“Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?” asked by the evil queen.
Do you know the line above which the fairytale story is from? We bet you do! The classic fairy tales, such as Snow White, are read and enjoyed by many Chinese children as well. So, in this post, let us show you the Chinese names for some of the most famous fairy tale characters.
白雪公主 pinyin: bái xuě gōng zhǔ; Snow White
白 (White) + 雪 (snow) + 公 (public) + 主 (master) = Snow White (白雪公主)
According to the story, Snow White has skin as “white” (白) as “snow” (雪). The Chinese added “princess” (公主) after her name.
公主 originally referred to an emperor’s married daughter. Honorable (公) Chinese noble families hosted (主) weddings. In the Han Dynasty (206 BCE–220 CE), the term 公主 came to refer to any girl in the emperor’s family, married or unmarried.
美人魚/美人鱼 pinyin: měi rén yú; Mermaid
美 (Beautiful) + 人 (Person) + 魚 (Fish) = 美人魚 (Mermaid)
Are mermaids real? They are mythical creatures with the upper body of a “human” and the tail of a “fish.” But one thing we know for sure, they must be “beautiful!”
白馬王子/白马王子 pinyin: bái mǎ wáng zǐ; Prince Charming
白 (White) + 馬 (Horse) + 王 (King) + 子 (Son) = 白馬王子 (Prince Charming)
Chinese people call Prince Charming the “prince on a white horse.” Disney Princes always ride white horses. Charming indeed!
The term 白馬王子 is also used to refer to the idealized man some people dream of as a future spouse.
小仙子 pinyin: xiǎo xiān zǐ; Little fairy
小 (Small) + 仙 (Immortal) + 子 (Noun suffix) = 小仙子 (Little fairy)
小仙子 is a classic fairy tale character. In the story, those small creatures usually have butterfly-like wings on their back and a powerful wand that does magic!
小王子 pinyin: xiǎo wáng zǐ; Little prince
小 (Small) + 王 (King) + 子 (Son) = 小王子 (Little prince)
小王子 is also the Chinese title of the famous book “The Little Prince” (French: Le Petit Prince) which has captured the hearts of readers all over the world!
Finally, here are some more beloved fairy tale characters!
- Alice 愛麗絲/爱丽丝 (ài lì sī)
- Sleeping beauty 睡美人 (shuì měi rén)
- Peter Pan 彼得潘 (bǐ dé pān)
- Alibaba 阿里巴巴 (ā lǐ bā bā)
- Aladdin 阿拉丁 (ā lā dīng)
Have you known any of them? 😍