I read a short story in the DuChinese app where the woman wanted his husband to call her as "queen".

She said: "不要叫小明妈、叫我“女王"吧。 The husband pretends he understood she wants to be called "女王八"

The wife says that she used 2 characters and husband says he refuses to call her "王八“.

I'd like to understand the logic of: 1 - “女王八" be interpreted as "bastard" (as in the books translation) or as a son of a b... (Google translation) .

2 - "王八" be interpreted as cuckold.

  • Haha, I like this guy!
    – Pedroski
    Commented Apr 14, 2022 at 22:35

2 Answers 2


2 is more close to the meaning of "王八", which is associated with the "turtle". The association started in the ancient brothel, in which the prostitute was carried on the back of a servant from one location to another to serve the customers who were buying sex. The bended/bowed body of the servant looked somewhat similar to the shape of a turtle, therefore, was given the name - "turtle slave (龟奴)".

Years later, when getting aged up, due to difficulty in finding a normal person for marriage, many old prostitutes became the wife of the servant (龟奴). When falling into difficult times, many would resort back to the old, familiar business - prostitution. But instead of working in brothels, now the sex selling was conducted from home, often with the full knowledge and nodding of the husband. By means of insult, people gave the husband the name "王八", for his knowledge and acceptance of his wife's sex deals, and sometimes referred to a husband, who disliked, but was too afraid to interfere/stop the wife's prostitution business. Later, the name extended to cover a man, whose wife has extramarital affairs with or without his knowledge.

  • Your extensive knowledge of this ancient, (perhaps eternal), profession is amazing. 佩服, 佩服..... Commented Apr 14, 2022 at 6:52
  • Your explanation was very interesting. 谢谢你
    – Plicatibu
    Commented Apr 14, 2022 at 11:45

In this context, 女王八 is just a swearing word. The man deliberately called her wife 王八(tortoise) because he wanted to make a joke there or not willing to call her 女王.

  • Maybe it was 女王霸? Commented Apr 14, 2022 at 7:34

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