Lan Zhan, do you still remember the promise we have made together?
A Fic Pet Peeve as a Chinese Person
MDZS fic writers, please stop changing Jiang YanLi’s name to “Jin YanLi” just cuz she got married to peacock golden boy. Even back in Old China, if you and your partner were (essentially) of equal status, you never change your family name to that of your spouse’s, even as a woman. The concept of “maiden names that are automatically changed upon marriage” isn’t really a thing. If a name change happens, it’s because an individual specifically chooses to take on the name formally (or forced to cuz of whatever nonsense reason). Still, it’s more common for name changes to happen by adoption rather than marriage.
In the case of Jiang YanLi marrying into the Jin Sect, her title is now (Young) Madam Jin, but her name is still Jiang YanLi. In her mother’s case, her name being Yu ZiYuan isn’t a big deal, it’s normal. It was the fact that she was referred to, as a title, as Madam Yu, despite being the Madam of the Jiang Sect, which suggested she took pride in her birth family roots over her marriage into the Jiang Sect. So, please, if you want to call her Jin YanLi please at least put in like one line of her wanting to take on the married name instead of her family name.
Anyways I just needed to get this off my chest ‘kay thanks bye
I second this!!! I think this last name thing is really non-intuitive to someone not used to the way Chinese titles work and how it’s recorded. And also the fact that for majority of Chinese history marriage was polygamous and so women’s last name were used to differentiate the wives of one husband.
(I think even the original MDZS text gets it wrong sometimes.)
(there’s also the variation that comes with different dynasties…but we won’t go there)
1. The Lady of the House
So “fu'ren” 夫人 is the equivalent of “Lady”, and (for the most part) this is ONLY used for the main wife of a man, the 妻 “Qi”. Therefore, Yu Ziyuan, the wife of Jiang Fengmian should be Lady Jiang or 江夫人 “jiang-fu'ren”. Sometimes to introduce the wife to someone who’s never met her, we can also include her last name in the introduction. For example, 这位是江夫人余氏。“This is Jiang fu’ren, of Yu-shi”.
The word “shi” 氏 means “clan”. It is considered sometimes to be impolite for a stranger to know the actual “name” of a woman if he is not her family or close assoicate. This rule is not followed in most wuxia stories and fictional works, but it is in history. So to track which family wives are from, their maiden last name is always kept. The “shi” of a woman is never changed after marriage because well…you can’t change which family you’re born in.
The story refers to Yu Ziyuan as Yu-fu’ren. This is literally a mistake. >_>
A married women may be referred by both the “shi” of her husband and her father. So in the case of Yu Ziyuan, in a legal document (if she was ever like…idk summoned in court or something) she will referred to as “Jiang-Yu shi”.
Now, for Jiang Yanli, because Jin Zixuan’s mother was still alive and the head of the family is Jin Guangshan at the time Zixuan and Yanli got married, technically Jin Zixuan’s mother is “Jin fu’ren”, and Yanli should be referred to as “shao fu’ren”. 少 “shao” means “younger”. So “Lady Jiang the younger” is essentially what that means, indicating that Jiang Yanli is the wife of the son of the family.
Addendum: In certain dynasty, the term “da niang-zi” 大娘子 is also used to describe the wife. In which case, her own maiden name would be used. So this might be why Yu Ziyuan is called Madam Yu. Because if she’d been born in let’s say the Song dynasty, she could be called 余大娘子 “yu-da’niang’zi”. Regardless of that, she should still be 江夫人 Jiang fu’ren.
2. The other non-wives and the use of last names
The above described in #1 is referring to the legal wife of a man. Even in polygamous China, every man only has 1 wife. The rest of the women he marries are not wives. The term used for them is 妾 “qie”. Because a man can have as many non-wives are he can afford (ugh), you have to differentiate them somehow. If the husband’s last name was Li, for example, it would be wrong to call the concubines “Li fu’ren”. Depending on the dynasty, terms like “xiao-niang” 小娘, “tai-tai” 太太 are used. So a concubine with the last name Cheng, married to a man with the last name Li, would be referred to as “Cheng-xiao’niang of the Li family.”
When in doubt, as in you see a man with a woman who is definitely his spouse but not sure if she’s wife or concubine, you should always assume the woman is the wife until corrected or told otherwise. So you may see a inn keeper refer to a concubine as “fu’ren” out of respect.
Sometimes, to show respect to a concubine, you can refer to them as “fu’ren” as well but with a number attached. For example if concubine Cheng was ranked number two in her husband’s household, she could be referred to as “Li-er-fu’ren” 李家二夫人 or just 二夫人 “er-fu’ren”, meaning she’s the second woman her husband married.
3. The term “fu’ren” used as “Mrs.”
The term “fu’ren” can be used generally to refer to any woman who is married. It would be impolite to refer to a woman as “gu’niang”, because “gu’niang” means Miss, an unmarried female. In a context where you don’t know who the woman’s husband is, or her rank in the family, a married woman should be addressed by strangers, workers, salesperson, doctors, as “fu’ren”.
And how do you know if a woman’s married? From her hair. A married woman’s hair should be dressed up in an updo. Low-dos are reserved for maidens. The fact that Jiang Yanli’s hair didn’t change pre and post marriage is historical inaccuracy.
But this is wuxia, a fantasy drama, so the rules are a bit lax.
4. Royal titles.
The above refers to nobles or commoners. Royals have their own set of titles and depending on the dynasty, that shit gets real complicated, so the titles of the wives of emperors and dukes and such we’re not gonna talk about because it’s irrelevant to CQL.
5. Wei Wuxian. A placement that may surprise some, as there was intense debate on our judges panel whether he qualified as having himbo energy or disaster bi energy. Let’s look at the evidence; (1) paints beautiful detailed portrait of Lan Wangji as a gift, doesn’t realize he is in love with Lan Wangji for almost 20 years (2) a civil conversation or two might have solved a lot of his problems in the wake of the Sunshot Campaign, but it’s so much sexier when he shouts about how he can kill anyone and then storms off with his Versace midnight black robes billowing behind him, so Wei Wuxian went for the latter. 7/10
4. Nie Mingjue. Surprise contender Nie Mingjue coming in strong at 4th place. He’s got a big fucking sword and swears a sacred brotherhood pact with shifty Jin Guangyao because Lan Xichen batted his eyelashes and asked him nicely. He knew better and he did it anyway, that kind of commitment to the himbo cause is what our judges like to see. 7.5/10
3. Drunk Lan Wangji. Sober Lan Wangji is the pinnacle of grace, poised, righteous and intelligent, number 2 of his generation of cultivators. But Lan Wangji takes one sip of alcohol and the himbo jumps right out. Drunk Lan Wangji makes his crush chase after him, steals him two chickens, then pouts and uses the puppy dog eyes when Wei Wuxian seems exasperated. Strong chaotic himbo vibes, shitty alcohol tolerance. 8/10
2. Jin Zixuan. Gucci hoe, if it isn’t 24k gold it doesn’t get within 4 miles of him (it’s not his fault he’s allergic to tackiness okay??). Ignorant of what an angel Jiang Yanli was for years but the minute he realizes that himbo is getting his mom to invite his crush over and gets knee deep in mud planting lotus flowers for her. He has rich bitch himbo energy that is unparalleled by anyone else on this list though he does wise up after getting married. 9/10
1. Lan Xichen. Hot af, kindhearted, understanding, he’s number 1 in the rankings of young cultivators and also the Untamed’s Biggest Himbo. He always means well, truly representing the harmless nature of the himbo and that is what gets him the top spot in the Untamed Himbo Rankings. Willing to swear a brotherhood pact with 2 men who hate each other because he fancies them both and acquiesces to labour camps and minor war crimes after pretty boy Jin Guangyao smiles at him one (1) time. 12/10
@mylastbraincql xuanwu cave shenanigans
drunk lan zhan should have sworn at least once
presented without comment
@ling-wens why would you hide this absolute treasure in the tags
for several people
if you could have lwj say fuck once in the entire duration of mdzs/cql where would you put it
i personally think “you fucking told me yourself” would be pretty funny