I saw these two expressions in a book (with fairytales):


花姑娘们都热情地欢迎它去家里作客 (in a fairytale about a bee)

I have a feeling it means "Miss Spring" and "Miss Flower", i.e. it's a personification of spring and a flower respectively. Am I right?

Google Translate says it's "spring girl" and "flower girl", so a person who is connected with spring or flowers, but I don't really think so, seeing the context.

If I'm correct, what's the male version? Is it 先生? For example, if I wanted to translate Father Frost into Chinese, would 霜先生 make sense?

  • The Chinese father frost is;- pixtastock.com/illustration/60531018 Commented Dec 3, 2020 at 13:46
  • 1
    Your understanding is correct. 霜先生 can also make sense if you put it into a proper context.
    – dan
    Commented Dec 3, 2020 at 13:55

3 Answers 3


Yes, you are right. It's a personification of spring and flowers respectively. With a little bit correction, "們" indicates that 花姑娘 is in plural form in Mandarin.

姑娘 usually means young lady in Mandarin. It is also a kind of addresses to Catholic nuns, female nurses, or female social workers in Hong Kong.

By the context of two sentences, it is personification of spring and flowers to some young ladies. This kind of personification is very common in Mainland China. It is acceptable to translate it in "Miss" as it is more common usage in English although "Miss" refers to wider age range. "Lady" is also acceptable, says "Lady Spring" and "Ladies of Flowers".

For the context in mainland China, the male version is probably "大哥". 霜大哥 means Elder Brother Frost. It is a bit younger. For Father Frost, it is presumably a senior male character and you might translate it to 霜伯伯.

先生 is quite formal. It depends on the context. Anyway, it is not the male version of 姑娘.

By the way, "花姑娘" means a prostitute who is working in brothel although it refers to China in the past.

  • 1
    The counterpart of 姑娘 is 小伙 (lad); 大哥 is more suitable to oppose 小妹.
    – NS.X.
    Commented Dec 3, 2020 at 22:42
  • Addressing like 霜小伙 is uncommon. 霜大哥 sounds better. It'd better to consider common usage, especially for this kind of story.
    – OmniBus
    Commented Dec 4, 2020 at 9:35

In modern language I would treat it as: (fairytale) princess.

灰姑娘 for instance is the Chinese name of Cinderella. Wiki says,

[...] Cinderella has nonetheless become one of the most famous and recognizable princesses in the history of film.

Of course, this explanation is just for understanding the word. Cinderella doesn't need the word princess attached to her name for you to know who she is. Translations and titles will vary.

  • 1
    Uhh, are your sure? I would only think Cinderella is only a branded as a "Disney princess". In the actual story, "Cinderella" was a derogatory name given by her stepsisters, and she later became a princess. So I don't agree that the name "Cinderella" links firmly to a "princess". This link also isn't seen by other stories. In fact, I believe 姑娘 is just corresponding to the suffix "-ella". The Chinese and English names are direct translations. Commented Dec 3, 2020 at 17:47

每一个词, 在中文里都有内在的情感形象, 就是大家对这个词的印象。所以你在用比拟的时候,要考虑“本体”和“喻体”的气质是否相符。

Father Frost in Chinese is 雪老人,先生是不恰当的。 因为中国人对“先生”这个词的印象不符合Father Frost的形象。

You can find it in this article https://zh.m.wikipedia.org/zh-hans/%E9%9B%AA%E5%A7%91%E5%A8%98

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