arkLinden O'Meara, Author of Let Go, Heal, Be Happy
Thegoogle translation is “Miss Sister” but that does not convey the meaning. Forexample, ‘Didi’ or ‘little brother’ is slang for penis… but only in context…but you get where I’m going with this…. ‘sister’ in some regions is slang forthe womb.
SoMiss Sister was, and I emphasize WAS…. slang in China changes over time…. acompliment to a girl… to say she is cute, perhaps hot… it was possibly a termof endearment, but not any more.
Anotherexample is ‘Xiao Jie’… which means little sister or girl. When calling over afemale server people used to shout “xiao jie! Xiao Jie!” but no longer do thatand it would now be considered quite rude as Xiao jie now means prostitute. Thenew term is fuwuyuen.
So asa joke I posted a comment on my wife’s Wechat when she posted a very nice picture of her self. Icommented “小姐姐 “ and waited…and shereplied “Who isteaching you this stuff?” Sheexplained that it used to be a compliment, but now is not a nice term…so be careful using it. I am lucky that my wife has afantastic sense of humor and laughs off these things…
KristianYang, works at Guancha Syndicate
小姐姐is an affectionateterms for young, fair lady who has no blood relation to the speaker. 小姐姐 usually is slightly older than you, but most likely in late teensto early 30s, depending on how young she looks. But you can also use the termeven if she’s in factjunior to your age, especially when you try to make an informal impression thatyou treat her amiably but with respect (in China seniority confers respect ).
Sobasically it means Miss, or 小姐, but 小姐 used to mean “whore” (since circa 12 th century), but later on it became a titlereserved for daughters of well-to-do families(Miss), and nowadays it goes backto its original meaning except on very formal occassions.
Therelectance to call a young woman 小姐 isprobably the biggest reason behind the emergence of ther new term “小姐姐”。yeah, I agree, 小小姐 soundslike “little whore”, and that sucks.
YulinSHI, A Chinese Game Scenario Writer
Interestingquestion. I will make an extension on this topic and if you get bored, justlook at the last paragraph.
Thatis a quite subtle usage in modern mandarin. Traditionally such kind of usage isinappropriate, because it has an intrinsic conceptual paradox that “小” means “young,little” and “姐姐” means “older sister”. However this phrase has become quite popular, which to some extentreveals a complex and amazing east-Asian cultural background.
Imaginea Chinese young man, by some occasion, for example on Weibo, or BBS, or just inreality world, should refer to a young women(who is in the same generation, notnecessarily older than him), and maybe he is not so familiar/unfriendly to her,that he could directly use her name. Then what would be the title for her then?
Traditionally,he could call her “小姐”, whichliterally means young girl from a respectable family. However this phrase has amuch popular meaning of “prostitute” (and more terribly often means that of lower class), and shall nolonger be used.
“姑娘”/“小姑娘” or “女孩”/“女孩子”（“girl”）could beanother possible usage, but lack of respect in Chinese culture, also a bit ofalienation. Interestingly, I noticed that nowadays when refer to a girl, youngfemale tend to use “姑娘” more,while young male tend to use “女孩子” moreoften, though there is no clear rule or explanation for this. I am not sure ifthis conclusion is correct. Also, the second phrase usually could not be usedsecond personally, I mean face to face.
“女士” (lady) is a veryformal usage in Chinese, showing great respect. However I think this phrase isnot commonly used in daily life, neither could it show a good will of amity.For the similar reason, “先生”(gentleman)should almost never be used to call a young female, although Chinese do usethis word, in very rare occasions, to call a female(usually an old femaleintellectual) showing highest respect, for example “冰心先生”/“杨绛先生”.
“姐”/“姐姐”/“大姐姐” (“older sister”) could alsobe used, but only refer to a lady who is really older than you. The first oneis usually put after the family name of this female. This combination is widelyused among the mid-ages generation in work space, usually showing respect tothose elder women with senior experience. But a young female might take it asslight offense, because it indicates an old age. “姐姐” is usually used among family members, you could call a young lady “姐姐” if you are her younger brother/sister. Therefore, this word has anintimate and private feature, if you use “姐姐” to call an unrelated young lady, actually you are trying to breakthe normal relationship barrier, even a euphemistic indication of love. It is asubtle nature of Chinese culture, just like “how beautiful the moonlight is” in Japanese. “大姐姐” isoften used by young children, to call a much older girl, but generally still inhis generation. For example a 8-year-old boy calling a 16-year-old girl “大姐姐” is a proper use, but when it turns to a 30-year-old lady, he mightmore possibly call her “阿姨”(“Aunt”). If ayoung adult/teenager use this phrase, people may think that he is “pretending to be very young”(“装嫩”). But,it is worth mentioning that in many Chinese porn products, the young lady mightcall herself “大姐姐”,perhaps trying to satisfy the Oedipus complex of some male population.
Sofinally it comes to “小姐姐”, it isa production of modern Chinese internet background, widely accepted by thoseyoung Chinese. However under such kind of “cool and fashion” culturalevent, the traditional Chinese culture, deep rooted in the soul of every nativeperson, effects. It is a semantic mosaic from compromise, or so called “中庸” in old Chinese philosophy. Showing respect, but not indicating anold age, thus suitable for a wide range of age; not so alienated, not sointimate, thus suitable for either close friends or unfamiliar people; avoid tobe so formal, avoid to be so frivolous, thus suitable for a variety ofoccasions.
Nowthat it is a mosaic concept, deeply dependent on Chinese cultural background,it could be very hard to make a translation. However I would prefer to use“young fair lady” as a translation, and in the case of face to faceconversation, just translate it into “Miss” then.
由于这是个拼凑的概念，非常依赖于中国文化背景，所以很难翻译成英文。然而，我认为应该可以翻译成“young fair lady”（年轻淑女），如果是面对面交流，就翻译成“Miss”吧。
LittleQiang, B.S Failure & Failure, Failure (2020)
First,please, let me introduce why “小姐姐” willbecome more and more popular in China.
InChina, if you see some young women and you want to say hello to her. there aremany choices, such as “姐姐”(It willmake her feel you are rude) 、“小姐” (Itimply she is a prostitute)、“大姐”(It willmake her feel you are saying she is old women)、“大姐姐”(It will make her feel disgusting). But“小姐姐” is a neutral words even make her feel she is cute. so that’s a good word to say hello to young women who you never see beforein China.
Last,If you want to say “小姐姐” inEnglish, I think the following form will be good .
“ little + adj + girl” , you can use cute , lovely or any positive word you want.
最后，如果你想用英文表达小姐姐这个词的话，你可以这样用：“ little + adj + girl ”，中间的形容词可以是cute, lovely或者其他积极的词。
Thisis my first answer in Quora,I feel a little nervous, please forgive me somegrammatical errors,I will try my best to tell my mind.
Maybesome people know,this word was originally caused by an animation.The name ofanimation is called “LoveLive !”.It is talk about school idol.
Thisis a Japaness animaton–“LoveLive !”
But in2017,“小姐姐”not only use inthis animation,but also using all of girls.This word is using to describe somebeautiful girls or have a good relationship with your female friend.So,it iseasy to see,this word was start just from a small group,but through theInternet, this word is used very common.
HydrogenJi, worked at Banks
Actually,the derivation of “小姐姐” is fromJapanese ACG(anmie ,comic and game ).
InChina , lots of juvenile love Japanese ACG,and if one of the works appears afavorite heroine, the lovers especially the boys will call her “小姐姐”,and these lovers have great influence on the Internet, it spreadsto the real world at last when a person likes a beautiful and impressive girlnot just in the virtual world but also the real world, he or she can call her “小姐姐” .
So ifyou want to translate it into english,you shall contact its background,and theword should be gentle and contain love,it’s a hard job.
sorryfor my poor english.