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Tough girl” VS “Girly girl” in Chinese


Many people tend to assume that "tomboy" in English and "女汉子 (nǚ hàn zi)" in Chinese are similar in their meanings. "A girl considered boyish or masculine in behavior or manner" means "男人婆 (nán rén pó)" or "假小子 (jiǎ xiǎo zi)" in Chinese.

很多人都认为英文中的"tomboy"和中文里的"女汉子"的表达接近,"A girl considered boyish or masculine in behavior or manner"即"男人婆、假小子"的意思。


In general, we take "女汉子 (nǚ hàn zi)" in Chinese as the girl who is bold, open, frank, showing her true nature. This kind of girl can be regarded as the "tough girl", or more appropriately, the "cowgirl". Imaging those cowgirls in the movies riding horses across the wilderness makes you feel they are rather "女汉子".

其实中文里所说的"女汉子",就是网上流传的"胆大真性情,开朗直爽"的女孩。这类姑娘可以用tough girl来表示,要是还想再贴切一点,也可以用cowgirl一词来表达。想想电影里的女牛仔骑着骏马在西部原野上驰骋,还真有些"女汉子"的味道呢! 


Apart from "女汉子", there are respective Chinese titles for other different types of girls. For example, "girly girl" means "软妹子 (ruǎn mèi zi)" in Chinese; actually meaning "softies". "Fashionista" refers to "时尚御姐 (shí shàng yù jiě)" in Chinese, and last but not least, "脑残女 (nǎo cán nǚ)" – "Valley girl" in Chinese, The last one is quite derogatory, the literal meaning is "brain dead girl".

除了"女汉子",其他类型的女生也有各自的中文称谓,如"软妹子"就可以说成是"girly girl"、时尚御姐则是"fashionista", 还有一种是"valley girl"—脑残女。


We can distinguish the four types by their ways of responding when they get together:



Seeing a handsome guy:



Girly girl: OMG! He's so handsome!



Valley girl: Wow, like I haven't seen such a handsome guy for, like, a million years!



Fashionista: Is that a Prada suit he’s wearing?



Tough girl: That dude looks freaking awesome! Dibs!



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