Thanksgiving Vocabulary

Are you ready for Thanksgiving? Thanksgiving is the time all the family will get together. It is similar to the Chinese New Year. Thanksgiving is an important holiday among all the western holidays. Learning Thanksgiving vocabulary in Chinese may impress your family and friends!

Two fun facts! First, do you know the words “turkey” and “chicken” in Chinese are similar? “Chicken” in Chinese is “鸡 jī.” “Turkey” in Chinese is “火鸡 huǒ jī,” which literally means “fire chicken!”

Second, if you have Chinese pinyin keyboard on your iPhone or Mac, try to type those letters in pinyin





and see what emojis you get!

 huoji turkey

mianbao bread

tang soup

pingguo apple

Yes! Those are the food you probably often see in Thanksgiving meal.

Now let’s take a look the vocabulary list below,

Thanksgiving Vocabulary List

We list 15+ vocabulary you must know for Thanksgiving, which is one of the biggest holidays in the US, including

  • 感恩节 gǎn ēn jié Thanksgiving, (感恩 gǎn’ēn means being grateful, thankful. 节 jié means holiday or festival.)
  • 十一月 第四个 星期四 shíyī yuè dì sì gè xīngqísì The fourth Thursday, November, (Remember that when talking about time in Chinese, it always goes from bigger time range word to smaller time range word. So the correct order in Chinese is November, then the fourth Thursday.)
  • 主餐  zhǔ cān Main meal, 
  • 烤火鸡 kǎo huǒjī Roast turkey, (烤 kǎo means to roast)
  • 火鸡 huǒ jī Turkey,
  • 配菜 pèi cài Side dish,
  • 面包 miànbāo Bread,
  • 四季豆  sìjì dòu Green beans,
  • 汤 tāng Soup, 
  • 土豆 tǔdòu Potato / 馬鈴薯 mǎ líng shǔ (In China, the word for potato is 土豆 tǔdòu. In Taiwan, it is called 馬鈴薯 mǎ líng shǔ.)
  • 酱 jiàng Sauce,
  • 饮料 yǐnliào Drink,
  • 酒 jiǔ Liqueur, wine, alcohol,
  • 甜点  tiándiǎn Dessert,
  • 派 pài Pie,
  • 南瓜派 nánguā pài Pumpkin pie,
  • 苹果 píngguǒ pài Apple pie.

Thanksgiving Meal - Simplified Chinese Version Infographic

Thanksgiving vocabulary

Thanksgiving Meal - Traditional Chinese Version Infographic

Thanksgiving vocabulary Traditional

Other Thanksgiving Related Events

  • 赦免火鸡
shèmiǎn huǒ jī, 
Turkey pardoning:

    Turkeys have been sent to U.S. presidents as gifts from around 1870s. The official National Thanksgiving Turkey Presentation started in 1947.

    The turkey “pardoning” tradition seen today formally began in 1989, under former President George H.W. Bush. “But let me assure you, and this fine tom turkey, that he will not end up on anyone’s dinner table,” Bush said in 1989, addressing nearby animal rights activists and the year’s presidential turkey. “Not this guy – he’s granted a presidential pardon as of right now.” (www.usatoday.com)

  • 梅西感恩节大游行
Méi xī gǎn ēn jié dà yóuxíng
Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade: The annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City, the world’s largest parade, is presented by the U.S. based department store chain Macy’s. The parade started in 1924 (Wikipedia)
  • 黑色星期五
hēisè xīngqíwǔ
Black Friday
: Black Friday is an informal name for the Friday following Thanksgiving Day in the United States, which is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November. The day after Thanksgiving has been regarded as the beginning of the United States Christmas shopping season since 1952. The term “Black Friday” did not become widely used until more recent decades, during which time global retailers have adopted the term and date to market their own holiday sales. (Wikipedia)
  • 网路星期一
wǎng lù xīngqí yī
Cyber Monday: Cyber Monday also known as Blue Monday is a marketing term for the Monday after the Thanksgiving holiday in the United States. It was created by retailers to encourage people to shop online. (Wikipedia)

Other Thanksgiving Related Events - Simplified Chinese Version Infographic

Other Thanksgiving Related Events - Traditional Chinese Version Infographic


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