DCCW Terminology Guide

Pronunciation tips: (taken from wiki)
Q sort of sounds like ch (Like cheek, with the lips spread wide with ee.)
C also sort of sounds like ch (like the English ts in cats)
X sort of sounds like shi. The Japanese Shi.
extra details:
Sh is very similar to marsh in American English
Ch as in chin, but with the tongue curled upwards; very similar to nurture in American English.

Feng sounds like Fong, imho.

I’m not even going to go into the accents. Too much hassle. You guys aren’t here to learn Chinese, after all.

Martial Arts (Kung fu) terminology:

Neili 内 力: (taken from wiki) the ability to build up and cultivate mystical “inner energy” (Qi 氣) and control it for several purposes. Characters use their inner energy for attack and defense purposes when combined with their martial arts. They may also use this form of energy to heal internal wounds or even purge venom from their bodies after being poisoned, or use it to attain superhuman stamina.

Dian Xue 點穴: (taken from wiki) martial artists use these techniques to kill, paralyze, immobilize or control opponents by attacking their acupressure points (xué 穴) with the bare hand or weapons. A victim may be immobilized for hours after being hit on the acupressure points. Such techniques may be used for healing purposes, when excessive bleeding may be halted when certain acupressure points are pressed.

Qinggong 輕功: (taken from wiki) literally means “the ability of lightness”. Characters can move swiftly and lightly at superhuman speeds. They can glide on water surfaces, scale high walls and mount trees, making them seem as though they can fly.

(Now listed by chapter and marked with * to indicate I have it defined)

From Chapter 1:
Jianghu (江湖): the world of martial arts. Literally means “river” and “lake”. There are many different schools (sects) of martial arts, and normally they are rivals and compete to be the most recognized/best.

Shixiong(師兄)/Shidi(師弟)/Shijie(師姊)/Shimei(師 妹): Basically, kinda equivalent to “senpai” and “kouhai” except with gender and situational differences, as this isn’t really used as freely like “senpai”.

Shixiong: senior brother
Shidi: junior brother
Shijie: senior sister
Shimei: junior sister.
When I mean senior and junior it is determined not by age but by experience, and these terms are used between apprentices.

from Chapter 2:

Jian(劍): a double-edged straight sword

Jianfa(劍法): Swordplay…kind of means sword play. It’s a collection of techniques from the same style. Literally means sword rule.

Reminder: Shidi= junior brother/male apprentice. Sort of like kouhai.

Chinese idiom: a teacup’s worth of time (一 盞茶的功夫)– In the way past, Chinese don’t use minutes to measure time. They use other means, like this. Basically, a teacup’s worth of time can be likened to 5~10 minutes. Why is it called a teacup’s worth of time? Well, to the Chinese in the past, it takes around 5~10 minutes to finish off a hot cup of tea, or 5~10 minutes for a hot cup of tea to turn cold.

From Chapter 3

Central Plain:(中 原) Okay…I didn’t want to say China because this is supposedly AU and all, because the countries I will be writing about don’t exist…but then I ended up using some similar term (see wiki for more if you’re that bored). Whatever.

Si Huangzi (四皇子): Fourth son of the Emperor. A title.

Dao: Chinese Sabre. Single-edge sword primarily used for slashing and chopping. Therefore Daofa is pretty much the same thing as “Jianfa” except with a sabre instead of a sword.

Cha Ting(茶亭): Chinese pavilion for tea drinking.

Green Building, or Qing Lou(青樓): poetic term for brothel in Chinese. Literally, Green Building. Offers geisha-like services.

From Chapter 4

Weiqi (圍棋): Chinese for “Go” (the game).

Luan Tong (孌童): a beautiful male whose body is used like that of a woman. Aka male prostitute for the most part. This is an ancient term, so…yeah. Homosexuality has existed in China since a long time ago, ain’t that amusing?

Hive, or Fengchao (蜂巢): a (poetic?) term for male prostitution facilities in Ancient China. Yeah, the Chinese are pretty much like Romans on the matter of homosexuality at some points of history (value men’s worth over women…pshhh if that’s the reason for homosexuality than that reason sucks). Anyhow, they don’t think homosexuality is an abomination, though some don’t like the idea of male prostitution because they think it’s degrading for a man to sell his own body. Normally the male prostitutes are called “little rabbit (xiao tu小兔)” or “little singer (xiao chang小唱)” or “little hand (xiao shou小手)”. Before engaging in the good sports, these male prostitutes normally drink with, sing for, or entertain their patrons in a romantic way.

Guan Li (冠禮): the Chinese coming of age ceremony for men, usually held on the 20th birthday of a male, but can be held earlier for royalty (though mostly for child emperors). The person obtains a style name (zi) and is fitted with a hat/hair crest. This ceremony is to remind the person that he is no longer considered as a child and is expected to conform to the rules of the society as well as take responsibility for his own actions.

For that little excerpt from Lingyun’s Guan Li, I had a really hard time translating it from the Chinese book of etiquette (禮記) concerning the Guan Li: 「禮儀既備,令月吉日,昭告爾字。爰字孔嘉,髦士攸宜。宜之於假,永受保之,曰___甫 (…Basically that line of awkward nonsense. The book is written in old language.) And Linyun’s answer:「某雖不敏,敢不夙夜袛來」This is a required answer. Any other answer is unaccepted and disobeys the ceremony. Of course, I didn’t literally translate the two dialogues, as they would turn out even more awkward than they already are. Especially Lingyun’s answer about the remembering by heart.the Chinese coming of age ceremony for men, usually held on the 20th birthday of a male, but can be held earlier for royalty (though mostly for child emperors).

Not to mention, Japan’s genpuku (their coming of age ceremony in the past before being replaced by Seijin Shiki) no doubt came from Guan Li, because genpuku is also known as kanrei (冠礼), which, if pronounced in Chinese, is Guan Li. They even sound alike.) Hairstyle is changed to an adult hairstyle. They were also given new adult names (烏帽子名 eboshi-na).
This is, IMHO, the same exact thing as Guan Li save for the different taste in hats and hairstyles, if you ask me.

Shufei (淑 妃): Title for a consort of the emperor.
Taking the harem system from the Tang Dynasty (in order of rank):

• 1 Empress皇后
• 4 Madams四夫人 (1 Guifei (貴妃), 1 Shufei (淑妃), 1 Defei (德妃), 1 Xianfei (賢妃))
• 9 Imperial Concubines九嬪 (順儀、順容、順華、修儀、修容、修華、充儀、充容、充華)
• 9 Jieyu 婕妤 • 9 Meiren 美人
• 9 Cairen 才人
• 27 Baolin 寶林
• 27 Imperial Women御女
• 27 Cainu 采女
Yes…huge harem indeed. Well, some of the women are performers (Shi fu), some of them are maids (I think…) and stuff…But essentially, they all belong to the Emperor

Dage (大哥): big brother. Honorific. Like “nii-san”.

Shu Wang(蜀 王): the emperor’s son who is not the successor to the throne is given a title of Wang (which literally translates to ‘King’), in Qingyang’s case, he is the ‘Shu’ Wang, the ‘Shu’ just being a random good word (or something, not sure).

Dianxia(殿下): Honorific for a noble of the emperor’s line. Can be used singularly and it would translate to ‘Your Majesty’ or ‘Your Highness’.

Daren (大人): honorific for high ranking nobilities/officials (like ‘sama’ in Japanese). It also means adult, but in this fic I will only use it as an honorific.

Zi (字): (taken from wiki)The zì, sometimes called the biǎozì(表字) or ‘courtesy name’, is a name traditionally given to Chinese males at the age of 20, marking their coming of age. The zì is mostly disyllabic, i.e., comprises two characters, and is usually based on the meaning of the given name. After a man reaches adulthood, it is disrespectful for others of the same generation to address him by his given name. Thus, the given name was reserved for oneself and one’s elders, while the zì would be used by adults of the same generation to refer to one another on formal occasions or in writing; hence the term ‘courtesy name’. Another way to form a zì is to use the homophonic character zǐ (Chinese: 子; pinyin: zǐ) – a respectful title for a male – as the first character of the disyllabic zì.

Zixiao (子霄): Taken from above, zi is just a respectful title. Xiao (霄) is another word for cloud.

From Chapter 5

XiangWang(襄王): Like ‘ShuWang’ of Chapter 4. In this case, XiangWang is Zhitian.

From Chapter 6
Taizi (太子): The emperor’s son who’s going to succeed the throne. Usually the eldest unless changed otherwise.
Gongzi(公子): a son of a noble or an official of high status. Can be used as an honorific.

From Chapter 10
East Palace (東宮): Also known as Dong gong, this is a separate palace where the Taizi lives with his wife, his consorts, his kids, his servants etc. Officials who serve in the East Palace normally are there to educate and advise the Taizi, helping him get practical experience (or something). Normally they don’t hold any actual power, but when the Taizi succeeds the throne those officials/advisors usually come into power and replace the original ones.

Time of Xu (戌時) is around 7pm to 9pm. If you’re interested in the Chinese time measurement system, you can look up “Earthly Branches” in wikipedia

From Chapter 11

__Wang (__王): literally, king. In feudalism ancient China, the emperors’ sons (other than the Taizi) are given the title of __ ‘Wang’. The blank space is usually one word, and in this chapter’s case: Han, Zhao, and Liang. Sometimes the title of ‘Wang’ can given to people who aren’t from the emperor’s direct family. Wang is a first class noble title. For the purpose of English, think of ‘wang’ as ‘prince’.

Junwang (郡王): like wang, but it is a title that is lower than ‘Wang’. Still normally given to the emperor’s sons. Junwang is a second class noble title. For the purpose of English, I will translate this term into Commandery Prince.

Yellow wine, or Huangjiu (黃酒): (from wiki) a type of Chinese alcoholic beverage brewed directly from grains such as rice, millet, or wheat. Contains less than 20% alcohol, due to the inhibition of fermentation by ethanol at that concentration. The various styles of huangjiu may vary in color from clear to beige, yellowish-brown, or reddish-brown. Huangjiu is either drunk directly after being cooled or warmed,

Xianggong (相公): A male prostitute who works in a Green Building.

Guqin (古琴): (from wiki) a plucked seven-string Chinese musical instrument of the zither family. It has been played since ancient times, and has traditionally been favored by scholars and literati as an instrument of great subtlety and refinement.

From Chapter 16

Ke (刻): 15 minutes

In case you forgot:

Shixiong(師兄)/Shidi(師 弟): Basically, kinda equivalent to “senpai” and “kouhai” except with gender and situational differences, as this isn’t really used as freely like “senpai”.

Shixiong: senior brother
Shidi: junior brother

When I mean senior and junior it is determined not by age but by experience, and these terms are used between apprentices.

From Chapter 21
Time of Mao (卯時): 5am~7am

From Chapter 23
Imperial Attendant, or Shizhong (侍中) of the Chancellery, or Menxiasheng (門下省): The head of the Chancellery (there are two Imperial Attendants. Also, note that the governmental system for Yue is different from Xia so the job and status of the Imperial Attendant differs–but I doubt any of you remember what an Imperial Attendant is anyway). The Chancellery examines the governmental papers/laws/policies from the Secretariat and has the power to reject the bills for further revision. Most of the officials in the Chancellery works to inspect the bills from the Secretariat, but some officials in the Chancellery work separately as the Emperor’s consultant, they normally are there to look out for the Emperor’s faults. Others look for the faults of other officials, which makes this a good checking system. The main function of the Chancellery was to advise the emperor and the Secretariat. The head of the Chancellery is also a Chancellor, there are six Chancellors in this system.

Ministry of Works (Gongbu, 工部): One of the Six Ministries of the Department of State Affairs (Shangshusheng, 尚書省). Handles architecture, artisans, agricultural technology, transportation and hydraulic engineering.

Nine Courts (Jiusi, 九寺): Agencies for special services like sacrifices, entertainment, national granaries and the imperial treasuries, mainly employed to maintain the private imperial affairs. The Nine Courts don’t hold any actual power, they work for the Department of State Affairs.

“The Regulation” – Okay…this is an interesting piece of info I cropped up when doing some research. (Note: Women in the Tang Dynasty have more privileges than the other dynasties in Chinese history, which is one of the main reasons I like the Tang Dynasty and am basing Yue off the Tang Dynasty.)

Anyhow, on to my main point. Apparently, to ensure the blood of the Emperor would pass on in the Tang Dynasty, the Emperor had to sleep with different women every day for every month, whether he wants to or not, as that is the harem regulation (he can choose to have the baby aborted or not though, I think—that is, if he knows there is a baby!) Since the Chinese calendar is based on the moon’s waxing and waning, the cycle is divided according to the moon’s waxing and waning (waxes for first half, wanes for latter half).

From the first through the fifteenth, he has to sleep with the lower-ranked concubines up to the highest rank (his wife, the empress). From the sixteenth through the end of the month, he has to sleep from highest rank to the lowest rank again (which means the empress only gets to have the emperor for two nights…lol). The worst time for the Emperor is at the nine days at end of the month, from the 22nd to the 30th—he has to sleep with the lowest ranked concubines, the Yuqis.

(Reminder of the rank system in order of rank:
• 1 Empress皇后
• 4 Madams四夫人 (1 Guifei (貴妃), 1 Shufei (淑妃), 1 Defei (德妃), 1 Xianfei (賢妃))
• 9 Imperial Concubines九嬪 (順儀、順容、順華、修儀、修容、修華、充儀、充容、充華)
27 Shifu (世婦)
• 9 Jieyu 婕妤
• 9 Beautiful Ladies 美人
• 9 Talented Ladies 才人
81 Yuqi (禦妻)
• 27 Baolin 寶林
• 27 Imperial Women御女
• 27 Cainu 采女)

Which means, he has to sleep with 9 women a night for 9 nights =”=! (He has to sleep with an average of two women a night to sift through the other 20 days for the other 40 women (empress excluded.)) But damn. 9 women a night, for 9 consecutive nights a month?! No wonder Lingyun tries to escape and no wonder Fengbo doesn’t know how to feel about Lingyun’s behavior, lol.

In other dynasties, women in the harem weren’t so lucky. A lot of them die virgin without ever having seen the emperor once. The Tang Dynasty is more considerate of women, lol. Poor Emperors though. No wonder they all die in their 40s.

From Chapter 24

Shichen (時辰): Two hours

From Chapter 27

Qiuyue Palace: 秋月殿 Okay…I just made this up. The Emperor’s personal inner palace is always named differently so I just thought of Autumn Moon Palace (which sounds stupid so I used the Chinese word for Autumn Moon). There are a lot of inner palaces where the Emperor can live, but he does have a main palace where he works and lives in

From Chapter 29.1

Time of Chou (丑時): 1am~3am

From Chapter 30

Winter Solstice Festival or the Dōngzhì Festival (冬至; “The Extreme of Winter”): (from wiki) one of the most important festivals celebrated by the Chinese and other East Asians during the Dongzhi solar term (winter solstice) on or around December 22 when sunshine is weakest and daylight shortest. People with the same surname or from the same clan to gather at their ancestral temples to worship on this day. There is always a grand reunion dinner following the sacrificial ceremony. In the Tang Dynasty, the Big Conference is held on Dongzhi and Chinese New Year (which is around Feb). Dongzhi is arguably as important as Chinese New Year in the past.

From Chapter 22.5

Taixue (太 學): One of the National Schools. In the Tang Dynasty, the Taixue took in kids of officials or nobles above the fifth rank, which adds up to approximately 500 students. Including Taixue, there are six national schools the Guozixue (國子學), which only accepts sons of officials/nobles of three ranks and above (100 students), the Taixue, the Simenxue (四門學) which accepts sons of 6~7th ranked officials and commoners (1000+ students), the Lu(律)/Shu(書)/Suan(算)xue accept sons of the 8~9th ranked officials and commoners, Lu being law, Shu being books (I can’t tell what Shu teaches), Suan being math.

From Chapter 37

A meal’s worth of time (一頓飯的時間): 30~40 minutes

Reminder: A teacup’s worth of time (一盞茶的時間): 5~10 minutes.

From Extra Story 2

Jiao (轎): Chinese Litter. Aka those wheel-less, human-power transport vehicles.

Wuguan (武館): Martial Arts training place. The Chinese don’t call their training places dojo, though they will refer to Japanese martial arts training places as dojo, or more specifically, daochang.

Xiao-___(name, or one component of the name like the ‘yun’ of Lingyun): Xiao3 (小)=little, it is a nickname that is sort of comparable to the Japanese honorific ‘-chan’, but it is more often only used for children. Also, the repetitive use of one component of the name like ‘yun’ of Lingyun is also commonly used with children nicknames.

Jiejie (姊姊): rough equivalent of the Japanese o-nee-chan.

Laughing Point (笑穴) : in Wuxia fics, there are many made-up acupressure points, Laughing Point being one of them, lol.
From Chapter 39

A Joss stick’s worth of time (一炷香的時間): 45~50 minutes

Reminder: Time of Chou (丑時): 1am~3am

From Chapter 45

Reminder: the Time of Mao is 5am~7am. In this case, 5 am.

From Chapter 46

Tangyuan (湯圓): rice dumplings that are consumed during Winter Solstice.

______-Di (弟): (younger) bro

Shaoye (少爺): Young Master…for lack of better word.

Nine Classics (九經): Confucian books that were tested during the Tang Dynasty- The Book of Poetry 詩經, The Book of Documents 書經/尚書, The Rites of Zhou 周禮, The Ceremonies and Rites 義禮, The Records of Rites 禮記, The Book of Changes 易經, The commentary of Zuo 春秋左傳, The commentary of Gongyang 春秋公羊傳, and The commentary of Guliang 春秋穀梁傳. Naturally, I can’t understand a word of those classics without reading massive notes explaining the ancient stuff. Worse, there was no widespread use of punctuation marks in Chinese until the 19th century, and how one reads the text makes a HUGE difference on the meaning, so there are often many ways to interpret some texts, which is annoying as hell. People have been trying to interpret these classics for…I don’t know, 2000 years? Well, at least we can study the philosophies of people from different times of history by studying the way they interpreted the text…

Son of the Heavens/Tianzi (天子): another way to refer to the Emperor.

From Chapter 47

Anqi (暗器): Those small projectile weapons, like throwing knives, needles, etc.

From Chapter 55

Gonggong (公公): honorifics for eunuchs in the past. Now it means grandpa, for some reason, but yeah…using this as an honorific


Any other questions that you find when you read? Ask me in your replies.

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