https://hinative.com/en-US/questions/1547907 doesn't answer this. I don't think https://hinative.com/zh-CN/questions/51384 is relevant?

2 Answers 2


Same thing.

There are some regional usage distinctions and that's about it. 脖子 seems to be used more in Northern China and in Taiwan. 颈项 and 颈子 seems to be more prevalent in use in Southern China. Each region may consider the other term overly formal.

They both can refer to the neck of things, i.e.: the neck of a bottle - 酒瓶脖子 | 瓶颈


Same meaning. But 脖 is more informal which is commonly used in daily conversation. 颈 is a formal expression and is used in many medical terminologies, such as 颈椎(cervical vertebra) and 颈动脉(carotid artery).

By the way, 颈 is a polyphone, pronounced as gěng in 脖颈儿.

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