In any of the cultures, a sincere friendship means great value to people. Sometimes, a good friend is like our family member. As human being, develop and maintain friendship has been a very important part of our life. There are many types and levels of friendship: friend, good friend, best friend, childhood friend, girlfriend and boyfriend etc. In Chinese, there are also many different words to describe the friendship. In today’s post, we are going to share several words with you.
1. 朋友(Friend)：péng yǒu
“朋友” is a common word to describe friendship. It refers to people who have a relationship with each other. But the degree of the relationship is not reflected in the word. Friends can also refer to people in romantic relationships — boyfriends or girlfriends.
我们是多年的朋友了 We’ve been friends for years
我们是最要好的朋友 We are great friends
她向我们介绍了她的男朋友 She introduced her boyfriend to us
2. 好朋友 (Good friend)：hǎo péng yǒu
“好朋友” means a very close friend, the degree of relationship is much deeper than normal friends.
他是我的好朋友，我非常信赖他 He is my good friend, I trust him very much.
我计划和我的好朋友一起去旅行 I plan to go on a trip with my good friends
3. 哥们 (pals; dude; buddy): gē men /哥们儿：gē men ér
“哥们” is usually used in a friendly manner between men. It can be used to describe a very good friendship. It can also be used as a term between male friends who don’t know each other very well. If it’s between a man and a woman with good friendship, they also can call each other“哥们”. In spoken language, people often say“哥们儿”.
哥们儿，我有好几个月没见你了 Buddy,I haven’t seen you for months.
嗨，哥们儿，最近怎么样？ Hey, dude, what’s up?
4. 铁哥们 (Buddy): tiě gē men /老铁 (old fellow; buddy): lǎo tiě
“铁” means iron, “铁哥们” is used to describes solid, close, reliable, and trustworthy relationship between men. The word “老铁” is derived from the dialect “铁哥们”, is the short version of “铁哥们”. “老铁”now is more commonly seen in online communication.
这儿有我认识的两个铁哥们 There’s a couple of belt buckles I recognize
扎心了老铁 My heart’s broken, old fellow
5. 兄弟(brother)：xiōng dì
In addition to brothers who are related by blood, the word “兄弟” also refers to male friends who have a solid and really good relationship. It is often used to describe friends who have known each other for a long time and who have gone through ups and downs together.
I see him as a brother, but I am not even a friend in his eyes
Drink it if you see me as brother
6. 伙计(mate; guys; partner; dude; fellow; folks)：huǒ jì
“伙计” used to refer to employees, but now it generally refers to a cooperative person, such as partner. It also means “buddy” in northern China. In some places of the North, “伙计” is a term of endearment among male friends.
快点，伙计们，咱们走吧！ Come on, guys, let’s get going!
伙计们，你们做得很好。Well, guys, you have done a good job.
7. 闺密/闺蜜（girl friends；best friend; ladybros；bestie）：guī mì
In ancient times, “闺” meant the place where unmarried women lived. Nowadays, “闺密”refers to the very close friend between women, who understand and trust each other well and would not hesitate to share secrets. It also can be called as “闺蜜”.
My best friend and I have decided to have a wedding together
8. 发小（childhood friend）：fà xiǎo
“发小”means Childhood friend, it is a dialect vocabulary for people from Northern China. It refers to the friends, whose parents know each other, grew up together. Their friendship developed naturally. Normally, childhood friends know our past really well and also understand us at a deeper level than others. It is often used in spoken language.
He is my childhood friend, and I have known him for more than 20 years
I asked my childhood friend to be the best man at my wedding
9. 死党(best friend; sworn followers)：sǐ dǎng
The word “死” is not a pleasant word in Chinese, but in terms of a friendship, “死党” is someone who has a really, really good relationship. They are friends who are loyal to each other, who trust their friends unconditionally, and who will do anything for each other. The term can be used between both males and females.
He enjoyed drinking and talking with his best friends
I trust she told the truth, because she is my best friend.
10 .知己(confidant)：zhī jǐ
“知己” is used to describe friends who understand and appreciate each other really well. In Chinese, there is a saying of “It’s really easy to get thousands of money but hard to find a confidant”. Therefore, there is a very special and deep level of friendship between “知己”. It is more often used in written language, rarely used in spoken language between friends.
She opened up to me, and I became her confidante
I already have a handful of really wonderful friends
In Chinese, there are many ways to say “friend”. Some words like “伙计” and “哥们” are used more casually and could be used in more casual situations; while “朋友” or好朋友” sounds more formal. When we use it, we should choose the appropriate words according to how close we are and the circumstance. After reading this article, have you already got a clear idea of how to call your friends in Chinese?