- KangXi: page 118, character 25
- Dai Kanwa Jiten: character 1176
- Dae Jaweon: page 251, character 9
- Hanyu Da Zidian (first edition): volume 1, page 225, character 4
- Unihan data for U+5102
|alternative forms||人 Min|
𠆧 Min Dong
- “Person; I; me > suffix for pronouns” in southeastern varieties
Its senses of “person; human being” and “pronoun suffix” are well-attested in the classical literature, dating back to the Six Dynasties. At the present time, traces of this word are found in various Southern regions such as Fujian, Jiangxi and Zhejiang, in Wu, Min, Hui and Gan.
- “Person; human”
- In Coastal Min (Eastern, Southern and Puxian Min), it serves as the vernacular reading of 人 (, “person”), by itself or in compounds. It is also used in *njinJinqu Wu lects (also classified as Wuzhou Wu and Chuqu Wu), usually written as 農.
- 儂 was used to mean “I” in medieval poetry from the Wu region, before it was displaced by the more common 我 (, “I”). Also attested was Ancient Wu ŋɑX阿儂 (, “I”), which was abbreviated to ʔɑ nuoŋ阿 (“I”) in certain localities, such as that of Jinhua.
- “Pronoun suffix”
- This is widely found in Wu and Min languages. The structure ‹ singular pronoun (“I, you, he/she/it”) + 儂 › is common, with 儂 functioning either as a meaningless particle or a pluraliser. The resulting forms were thus used to mean singular or plural pronouns, and were rather prone to elision to become a single syllable. Compare the following plural pronouns in Min:
Original word Meaning Fuding
我儂 we ua neiŋ gua laŋ gun (阮) kuoŋ ~ kŋ (滾) 儂儂 we (inclusive) - laŋ laŋ lan (咱) - 汝儂 you (plural) ni neiŋ li laŋ lin (恁) tyøŋ (長) 伊儂 they i neiŋ i laŋ in (𪜶) yøŋ (𪜶)
- A similar chain of changes happened in the Wu varieties to arrive at the modern divergent dialectal forms for “you (singular)”.
爾儂 () ȵiᴇX nuoŋ Lect Term Northern Fenghua /n̩˧˨˦ noŋ/ 爾儂／尔侬 Yuyao /noŋ˩˩˧/ 儂／侬 Shanghai /noŋ˩˩˧/ 儂／侬 Ningbo /nəu˨˩˧/ 諾／诺 Changshu /nɛ̃˧˩/ 倷 Suzhou /ne̞˧˩/ 倷 Shengze /nə˧˩/ 倷 Jinqu Tangxi /ŋ˨˩˩ noŋ˩˨/ 爾儂／尔侬 Lanxi /ŋ˥˦˦ noŋ˦˧˧/ 爾儂／尔侬
- Some lects, such as Shanghainese, have merged the two syllables into one, leaving 儂／侬 to mean “you (singular)”.
With regard to the etymology of this word, Huang (1980), Norman (1983) and Zhou (1986) hypothesised that this is the same as 農 (, “farmer; peasant”). The use of this word as a pronoun may have originated as a form of personal deprecation and then come to be used as a full-fledged pronoun. *nuːŋPan and Chen (1995) disagree, proposing that nong was originally a Baiyue substrate word possibly of Kra-Dai origin, and possibly an original clan name later developing to mean “person; I”. Compare Zhuang Nungz (“a surname”) and name of the 11th century Zhuang leader Nong Zhigao, as well as the name of the Nùng people in Vietnam.
- (coastal Min, dialectal Wu) person; human being (Classifier: 隻／只 ; 個／个 )
- (coastal Min) a person associated with a particular identity or trait; -er
- (coastal Min) physical, psychological or moral quality or condition
- (coastal Min) others; other people
- (Wu, coastal Min) I; me
- (archaic or Wu) you (singular)
- (dialectal Wu) he, him; she, her; it
- (Min, Wu) Suffix for pronouns, functioning as a meaningless particle or a pluralising particle.
- a surname. Nong
- Archaic in Wu.
- In coastal Min (Min Dong nè̤ng; Hokkien lāng, lǎng, lâng; Hainanese nang2), it is often used affectionately like Mandarin 人家 (rénjia).
- (dialectal Cantonese) child
- (dialectal Cantonese) son
- (Leizhou Min) infant
- (Hainanese, polite, humble) Used as a first-person singular pronoun, especially used by someone in the younger generation.
- 儂是海南阿哥 老厝置瓊海丹嶺村 [Hainanese, trad.]
- From: 2019, 黃明志 (Namewee) ft. 林俊逸 (Sean Lin), 不到海南島 (Lovely Hainan Island)
- nong3 di5 hhai3 nam2 a1 go1, lao5 su4 ddu5 heng2 hhai3 ddan1 lia3 sui1 [Guangdong Romanization]
- I am Mr. Hainan, who came from Danling village in Qionghai country[sic – meaning county]
侬是海南阿哥 老厝置琼海丹岭村 [Hainanese, simp.]
- (Hainanese, endearing) A pronoun used by someone in the older generation to refer to someone in the younger generation.