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Traditionally, when there were three or four generations used to live in the same compound, when there are tens or possibly more than a hundred people that one needs to recognise and address correctly, only a hierarchical system could avoid the confusion.
First of all it is extremely rude to address oneís elder by his or her name.
A whole range of vocabulary exists to precisely identify an uncle, as shown in the following table.
It is not uncommon that a traditional ethnic Chinese does not know his uncle or auntís real name.
Terms used for the uncles are as follows:
Elder brother of your father [bo bo]
Younger brother of your father [shu shu]
Brother of your mother [jiu fu]
Husband of a mother's sister [yi zhang]
Husband of a father's sister [gu zhang]
Hence your third [shu] should be the third amongst your fatherís brothers, younger than your father.
Your second [guzhang] would be the husband of the second sister of your father.
The list for aunts are as follows:
Sister of your father [gu]
Sister of your mother [yi]
Wife of your fatherís elder brother [bo bo] [bo mu]
Wife of your fatherís younger brother [shu shu]
Wife of the your motherís brother [jiu fu] [jiu mu]
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