I wonder if the word "县子" colloquially exists in the Chinese language.

I’ve probably heard this word before, and I‘m not exactly sure, but I blurrily remember it was from a conversation between my grandparents.

I suppose this is like an infrequently used dialectical term in Chinese and the infrequency of its usage, and perhaps to a certain extent, its uncommonness makes it only conversationally and dialectically correct and particularly not acceptable in formal situations.

句子有: 她们几个去那儿的县子了。

Thank you in advance.

Thank you very much for your help!

  • Which topolect?
    – Mou某
    Jul 18, 2020 at 11:11
  • I don't know(´・_・`)
    – Tinna
    Jul 26, 2020 at 12:06
  • Where is the person you heard saying it from?
    – Mou某
    Jul 26, 2020 at 13:25

6 Answers 6


子 in words like 筷子, 裤子 is a padding to make single character words fit into modern Chinese which favours double character words. Most Chinese people picked them up as they build vocabulary and aren't taught any rule on formulating these.

However, if you want a rough rule, then 子 is like the English suffix '-let' which only fits on nouns that can be seen as small.

In Chinese thinking, only 村/village is small enough to be called 村子.


However, to avoid the awkwardness of using the single-character geographical words 省/城/县/乡/镇/etc, other suffixes like "里" are used instead.

For example, 看这个病得去省里/城里/县里/乡里/镇里 (This disease can only be treated in the [nearest] provincial [capital]/city/county/township/town).

"里" obviously means inside, which is more fitting for larger geographical areas.


This use of 县子 is probably obsolete nowadays. I only heard old people say it when I was still a small kid. E. g. 他住在一个小县子里面. And it's probably dialectal (I lived in Northeast Region by then).

I don't really hear people(around me) say it now. Usually we say 县 or 县城 instead. However, 村子 is still being used. E. g. 他住在村子里面。


I need more examples. but "县" means "county, the administrative district one level lower than the city", such as "桐庐县" is a county in "杭州市", "宝应县" is a county in "扬州市". "子" is usually a suffix, has no actual meaning, like "桌子" "筷子". "县子" maybe is a dialect words means "县" or "县城".


I think it may refer to a rank (title) in the past:

Example 1:

Example 2:

  • ”县子" in your answer is an official position. To easy to understand, I'll use "县长"(an official position too) instead it. But no one says "她们几个去那儿的县长了". Maybe they say "她们几个去那儿见县长了". Also, the example is 现代白话文, uses in modern China. People in ancient China don't say like this.
    – T-Pioneer
    Jul 22, 2020 at 1:28

While, when reading this sentence,


我感到一股乡土气息扑面而来. -_-!

"县子" maybe used in the old days ( 1970s, 1980s ) especially someone comes from countryside, sounds countrified, not educated. I only heard my Grandma said this kind of word.

There is a famous author, named "赵树理", who created a similar writing style, describing the happy life of the farmers, this style is named "山药蛋派". If you are interest, you can search for this books.


县子 = town

A few of the girls went to the town over there.

Especially in rural areas 县、县子 may still be used as town.

怀化市 (spoken: fyfashi, they don't like h in 怀化市!) 的 会同县 in 湖南省


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.