Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Chinese Tattoo Symbol for "Beautiful"

The following email was from MzToya who had forgotten the meaning of the Chinese tattoo she got on the back of her neck, a design chosen from a tattoo parlor book.

"I got this tattoo on my neck maybe eight years ago...picked it out of a book....just got the birds added. I believed it to mean beauty or beautiful....not sure.."

Hi MzToya,

Yes - the character is the formal word for "beautiful" - correctly written in Traditional Chinese. Other meanings include "handsome", "seductive", "fine", "colorful", etc. Although this is not commonly used in the day-to-day language (more literary in a sense), it is a common name for baby girls in China. So no worries if you can't find it in the dictionary, it is absolutely correct.



More on the Traditional Chinese character for 妍: http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/%E5%A6%8D

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