So what is your name given to you by your parents? I remember when my first son is borned, my mother-in-law visited me in hospital and when she first saw my son's handsome face , without much consideration she named her Yih Chun (毅 俊) and for my second son he is very active as a new born so he is named (毅 捷), the last character means fast and triumphant with success.


When a baby is born, parents often give him or her a "milk name" or "little name," such as Little Gem (小寶/ 小宝) or two characters that repeat (明明). But now we used to call the little ones as 'boy-boy' or 'girl-girl' and my husband still call my son#2 'baby ' eventhough he is now 21 years old!!

In Chinese name, almost any character with any meaning can be used. However, it is not considered appropriate to name a child after a famous figure as opposed to other race... I remember at one time there is a big boost in names like Osama, Yasser among my students. Sorry to say I haven't have any student named "Bush: yet though I do have a student named "Dick Cheney"

In Chinese names, names resonant of qualities which are perceived to be either masculine or feminine are frequently given. With males' names being linked with strength and firmness, and females' names with beauty and flowers. Females sometimes have names like Xiuxiu (秀秀) or Lili (麗麗, 丽丽). In males, names like 强 强(strong) and 雄 雄( hero)


Chinese personal names also may also reflect periods of history. For example, many Chinese have names such as strong country (強國, 强国) or eastern wind (東風, 东风).
People from the rural areas may have "rural" names like large ox (大牛) and big pillar (大柱) or even small pig (小猪 )
.

Many decades ago, when a family keeps giving birth to baby girls repeatedly, the parents may name her "comes a little brother" (來弟), "invites a little brother" (招弟) or "hopes for a little brother" (盼弟). Some other female names of this sort includes: 望弟 (hopes for a little brother), 牽弟 (brings along a little brother), 帶弟 (brings a little brother), 引弟 (attracts or leads along a little brother), 領弟 (receives a little brother), and even 也好 !!(it's all right too, to have a girl first then a boy later).

These names really show the sexism or male chauvinism in the older Chinese society where having a boy (who can inherit the family name and continue the family line, which is an honour to the ancestors) is better than having a girl ( who can only be other family's daughter-in-law to carry on other's family name).

Luckily my son#2 is not named Tai Mei(带 妹) by my MIL!!!


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2 comments:

    Helen said...

    Nowadays you can't find names like these anymore. It is now cool to have those Chinese names with those Mandarin pinyin translation.

    No more simple names. Back in my days, every girl is a Ling and Ying. Now? Way sophisticated. lol

  1. ... on 2:03 PM  
  2. X'tina said...

    Helen,
    I think it is because more and more chinese parents are not chinese-educated. Sad to say some of them don't even know the chinese characters, hence they are using the hanyu pinyin for their children's chinese names.

  3. ... on 5:31 PM