Word of the week: nán rén wèi
If you think of Bruce Lee, chairman Mao and the NBA player Yao Ming you will probably have the impression that Chinese nán rén are fairly manly.
nán means male and rén means person, so if you put the two together you will figure out that nán rén (male person) means “man”.
We can also say that Bruce Lee certainly wasn’t lacking in nán rén wèi. wèi means “flavour” but if we say someone has nán rén wèi it simply means they have “a manly flavour” (they are manly)
Of course, some women also have nán rén wèi. Chinese singer and model Li Yuchun is considered by many to have nán rén wèi due to the fact that she, along with a large proportion of China’s female weight lifters, looks a bit masculine.
If nǚ rén (women) can have nán rén wèi then it is just as possible for nán rén to have nǚ rén wèi. If you know any Chinese guys who are a bit feminine, either in appearance or the way they act, you can say they have nǚ rén wèi.