taikonaut
(TY.koh.nawt) n. A Chinese astronaut.

Example Citation:
The Chinese astronaut who streaked into orbit Wednesday and became an instant national hero is a diminutive fighter pilot with two decades of experience who has promised not to "disappoint the motherland."

Lt. Col. Yang Liwei, 38, a pilot for the People's Liberation Army air force since 1983, clambered into Shenzhou 5 with a tentative smile and a wave as technicians gently pushed down on his helmet so he wouldn't hit his head. ...

The identity of China's first "taikonaut" — after "taikong," the Chinese word for space — was kept closely guarded until the launch took place. ...

Chinese astronauts are known as "yuhangyuan," or "travelers of the universe." "Taikonaut" is their English nickname.
—Ted Anthony, "China's first astronaut," The Associated Press, October 15, 2003

Earliest Citation:
Wu and Li already have a moniker — taikonauts — that appears on a Web site run by a Chinese software engineer in Singapore named Chen Lan.

The term, Chen explains, comes from the Chinese word "taikong," which means space or cosmos.
—Paul Hoversten, "China looks to blast off into the Space Age elite," USA Today, June 28, 1999

Related Words:

Categories: