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> The poem is by the dauphin (crown prince), Li Xian (655-684) under Wu Zetian (624-705), the only female emperor in Chinese history.

I've only ever heard the word "dauphin" in the context of a French crown prince (starting with Charles V, when Philip VI gave him the Dauphiné region to rule while he was still the heir). Is the term used more universally?

I’ve heard it in at least one other context: to mean “inheritor” or anointed successor. Here is a quote from Gore Vidal:

‘I have been asked whether I wish to nominate a successor, an inheritor, a dauphin or delfino. I have decided to name Christopher Hitchens.'


I’ve seen other examples in this style. Maybe folks in comments can point out more.

It's generically used as a French term for 'heir apparent'

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