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Thread: Cantonese kinship terms

  1. #1
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    Cantonese kinship terms

    Can anyone post all the kinship terms for kung fu schools or clans like "hing dai", "si hing", "si mu", etc.?
    I was on the metro earlier, deep in meditation, when a ruffian came over and started causing trouble. He started pushing me with his bag, steadily increasing the force until it became very annoying. When I turned to him, before I could ask him to stop, he immediately started hurling abuse like a scoundrel. I performed a basic chin na - carotid artery strike combination and sent him to sleep. The rest of my journey was very peaceful, and passersby hailed me as a hero - Warrior Man

  2. #2
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    Sigung = Grandmaster/teacher's teacher
    Sifu = Master/teacher
    Sibaak = Senior Uncle
    Siguma = Senior Aunt
    Sisuk = Junior Uncle
    Siguje = Junior Aunt
    Sihing = Senior Brother
    Sijeh = Senior Sister
    Simui = Junior Sister
    Sidai = Junior Brother
    Toudai = Student/indoor student
    Tousyunneui = Female Grandstudent
    Tousyun = Male Grandstudent

    These are the ones I know of, plus the two at the bottom are from a reference I found on the web.
    -Golden Arms-

  3. #3
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    specific to Faruq's request

    Hing dai - the hing is the same hing in sihing (兄) which means elder brother. The dai means 'big' (大), which adds more respect to the term. Sometimes you might hear it as dai sihing. The meaning is more or less the same.

    Simu - the mu, usually pronounced mou in Cantonese (母), means mother. This is the term you use to address the wife of your Sifu. However, a female Sifu is still addresses as Sifu, not Simou. Her husband is also addresses as Sifu. I think that's a Confucian thing.
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    Gene-I was taught that Hing as in older, Dai-as in younger (Si-dai) Different character for dai. therefore Hing-dai is fellow training brothers,
    Ji-Mui fellow training sisters.

    So are there two different Hing-Dai?
    "My Gung-Fu may not be Your Gung-Fu.
    Gwok-Si, Gwok-Faht"

    "I will not be part of the generation
    that killed Kung-Fu."

    ....step.

  5. #5
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    Hmm, you may be right, TT

    I've always assumed it was a derivation of Dai Sihing, but I don't speak Cantonese. I stand corrected.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeneChing View Post
    Hing dai - the hing is the same hing in sihing (兄) which means elder brother. The dai means 'big' (大), which adds more respect to the term. Sometimes you might hear it as dai sihing. The meaning is more or less the same.

    Simu - the mu, usually pronounced mou in Cantonese (母), means mother. This is the term you use to address the wife of your Sifu. However, a female Sifu is still addresses as Sifu, not Simou. Her husband is also addresses as Sifu. I think that's a Confucian thing.
    Gene:

    I also heard that Simo was used for the wife of a Sifu (that did not practice kung fu) and that Simu was for a a wife of the Sifu that had a Black Belt (or comprable rank), but was not the Sifu. Clarify if you could.

    ginosifu

  7. #7
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    I don't know about that, Gino

    The character 母 is mu in Mandarin and mou in Cantonese. Some say the character is symbolic of breasts, which is easy enough to visualize. Muqin (母親) is the formal term for mother. I'd have to see the character for this Simo. Note that I'm not a native speaker and don't really have any grasp of Cantonese beyond studying under a Hong Kong master (as you know Gino) for a few decades.
    Gene Ching
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  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Golden Arms View Post
    Sigung = Grandmaster/teacher's teacher
    Sifu = Master/teacher
    Sibaak = Senior Uncle
    Siguma = Senior Aunt
    Sisuk = Junior Uncle
    Siguje = Junior Aunt
    Sihing = Senior Brother
    Sijeh = Senior Sister
    Simui = Junior Sister
    Sidai = Junior Brother
    Toudai = Student/indoor student
    Tousyunneui = Female Grandstudent
    Tousyun = Male Grandstudent

    These are the ones I know of, plus the two at the bottom are from a reference I found on the web.
    What about just brother? Like an equal student? Not senior or junior. Is that Toudai?

    Edit: I see you said Hing Dai. That is equal brother under the same sifu?
    Last edited by Syn7; 10-05-2012 at 06:16 PM.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by GeneChing View Post
    Hing dai - the hing is the same hing in sihing (兄) which means elder brother. The dai means 'big' (大), which adds more respect to the term. Sometimes you might hear it as dai sihing. The meaning is more or less the same.

    Simu - the mu, usually pronounced mou in Cantonese (母), means mother. This is the term you use to address the wife of your Sifu. However, a female Sifu is still addresses as Sifu, not Simou. Her husband is also addresses as Sifu. I think that's a Confucian thing.
    Kinda sexist huh. A female must earn Sifu but her husband gets a free title? Cause he's her master? Sup?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Syn7 View Post
    Kinda sexist huh. A female must earn Sifu but her husband gets a free title? Cause he's her master? Sup?
    Not 'sexist,' 'Confucian.'

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by TenTigers View Post
    Gene-I was taught that Hing as in older, Dai-as in younger (Si-dai) Different character for dai. therefore Hing-dai is fellow training brothers,
    Ji-Mui fellow training sisters.
    this was always my understanding as well;

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by ShaolinDan View Post
    Not 'sexist,' 'Confucian.'
    Is that like "He didn't beat his wife, he was teaching her a lesson"?

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Syn7 View Post
    What about just brother? Like an equal student? Not senior or junior. Is that Toudai?

    Edit: I see you said Hing Dai. That is equal brother under the same sifu?
    No such thing.

    Even in you were metaphorical "twins" (born on the same day) there is still going to be one of you who kneeled and presented tea before the other one. Even if it was only earlier than you by one minute, that person is your shixiong and you are the shidi (Cantonese: Sihing and Sidai)

    Don't forget that traditionally "seniority" is the same in Kungfu as in the workplace. It has nothing to do with rank or belts or what you've learned. It's simply a measure of how long you have been Sifu's student.

    ================================================== ======
    Quote Originally Posted by GeneChing View Post

    Simu - the mu, usually pronounced mou in Cantonese (母), means mother. This is the term you use to address the wife of your Sifu. However, a female Sifu is still addresses as Sifu, not Simou. Her husband is also addresses as Sifu. I think that's a Confucian thing.
    Interestingly, in northern China...well in Xi'an anyways...instead of Simu (师母) the term of preference is (Mandarin) Shiniang (师娘). It's an oddly old fashioned term as "niang"/娘 is a term for "mother" that you don't hear in contemporary Chinese. You usually only hear it in period pieces on TV.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Golden Arms View Post
    Sigung = Grandmaster/teacher's teacher
    Sifu = Master/teacher
    Sibaak = Senior Uncle
    Siguma = Senior Aunt
    Sisuk = Junior Uncle
    Siguje = Junior Aunt
    Sihing = Senior Brother
    Sijeh = Senior Sister
    Simui = Junior Sister
    Sidai = Junior Brother
    Toudai = Student/indoor student
    Tousyunneui = Female Grandstudent
    Tousyun = Male Grandstudent

    These are the ones I know of, plus the two at the bottom are from a reference I found on the web.
    Thanks, everyone! Also to Omar the Fish, is Xi'an Uighur territory? They only do Turkish oil wrestling, right? No complete systems like the Chinese arts.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by omarthefish View Post
    No such thing.

    Even in you were metaphorical "twins" (born on the same day) there is still going to be one of you who kneeled and presented tea before the other one. Even if it was only earlier than you by one minute, that person is your shixiong and you are the shidi (Cantonese: Sihing and Sidai)

    Don't forget that traditionally "seniority" is the same in Kungfu as in the workplace. It has nothing to do with rank or belts or what you've learned. It's simply a measure of how long you have been Sifu's student.

    ================================================== ======


    Interestingly, in northern China...well in Xi'an anyways...instead of Simu (师母) the term of preference is (Mandarin) Shiniang (师娘). It's an oddly old fashioned term as "niang"/娘 is a term for "mother" that you don't hear in contemporary Chinese. You usually only hear it in period pieces on TV.
    In the workplace, people who are hired on the same day have the same seniority.

    Thanx for the info tho.
    Last edited by Syn7; 10-06-2012 at 06:09 PM.

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