from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A person who travels in space for the Chinese space program; a Chinese astronaut.
The term was coined on 19 May 1998 by Chiew Lee Yih (Mandarin: 趙裡昱 (trad.) / 赵里昱 (simpl.) Zhào Lǐyù) from Malaysia, who used it first in newsgroups. Almost simultaneously, Chen Lan coined it for use in the Western media based on Mandarin (太空 tàikōng), space. (Source: Mail & Guardian) This follows the pattern established by the terms astronaut and cosmonaut (which share the -naut suffix) for having different terms for space workers denoting country of origin. (Wiktionary)