Manly or Not, It’s Better to Have That Special “Smell!”

Generally, “味(wèi)” means “smell, flavor or taste,” like a flower’s fragrance, a stink, sourness and so on.

But what is “男人味(nánrénwèi),” and “女人味(nǚrénwèi)?” If we take the two words literally, it means “a man’s smell” and “a woman’s smell.” But the terms actually do not refer to something that we can smell or taste. The terms refer to the particular temperament of a man or a woman. “男人味(nánrénwèi)” is a noun meaning “masculinity.” Brave, open-minded, mature and experienced are the prominent qualities of “男人味(nánrénwèi).” “女人味(nǚrénwèi)” is also a noun meaning “femininity.” Gentle, thoughtful, decent are the prominent features of “女人味(nǚrénwèi).”

The two words can be combined with the word “有(yǒu), to have,” thus allowing the words to be used as adjectives, “有男人味(yǒu nánrénwèi)” and “有女人味(yǒu nǚrénwèi).”

If a man has or “有男人味(yǒu nánrénwèi),” it implies that he is manly, cool and masculine.


Nà bù diànyǐnɡ de nánzhǔjué hěn yǒu nánrénwèi.
那  部 电影        的 男主角       很    有   男人味。

The actor of that movie is very manly. 

Tā yuèláiyuè yǒu nánrénwèi le.
他  越来越      有   男人味      了。

He is so masculine.

Similarly, if a woman can be said to be “有女人味(yǒu nǚrénwèi),” it implies that the woman is womanly, feminine and gentle.


Tā shénme shíhou biànde yǒu nǚrénwèi le?
她  什么       时候    变得     有    女人味    了?

When did she become so feminine?

Tā méiyǒu yìdiǎn nǚrénwèi.
她  没有      一点   女人味。

She is not womanly at all.

“男人(nánrén), man” and “女人(nǚrén), woman” are commonly used as nouns, but they can also be used as adjectives to mean a human has either a masculine or feminine temperament. Also, it can refer to a thing that possesses a masculine or feminine temperament. Generally we add adverbs of degree like “很(hěn)/非常(fēichánɡ), very,” “太(tài), too,” etc. in front of them to emphasize the degree to which these qualities are displayed.


Tā yìzhí dōu juéde zìjǐ hěn nánrén.
他  一直  都   觉得  自己 很  男人。

He thinks of himself as very masculine.

Nǐ chuān zhètiáo qúnzi kànqǐlái hěn nǚrén.
你 穿       这条     裙子   看起来  很    女人。

You look very feminine in this dress.


1. What does “女人味(nǚrénwèi)” mean?

A. women’s smell

B. feminine

C. masculine

2. Tom is very brave and mature, so we can say___.

A. 他有男人味。(Tā yǒu nánrénwèi.)

B. 他男人味。(Tā nánrénwèi.)

C. 他男人。(Tā nánrén.)

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