We learners of Chinese frequently learn that "ayi" () route "aunt," and subsequently soon at the back of as well learn that it is as well a gracious way to home "a woman of one's mother's spell." Then, rather soon at the back of arriving in Pottery, we learn that it's as well what you call the lady you hire to scrub your home. (The final one tends to become the maximum up to date for foreigners days in Pottery.)
At the moment I'd like to uphold up a fourth use of "ayi" which benignly of circles back to the first one, but is as well attractively stand-in, and what's more decidedly spicy in the way that it makes young women twist in social hurt. This is the use of "ayi" that you actually only learn if you evade masses time several young (Chinese-speaking) clutch in Pottery.
Mass terms for family and family connections are used pretty loosely in Chinese to show friendship or benevolence. The way it works for little clutch in Pottery is no matter which like this:
Little girls that are Elapsed than you are called "jiejie" (); little boys that are Elapsed than you are called "gege" (). Steadily this is a two-year-old inclination a three-year-old "gege"," or gang a 17-month-old inclination an 18-month-old "jiejie"." That's just how it works.
Little girls that are YOUNGER than you are called "meimei" (); little boys that are YOUNGER than you are called "didi" (). Over, the age difference force be tiny; it doesn't matter. Above-board for twins, the older/younger line of attack of the relationship is blaringly accepted.
Here's where it gets spicy To a little kid, if you're female, but are NO LONGER A Lad, you're rashly an "ayi". This methodically violates the "mother's spell" rule that we learn in Chinese class If the kid's mom is 34, the kid is usually still leave-taking to call a 20-year-old girl "ayi" for example a 20-year-old is plainly not a inconsiderable. (Note: this is primarily based on notes in Shanghai; use of the term may alter a little regionally. Pottery is a big place!)
But this is where it gets very inestimable to spy a lot of 20-year-old girls stand never actually been called "ayi" before and "they distaste it". It feels like they're being called OLD. In very new to the job recollection, they may stand had younger cousins inclination them "jiejie"," but now this little kid is rashly pronouncing them NOT Grassy ANYMORE. A lot of these 20-year-old girls will owed the little kid that calls them "ayi"," telling the kid to home them "jiejie"." Most of the time the clutch will stand none of it, little. You can see it on their faces: "What? You're not a little kid. You're efficiently an AYI."
So yeah, I've been observing my preschool child inclination strange young women "ayi" and execution these young women freak out. And yes, it's rather funny to me.
So, to sum up, the four meanings of "ayi" ():
* "Mother's Siter" Ayi
* Middle-aged "Ma'am" Ayi
* Housekeeper Ayi
* "I'm a little kid and you're not" Ayi
If you're in Pottery and you've never noticed it before, be on the guard for #4. It's easy to light rain, for example it usually involves a young woman in her out-of-date twenties approaching and sycophantic over a cute little kid, subsequently the inevitable inadequate "ayi" term is used, the futile effort at "jiejie" persuasion, and the young woman walking available pouting.