This is a glossary of Chinese honorifics and terms of address. A person’s title or profession may be used as an honorific form of address. In ancient times, referring to oneself (first-person) and others (second-person) are often done in third-person.
More in-depth: here.
Note: I’m lazy on the pinyin, so they’re w/o the accent marks that denotes tone.
Note 2: This is not a complete list: just the common ones, those that have shown up so far in my translations, and their related terms.
|师伯||Shibo||Martial Uncle||Used to address your master’s senior martial brothers.|
|师叔||Shishu||Martial Uncle/Martial Aunt||Used to address your master’s junior martial brothers. Also used for Martial Aunt despite the gendered term.|
|师兄||Shixiong||Senior (Martial) Brother|
|师弟||Shidi||Junior (Martial) Brother|
|师姐||Shijie||Senior (Martial) Sister|
|师妹||Shimei||Junior (Martial) Sister|
Titles/Other Terms of Address
|道人||Daoren||Daoist||Lit. A person of dao.|
|真人||Zhenren||True/Real/Perfected Person||A spiritual daoist master. On a level comparable to daoren.|
|真君||Zhenjun||True/Real/Perfected Lord||On a level higher than zhenren.|
|大师||Dashi||(Great) Master||Not master that you accept as your teacher, but to address a professional.|
|道友||Daoyou||Fellow Daoist||Used to call daoists of the same generation but different sects.|
|小友||Xiaoyou||Young Daoist||Lit. Young/Little Friend, but is used as Young Daoist. Used by seniors to address younger daoists.|
|贫道||Pindao||This (poor) daoist||Used by daoists to refer to themselves. “Poor” used as a humble term.|
|贫僧||Pinseng||This (poor) monk||Used by Buddhist monks to refer to themselves humbly.|
|施主||Shizhu||Benefactor||Term used by monks to address a layperson.|
|朕||Zhen||(Royal) We/Us/Our||Employed by the Emperor to refer to himself.|
|儿臣||Erchen||This child and subject||Employed by the imperial children to refer to themselves before their parents or the Emperor’s other consorts. Also used by the Emperor before the Empress Dowager.|
|陛下||Bixia||Your/His Majesty||Used to address the Emperor. Can be used by itself or as a suffix after the title (in Chinese).|
|圣上||Shengshang||Your/His Majesty||Used to address the Emperor directly or referring to the Emperor in third person.|
|殿下||Dianxia||Your/His/Her (Royal) Highness||Can be used directly to address an imperial family member or as a suffix after the title of imperial family member.|
|父皇||Fuhuang||Father Emperor/Imperial Father||Used by the children of the Emperor to address the Emperor.|
|大人||Daren||Sir/Madam/Lord||Used to address an official or someone in authority. Can be used after a title or name.|
|(愛)卿||(Ai)qing||(Beloved) Official||Used by the Emperor to refer to their officials or other members of the imperial family.|
These are miscellaneous terms that can be used in most settings (cultivation/historical/modern/etc.). Some used less often in modern settings.
|老子||Laozi||I, your grandfather/father||Used by males to refer to themselves, announcing their superiority and often arrogantly.|
|老娘||Laoniang||I, your grandmother/mother||Female equiv. for laozi.|
|老夫||Laofu||This old (and repected) man||Used by elderly males to refer to themselves.|