Bra La Hao D A Life Goes On

Dear all,

What is the Chinese for “bra”?

Kobo-Daishi, PLLA.

胸罩
xiōngzhào

Dear all,

Is there another way of saying “bra”?

Possibly from a southern Chinese dialect?

Maybe from Cantonese?

Kobo-Daishi, PLLA.

also 內衣 nei4yi1, and
奶罩 nai3zhao4 (which, acc. to DW, sounds very unrefined and is to be avoided)

[quote=“Kobo-Daishi”]Dear all,

Is there another way of saying “bra”?

Possibly from a southern Chinese dialect?

Maybe from Cantonese?

Kobo-Daishi, PLLA.[/quote]
HK Cantonese speakers tend to use 胸圍 (xiōngwéi), although they tend to use the English “bra” even more.

There is a Taiwanese word for it derived from Japanese of course, only heard it last week for the first time, but I don’t seem to remember it know. So much for being helpful. Sorry.

Dear all,

[quote=“Dragonbones”]also 內衣 nei4yi1, and
奶罩 nai3zhao4 (which, acc. to DW, sounds very unrefined and is to be avoided)[/quote]

But 內衣 is “underwear, undergarments”. It’s not specific to “bra”.

This might sound stupid but what’s “DW”?

Dragonwoman?

It couldn’t be your wife. She’s Dragonbabe, right? :slight_smile:

I found 奶罩 in the Far East Chinese-English Dictionary but it doesn’t say that it’s vulgar or anything but then I don’t recall ever seeing any word in that dictionary flagged as such.

Isn’t there another way of saying “bra” in Cantonese?

A way of saying bra that might now have possibly entered into mainstream standard Chinese?

Yes, that’s it. :slight_smile:

Just kidding.

No, I’m fairly sure that it’s a dialectal word.

Most likely from Cantonese.

Kobo-Daishi, PLLA.

Yes, but in certain contexts acc. to DW (the Dear Wife, Dragonbabe), it would mean ‘bra’, e.g. if one gal asked another if she was wearing 內衣. DH for Dear Husband is pretty common in online forums too.

肚兜? 波罩?

奶罩 is simply outdated; it never struck me as vulgar.

Dear all,

Okay, I’ll come clean. :slight_smile:

The other day I was watching a downloaded copy of a recent episode of the American crime drama “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” (also known as “CSI: Las Vegas”) with simplified Chinese subtitles provided by Chinese netizens.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CSI:_Crime_Scene_Investigation

The episode in question was about a murder at a hotel where they were holding a sales show for men who like to buy women’ used panties.

They had items selling for up to $2,000. :slight_smile:

For those not used to American money, a medium-range netbook sells for about $350. :slight_smile:

You do the maths…er…math. :slight_smile:

Supposedly, in Japan they’ve got vending machines with used panties but you can’t believe everything you see on TV. :slight_smile:

The victim was an employee of the hotel who was found without her panties but her matching bra was intact.

The three times they mentioned “bra”, they used the Chinese “文胸”.



I’d remembered seeing the characters in “A New Century Chinese-English Dictionary” (Xin Shiji Han Ying Da Cidian), with the note that it’s “fang”, a dialectal word, which really pissed me off since it doesn’t tell you which dialect and also how common it is, enough so as to be included in a regular dictionary rather than a specialized dialect dictionary.

I looked the characters up at the online Guoyu Cidian (Taiwan) web site and the Lin Yutang’s Chinese-English Dictionary of Modern Usage (Hong Kong) web site.

No dice.

I checked the Xiandai Hanyu Cidian, it had the entry and didn’t even include “fang” meaning that they don’t even note it as being dialectal.

I checked the Hanyu Fangyan Da Cidian, a dictionary on Chinese dialects, and it said that it’s Cantonese for an article of clothing that women used in the old days to bind their bosoms.

Since it was included in the CSI episode’s subtitles I figured it was mainstream enough to be considered a part of standard modern Chinese but wanted verification so I posted my query here, at the Chinese-forums.com web site and at the Chinese Cantonese Forums to see how common it is. Many people at these sites with an extensive knowledge of Chinese and quite a few are native speakers as well.

So far Kenny2006woo at the chinese-forums.com web site has been the only one to give wenxiong as a reply. :slight_smile:

Still don’t know if it’s common in Hong Kong or on Taiwan, though. :slight_smile:

[quote=“sjcma”]肚兜? 波罩?

奶罩 is simply outdated; it never struck me as vulgar.[/quote]

According to the Guoyu Cidian web site, Sjcma’s 肚兜 has a similar definition as the Hanyu Fangyan Da Cidian’s for 文胸. Only his is ancient times (gu) whereas the Hanyu Fangyan’s is olden times (jiu).

I haven’t found at entry for 波罩 yet but haven’t really done any further research. :slight_smile:

Sjcma where did you get these two?

Are you an expert on ladies undergarments? :slight_smile:

Kobo-Daishi, PLLA.

[quote=“Kobo-Daishi”]
According to the Guoyu Cidian web site, Sjcma’s 肚兜 has a similar definition as the Hanyu Fangyan Da Cidian’s for 文胸. Only his is ancient times (gu) whereas the Hanyu Fangyan’s is olden times (jiu).

I haven’t found at entry for 波罩 yet but haven’t really done any further research. :slight_smile:

Sjcma where did you get these two?

Are you an expert on ladies undergarments? :slight_smile:

Kobo-Daishi, PLLA.[/quote]

肚兜 is not an uncommon word, but I would be very surprised if anybody used it with the meaning of “bra”. I would think that it is only used for the traditional style underwear.

Never seen or heard 文胸, but googling it gets me 8 million hits, including 15000 searching for Taiwan websites. Loads of pictures, too, ähm, which of course I didn’t look at.

波罩 gets quite a few hits, too, but then again it is also a technical term as in e.g. 頻譜波罩 spectrum emission mask.

Dear Rice_T,

[quote=“rice_t”][quote=“Kobo-Daishi”]
According to the Guoyu Cidian web site, Sjcma’s 肚兜 has a similar definition as the Hanyu Fangyan Da Cidian’s for 文胸. Only his is ancient times (gu) whereas the Hanyu Fangyan’s is olden times (jiu).

I haven’t found at entry for 波罩 yet but haven’t really done any further research. :slight_smile:

Sjcma where did you get these two?

Are you an expert on ladies undergarments? :slight_smile:

Kobo-Daishi, PLLA.[/quote]

肚兜 is not an uncommon word, but I would be very surprised if anybody used it with the meaning of “bra”. I would think that it is only used for the traditional style underwear.[/quote]

As the NBC slogan used to go “If you haven’t seen it before, it’s new to you”. (an old slogan for the American TV network that used to rerun their programs several times before they’d air new episodes) :slight_smile:

In the old days, an undergraduate degree in Chinese at a western university would leave one with a knowledge of about 1,000 characters.

Don’t know about now.

But I hadn’t come across the word before but then I mostly use my Chinese for reading the Chinese subtitles on the American TV programs, occasional Chinese movie/TV program I’ve downloaded or for forums. :slight_smile:

[quote=“rice_t”]Never seen or heard 文胸, but googling it gets me 8 million hits, including 15000 searching for Taiwan websites. Loads of pictures, too, ähm, which of course I didn’t look at.

波罩 gets quite a few hits, too, but then again it is also a technical term as in e.g. 頻譜波罩 spectrum emission mask.[/quote]

Yes, that is surprising.

And I did look at the pictures. :lick:

Actually at 8,840,000 hits, it’s closer to 9 million than 8.

That’s why I posted because I thought it’d be rare seeing that’s it’s not in CEDICT, which should be composed of the commoner words since it’s a collaborative effort by people on the Internet. More geared to the beginner than the language scholars

And after 2 days and 3 forums only one guy at the chinese-forums.com web site gave wenxiong as a reply.

Kobo-Daishi, PLLA.

It’s not in Wenlin (ABC Comprehensieve) either, which currently has twice the number of entries as CEDICT. Dr. Eye doesn’t have it either.

Perhaps it’s Cantonese in origin?

[quote=“Kobo-Daishi”]I checked the Hanyu Fangyan Da Cidian, a dictionary on Chinese dialects, and it said that it’s Cantonese for an article of clothing that women used in the old days to bind their bosoms.

[/quote]
文胸 is listed in the Chinese Wikipedia’s entry on 胸罩. But I’ve never heard of it before, so I didn’t mention it.

[quote=“Kobo-Daishi”]According to the Guoyu Cidian web site, Sjcma’s 肚兜 has a similar definition as the Hanyu Fangyan Da Cidian’s for 文胸. Only his is ancient times (gu) whereas the Hanyu Fangyan’s is olden times (jiu).

I haven’t found at entry for 波罩 yet but haven’t really done any further research. :slight_smile:

Sjcma where did you get these two?[/quote]
肚兜 is not uncommon, esp. on those Qing dyansty era TV series. That’s where I learned about this term. It’s not really a modern day bra as it’s not meant to hold things up, but rather to cover it up. 波罩 is reallly colloquial and unlikely to be in any dictionary. 波 is HK Cantonese slang for breasts. It’s also HKese for “ball” since 波 sounds pretty close to the English word “ball”. The “ball” meaning was extended into meaning breast, which then gives you 波罩.

I prefer contents over packaging.

After a bit of Internet reading, it appears 文胸 is indeed of Cantonese origin, first coined in the 1930’s and later morphed into 老文 after the Cultural Revolution to avoid the bourgeoisie connotation that had attached to 文胸. While 老文 stayed as a Cantonese only term, the recent spread of Cantonese culture northwards brought 文胸 into Mandarin as well.

If you’re interested in a long winded explanation by the head of the Cantonese Cultural Exchange Center in Japan, then you can click on the following links:

广东语讲座——老文和其他(1) (the story continues in the comments section)
广东语讲座——老文和其他(2)
广东语讲座——老文和其他(3)
广东语讲座——老文和其他(4)