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May

China méi
May Vertical Wall Scroll

梅 is a common transliteration to Mandarin Chinese for the name May.

梅 actually means "plum blossom." 梅 is a common name for girls in China.

May

Japan mei
May Vertical Wall Scroll

メイ is the name May written in Katakana (phonetic Japanese).


Note: Because this title is entirely Japanese Katakana , it should be written by a Japanese calligrapher.

The Month of May

Fifth Month
China wǔ yuè
Japan satsuki / go gatsu
The Month of May Vertical Wall Scroll

五月 is the month of May in Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja.

This was originally the fifth month of the Chinese lunar year, now used for the fifth month of the Gregorian calendar (also known as the Western or Christian calendar). 五月 literally mean "fifth month" or "fifth moon."


Note: Sometimes Japanese parents will use this as a female given name, and use "Mei" (the sound of May in English) as the pronunciation.

Beauty / Beautiful / Handsome

China měi
Japan bi
Beauty / Beautiful / Handsome Vertical Wall Scroll

美 is often used to describe the beauty of a woman. However, when applied to a man, it can mean handsome. It's also the first character in the word for "beauty salon" which you will see all over China and Japan.

This can be used as the given name for a girl (spell it or say it as "Mei" or "May").

For a bit of trivia: The title for the "USA" in Chinese is "Mei Guo" which literally means "Beautiful Country." This name was bestowed at a time before Chairman Mao came to power and decided that China didn't like the USA anymore (even though we fought together against the Japanese in WWII). But these days, Chinese people love Americans (but have distaste for American politics and policy). But I digress...

美 is also how "Beautiful" is written in Japanese Kanji and Korean Hanja. 美 can also mean: very satisfactory; good; to be pleased with oneself; abbreviation for the USA; fine; handsome; admirable; madhura; sweet; pleasant.


See Also:  Beautiful Woman | Beautiful Girl




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The following table may be helpful for those studying Chinese or Japanese...

Title CharactersRomaji(Romanized Japanese)Various forms of Romanized Chinese
Mayméi / mei2 / mei
Mayメイmei
The Month of May五月satsuki / go gatsu
satsuki / gogatsu
wǔ yuè / wu3 yue4 / wu yue / wuyuewu yüeh / wuyüeh
Beauty
Beautiful
Handsome
biměi / mei3 / mei
In some entries above you will see that characters have different versions above and below a line.
In these cases, the characters above the line are Traditional Chinese, while the ones below are Simplified Chinese.