nth root" (i.e., including square roots, cube roots, etc. as special cases).

Are there other examples of Chinese words that mix scripts like this? Some guidance on answering this question:

  • I'm not particularly interested in words that include arabic numerals alongside Chinese characters. I'm assuming there are a lot of these (and also that they could be written in all Chinese characters if desired).

  • Slang and technical vocabulary are both fine. If a word has a dictionary entry, an encyclopedia (or subject-specific encyclopedia) page, or if you're pretty sure it has wide usage, I'm perfectly happy upvoting it.

  • I would be thrilled if anyone found examples that included something other than the Roman letters as used in English (i.e., A-Z). On the other hand, I doubt there are such cases.

  • 1
    Q has its own wiktionary entry!!
    – dROOOze
    May 14, 2019 at 0:51
  • How do you feel about Roman numerals being used to represent unrelated Chinese words in text/chat-speak, like “555” = 呜呜呜, equivalent to “*sobs*”; 烦4了 = 烦死了; “98” = 酒吧; etc.? Do they count? (Also, N次 is not just for roots – it’s also used to refer to any exaggeratedly large number of times, as in 我都已经跟你说了N次 “I’ve already told you a million times!”) May 14, 2019 at 16:40
  • users have seen first name initial as Roman capital separated from last name represented by Chinese characters by a medium height dot, e.g. J·蔼理斯,John (约翰) Ellis (1874–1932, UK executioner)
    – user6065
    May 14, 2019 at 22:15

7 Answers 7


We can obtain the entries in CC-EDICT using the command awk '$1 ~ /^[0-9a-zA-Z]/ { print }' cedict_ts.u8. The following is the results (CC-EDICT timstamp 2020-01-03T04:26:45Z).

It follows the format [traditional Chinese] [simplified Chinese] [pinyin] [definition].

21三體綜合症 21三体综合症 [er4 shi2 yi1 san1 ti3 zong1 he2 zheng4] /trisomy/Down's syndrome/
3C 3C [san1 C] /abbr. for computers, communications, and consumer electronics/China Compulsory Certificate (CCC)/
3P 3P [san1 P] /(slang) threesome/
3Q 3Q [san1 Q] /(Internet slang) thank you (loanword)/
502膠 502胶 [wu3 ling2 er4 jiao1] /cyanoacrylate glue/
88 88 [ba1 ba1] /(Internet slang) bye-bye (alternative for 拜拜[bai2 bai2])/
996 996 [jiu3 jiu3 liu4] /9am-9pm, six days a week (work schedule)/
A A [A] /(slang) (Tw) to steal/
AA制 AA制 [A A zhi4] /to split the bill/to go Dutch/
AB制 AB制 [A B zhi4] /to split the bill (where the male counterpart foots the larger portion of the sum)/(theater) a system where two actors take turns in acting the main role, with one actor replacing the other if either is unavailable/
ACG ACG [A C G] /acronym for "anime, comics and games"/
A咖 A咖 [A ka1] /class "A"/top grade/
A圈兒 A圈儿 [A quan1 r5] /at symbol, @/
A片 A片 [A pian4] /adult movie/pornography/
A菜 A菜 [A cai4] /(Tw) lettuce (from Taiwanese 萵仔菜, POJ pr. [e-á-tshài])/
A貨 A货 [A huo4] /good-quality fake/
B B [bi1] /euphemistic variant of 屄[bi1]/
BP機 BP机 [B P ji1] /beeper (loanword)/pager/
B型超聲 B型超声 [B xing2 chao1 sheng1] /type-B ultrasound/
B超 B超 [B chao1] /B-mode ultrasonography/prenatal ultrasound scan/abbr. for B型超聲|B型超声[B xing2 chao1 sheng1]/
CP CP [C P] /an imagined romantic relationship between two characters in fiction (or in real life) that one wishes for or fantasizes about (abbr. of "coupling")/
CP值 CP值 [C P zhi2] /cost-performance ratio (Tw)/
C位 C位 [C wei4] /(neologism, c. 2015) (coll.) most prominent position (e.g. in a group photo of entertainers) (loanword from "carry" or "center" or "core")/
C盤 C盘 [C pan2] /C drive or default startup drive (computing)/
C羅 C罗 [C Luo2] /nickname of Portuguese soccer player Cristiano Ronaldo/
DNA鑒定 DNA鉴定 [D N A jian4 ding4] /DNA test/DNA testing/
E仔 E仔 [E zai3] /MDMA (C11H15NO2)/
G友 G友 [G you3] /see 基友[ji1 you3]/
G弦褲 G弦裤 [G xian2 ku4] /G-string/
G點 G点 [G dian3] /G-spot/
H橋 H桥 [H qiao2] /H bridge (electronics)/
K人 K人 [K ren2] /(slang) to hit sb/to beat sb/
K仔 K仔 [K zai3] /ketamine (slang)/
K他命 K他命 [k ta1 ming4] /ketamine (C13H16ClNO) (slang)/
K房 K房 [K fang2] /(slang) KTV/KTV room/
K書 K书 [K shu1] /to cram (Taiwan, from Taiwanese khè su 齧書, lit. to gnaw a book)/to study/see also 啃書|啃书[ken3 shu1]/
K歌 K歌 [K ge1] /karaoke (slang)/
K粉 K粉 [K fen3] /ketamine (slang)/
K線 K线 [K xian4] /candlestick (in a candlestick chart)/
K線圖 K线图 [K xian4 tu2] /candlestick chart/
K金 K金 [K jin1] /see 開金|开金[kai1 jin1]/
L照 L照 [L zhao4] /nude picture (from 裸照[luo3 zhao4])/
MV MV [M V] /desirability as a partner (abbr. for "mate value")/music video/
M巾 M巾 [M jin1] /(coll.) menstrual pad/
N久 N久 [N jiu3] /a very long time (etymology: in mathematics, n represents an arbitrarily large number)/
N擋 N挡 [N dang3] /neutral (gear)/
OK繃 OK绷 [O K beng1] /band-aid (Tw)/
OK鏡 OK镜 [O K Jing4] /OK Lens, orthokeratology contact lens that helps reshape the cornea in order to eliminate nearsightedness or myopia/
OS OS [O S] /(in a soap opera or movie) voice-over that makes a character's unspoken thoughts audible to the audience/
O型腿 O型腿 [O xing2 tui3] /bow legs/bow-leggedness/
P P [P] /(slang) femme (lesbian stereotype)/to photoshop/
PK PK [P K] /(slang) to take on/to challenge/to go head to head/showdown/comparison/
PO PO [pou1] /(Tw) (Internet slang) to post (online)/
PO文 PO文 [po1 wen2] /(Internet slang) to post a message/
PU PU [P U] /the degree of suspicion that a woman might be unfaithful to her husband (abbr. for "paternity uncertainty")/
P圖 P图 [P tu2] /(Internet slang) to photoshop a picture/photoshopped picture/
P擋 P挡 [P dang3] /park (gear)/program mode (on a digital camera)/
P民 P民 [P min2] /(slang) shitizen/commoner/hoi polloi/
Q Q [Q] /cute (loanword)/(of food) having a pleasant chewiness (like mochi, tapioca pearls, taro balls etc – foods with a springy or gel-like mouthfeel)/(loanword) to cue sb/
QR扣 QR扣 [Q R kou4] /(Tw) (loanword) QR code/
Q勁 Q劲 [Q jin4] /springy mouthfeel/
Q彈 Q弹 [Q tan2] /(of a food's mouthfeel) springy/firm/al dente/
T T [T] /(slang) butch (lesbian stereotype)/
TA TA [ta1] /he or she/
TF卡 TF卡 [T F ka3] /microSD card/
Tony Tony [t o n y] /(slang) hairdresser/
Tony老師 Tony老师 [t o n y lao3 shi1] /(slang) hairdresser/
T台 T台 [T tai2] /runway (for a fashion show etc)/catwalk/
T型台 T型台 [T xing2 tai2] /runway (for a fashion show etc)/catwalk/
T字帳 T字帐 [T zi4 zhang4] /T-account (accounting)/
T字褲 T字裤 [T zi4 ku4] /thong (underwear)/
T恤 T恤 [T xu4] /T-shirt/
T裇 T裇 [T xu1] /T-shirt/
USB手指 USB手指 [U S B shou3 zhi3] /USB flash drive/see also 閃存盤|闪存盘[shan3 cun2 pan2]/
USB記憶棒 USB记忆棒 [U S B ji4 yi4 bang4] /USB flash drive/see also 閃存盤|闪存盘[shan3 cun2 pan2]/
U凸內褲 U凸内裤 [U tu1 nei4 ku4] /contour pouch brief (men's underwear)/
U型枕 U型枕 [U xing2 zhen3] /travel pillow/
U型池 U型池 [U xing2 chi2] /(sports) vert ramp/half-pipe/
U形轉彎 U形转弯 [U xing2 zhuan3 wan1] /U-turn/
U盤 U盘 [U pan2] /USB flash drive/see also 閃存盤|闪存盘[shan3 cun2 pan2]/
U盾 U盾 [U dun4] /USB key used as a security token in Chinese online banking/
VCR VCR [V C R] /video clip (loanword from "videocassette recorder")/
V溝 V沟 [V gou1] /low neckline that reveals the cleavage/décolleté/gully/
XO醬 XO酱 [X O jiang4] /XO sauce, a spicy seafood sauce invented in Hong Kong in the 1980s/
X光 X光 [X guang1] /X-ray/
cos cos [c o s] /(Internet slang) cosplay/to cosplay/to dress up as/
mua mua [m u a] /(onom.) mwah (sound of a kiss)/

Others examples are harder to find. I stumbled upon these:

  • Thanks Becky. This seems like a good approach, and if I wanted to extend it to find neither-ASCII-nor-Chinese characters, I have an idea of what I'd do. Jan 16, 2020 at 18:44

There are lots of them, here's what I can recall:


X光片,X ray image


K线图,Candlestick chart

A型血,Blood Type A

P图(v.),Photoshop an image

维生素C,Vitamin C

O型腿,Blount's diseas

TCP协议,Transmission Control Protocol

RSS源,RSS feed

UI设计,User Interface design

All of the words are widely used, most of them combine the English letter and Chinese so the word is easier to understand. Basically everyone knows the 26 English letters, so only the words are translated to keep things simple.

  • P can also be used by itself for "Photoshop" & is apparently also slang for femme lesbians.
    – Mou某
    May 14, 2019 at 4:37
  • One that I found most interesting was 阿Q, the character in 鲁迅‘s story 阿Q正传. Here is some discussion of its origin. May 14, 2019 at 13:33
  • I know this is true for some (tshirt), but are the letters said like they would be in English? (ex-光片, kay-线图)
    – Stephen C
    May 14, 2019 at 21:28
  • 1
    @StephenCowley Yes, they do pronounced as English letters (since they are still English). May 14, 2019 at 21:36
  • @StephenCowley here's an answer about how English letters are pronounced in Chinese chinese.stackexchange.com/a/2727/788 (answer: mostly the same, but adapted to the phonetics) May 14, 2019 at 23:12

I'm not totally sure if this is what you are looking for but apart from A-Z, there are examples like:


Where the pi symbol is used.

Alpha is also often used:

  • α其 (alpha phase)
  • α状态 (alpha state)
  • α物质 (alpha substance)
  • α实验 (alpha test)

Beta also:

  • β折叠 (beta pleated sheet)


  • γ环 (gamma loop)
  • γ纤维 (gamma fibers)
  • γ粒 (gamma granules)


  • φ现象 (phi phenomenon)

The percent sign:


might fit your criteria, even though it is usually grouped with numbers, as it is often read "pā" in Taiwan. E.g.: 五十%.

Obscenities and sensitive terms also have many combinations of letters with Chinese characters:


for: nudes.


for: idiots.

Straight up letters:


As in: po文. Which seems suspiciously like a shortening of the English word "post."

An English word


As in: word哥. Which people think sounds like 我的.


In Hong Kong, most imported terms are officially transliterated, there's no need to use any English alphabet in these terms.

For example:

store = 士多

toast = 多士

taxi = 的士

bus = 巴士

Also in Hong Kong, some English words are so commonly used, we just use them directly within Chinese sentences, there's no need to add any Chinese character to these terms

For example:

keep fit --> "平日唔 keep fit 嘅人" (the people who don't normally keep fit)

party --> "今晚來我屋企開 party" (come to my house for party tonight)

memo --> "出 memo 通知大家" (send memo to notify everyone)

There are some English+Chinese term I can think of

  • XO醬 (XO sauce)

  • PK戦 (Penalty shoot-out)

  • BB (baby- 嬰兒) Cantonese only

  • 'O記' (Organized Crime and Triad Bureau)

  • Hong Kong Chinese also use 'D' instead of '啲' (Mandarin 的) in casual setting (like web chat, gossip column or comic) because they sound exactly the same , Example: "嗰D人" = "嗰啲人" (Mandarin 那些人) = "those people"; "呢D嘢" = "呢啲嘢" (Mandarin 這些東西) = "these things"

PK戦 is imported from Japanese. The Chinese term for Penalty shoot-out is "互射十二碼" or "點球戰"

The official Chinese name for 'O記' or 'OCTB' is "Organized Crime and Triad Bureau" (有組織罪案及三合會調查科)

  • PK has also become synonymous with the English "vs."
    – Mou某
    May 14, 2019 at 4:39
  • (I’m guessing you mean Bureau, not Burea for OCTB, yes?) May 14, 2019 at 16:32
  • @user3306356 No. PK is used only when there is a competition or confrontation, while vs does not.
    – Victor
    May 15, 2019 at 17:50

I would be thrilled if anyone found examples that included something other than the Roman letters as used in English (i.e., A-Z). On the other hand, I doubt there are such cases.

The Japanese hiragana has found some use in Chinese. In most places where it appears, it is used in place of "的" (Mandarin) or "之" (Classical Chinese) to indicate possession.

See pictures (the article is in Japanese).

More information:

  • This is not exactly what OP asks, because it substitutes a Han letter, not a word, but a bit more surprising case. And your citation (of the page about signboard examples) is excellent. :) May 3, 2021 at 5:06

I think X-线 might be right as well! Which is X-ray

  • 3Q = Thank you
  • 881 = Bye-bye

Two Taiwan classics for y'all.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.