For questions about words of expressions that are specific to a certain gender (masculine, feminine, neuter, etc.) of their subject.

As an isolating language, Chinese and its topolects don't have morphemes to distinguish between word genders (masculine, feminine, etc.).

Some characters may feature "man" or "women" semantic components in order to:

  • distinguish between otherwise identical variants, e.g. those used for the 3rd-person pronoun 他1 and 她, and the rarer 牠 for animals
  • to convey gender-specific semantics, often rooted in culture and tradition, e.g. those that mean "to marry", as 娶 and 嫁.

And also some words, especially those related to kinship, may be gender-specific, e.g. 叔叔 (uncle) vs 姑姑 (aunt), regardless of the character.

Feel free to use this tag for questions that relate to gender in Chinese characters, names, words or expressions.


1: although it should be noted that the semantic component 亻is not specifically masculine. Compare with 舅舅 (maternal uncle) and 甥 (nephew)