8

闺蜜 in Chinese means two girls have very good relationship, and much closer than normal good friends but they are not lesbians.

闺: boudoir

蜜: connotes honey;

闺蜜 could be short for 闺中密友, which literally means the intimate friend in a woman’s bedroom or private sitting room.

The best I can get are terms like besties, intimate relationship. Besties seems like best friends, which can be used for both men and women. Well, 闺蜜 is women only. Intimate relationship seems to connote a romantic relationship like lesbians.

Any other suggestions?

  • 1
    Perhaps you could illustrate your question with a sentence, using "besties" for example. – James K Jun 3 '18 at 10:55
  • @JamesK the sentence could be very simple. *she's my bestie. * anyways, I think I have gotten enough of it. Thanks to all. – dan Jun 3 '18 at 12:37
  • @dan: The point isn't to find the shortest correct sentence, but to pick one that describes the usage you're after. E.g. compare (a) "Tom and John were born from the same egg. They are twins." to (b) "Tom is a twin". (a) is an illlustrative sentence. (b) is not. – Flater Jun 4 '18 at 6:28
10

You may be getting hung up on it having to be specifically female. Some of these terms might not be explictly female (indeed the chinese term isn't explitly female either) but would generally be applied to women.

Bestie (sounds like school-girl slang, or young women)

Best friend (could be male or female, but "she is my best friend" works. This is by far the simplest solution)

Bosom buddy/friend (this used to be applied to both men and women, but now seems to be almost entirely female)

Girlfriend, (when used by a woman of another woman can just mean "friend who is a girl, especially in US English)

Cater cousin (old-fashioned and rather rare)

Sometimes it is better to describe rather than translate:

She was more than a good friend; we did everything together.

If I had to go for one compound, I'd use "bosom friend".

  • What about ladybro? – dan Jun 3 '18 at 9:58
  • 10
    what about it? Its a fairly ugly word, recently coined. I didn't suggest womance for the same reason. – James K Jun 3 '18 at 10:49
  • About the "ladybro", Chinese-English dictionary always gives a lot of words, haha. I also find, confidante – Zhang Jun 4 '18 at 2:10
9

The closest I can think of is to say they get along

like sisters.

This would suggest that the relationship is closer than friends, but decidedly not sexual. Although obviously sisters don't always get along, I would only use this for women who do get along and feel comfortable around each other.

6

The term soulmate is one that can be used for both men and women and yet its meaning ranges from close sexual relationship to best friends. Here's how Wikipedia defines it:

A soulmate is a person with whom one has a feeling of deep or natural affinity. This may involve similarity, love, romance, comfort, intimacy, sexuality, sexual activity, spirituality, compatibility and trust.

Example:

Susan and Betty were real soulmates. They shared all their intimate secrets with each other.


Another good word would be confidante, but this one only applies to a single woman and not a pair of women. Although they were each other's confidantes could make sense in certain situations, this is not how it's usually used. Depending on the context, you might find it useful too. Here's its definition:

Someone's confidante is a woman who they are able to discuss their private problems with.

Example:

You are her closest friend and confidante.

  • 3
    I have never in my life heard the word soulmate used in a non-romantic sense (I'm in the UK). Wikipedia seems to agree that it usually means romantic. Certainly that would be the assumption if one were told that two people were soulmates, and it would require further clarification to get across that it is a friendship. – JBentley Jun 3 '18 at 23:13
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    I found confidante is a very good word for this sense. Is confidante a female version of confidant? Are they pronounced the same with/without e? Is the person who has a confidante necessarily a woman? Or both men and women could have a confidante? Thanks! – dan Jun 4 '18 at 0:40
  • 1
    @dan Yes, in English they're pronounced the same way: forvo.com/word/confidante/#en It's a word that originally comes from French where it's common for nouns that represent types of people and professions to have one version for men and another version for women. So, yes, confidante is the female version of confidante. I'd say a woman as well as a man can have a confidante. See additional examples at the bottom of the page I linked you to in my answer. It's not a super daily word, though. – Michael Rybkin Jun 4 '18 at 0:59
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    @MichaelRybkin I misunderstood a single woman as a woman who is single, unmarried.:) – dan Jun 4 '18 at 3:06
  • 1
    @dan I'd say without additional context that makes it clear what exactly it is that you're talking about, a single woman probably means a woman who is not married. – Michael Rybkin Jun 4 '18 at 3:21

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