This might sound a little silly I know, but there is a game called Tomb Raider 2, which contains an artifact called the Dagger of Xian. No explanation is given in the game for the name. I have looked at Wikipedia for examples of "Xian" , and apart from places in China, Xian can also refer to "immortality" or "higher being". I'm not sure if the developers of the game just chose a Chinese sounding name at random, or if they had done a bit of research into the deeper meanings behind the name. In the game, anyone plunging the dagger into their heart will turn them into a dragon, almost impossible to kill. Which does actually fit the "immortal" meaning of the word.

I know Tomb Raider is just a video game but it actually got me interested in Chinese language and culture!

2 Answers 2


The meaning of "Xian" is made clear by the corresponding Chinese version of the game, that is《古墓丽影2:西安匕首》.

"Xian" (better written in English as Xi'an or Xi An) corresponds to 西安 (Xī'ān), the capital city of Shaanxi Province.


Quote:- "...apart from places in China, Xian can also refer to "immortality" or "higher being"

Yes, Xiān, or 仙, are legendary Taoist Immortals.

Whereas, the city 西安, Xī'ān, is pronounced differently.

Xiān has one syllable, and Xī'ān has two syllables.

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.