Monthly Visit

It’s hard to know what to call people these days. Xiao jie means “miss” but has evolved to more commonly refer (respectfully) to a prostitute. The original meaning of ayi is your aunt, specifically your mother’s younger sister (Chinese language is much more specific about relatives, having different names for older or younger brothers, uncles and aunts on your father’s side as opposed to your mother’s etc), but ayi now more commonly refers to your house cleaner, which always makes me feel slightly uncomfortable when addressing my real aunt. And best of all, da yi ma is what you should call your mother’s oldest sister, except that it is what girls now say when their period arrives – wo da yi ma lai le. So I really don’t know what to tell people when my mother’s older sister comes to visit me. It’s fortunate then that she is in her 70s and hardly ever comes to visit (certainly not every month at least!).

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2 Responses to Monthly Visit

  1. Ha ha…

    To differentiate that, we normally say 大表姨妈 (da4 biao3 yi2 ma1) instead of 大姨妈 (da4 yi2 ma1), to avoid that sort situation.

  2. WoAi says:

    @London Caller – Your Chinese is good. Are you Chinese? Do people really say 大表姨妈?

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