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Chinese names

In English, names tend to have associations that make us think of class, personality, etc.

For example, names like William or Charles can be associated with wealth or even snobbery. Whereas a name like Candy could be seen by some as sounding ditzy. Some names can even sound very innocent, or powerful.

What type of name is 茉莉?

Aug 17, 2016 5:16 PM
Comments · 11

If I'm not mistaken, Chinese surnames are named after the great ancient clans. Given names are picked to give the child good fortune, and are linked to luck, success, beauty, etc. etc. There are fewer surnames in Chinese than in English, but far, far more given names.

Given names in English don't have meanings today. They did a long time ago, for example "Gregory" comes from a very old Greek word for "Watchful/Alert". However modern English-speakers would never associate the name Gregory with watchful/alert, they don't even know these ancient meanings.

Therefore I strongly advise Chinese against picking a "meaningful" English name, as you would in Chinese. To English-speakers, such a name can sound as awkward as 王自由 or 李高兴 would sound to you!

Note: some girls' names in English are words, but sound totally fine. Pearl, Dawn, Melody and Sky are a few examples. As the OP mentioned, "Candy", "Coco", "Lulu", etc. are not names we take seriously, so do pick carefully.

For boys, you can pick an English male names that sounds like your surnames, eg. Lee (李), Joe (赵,周,卓), John (张), Leo (刘). Note that often long and short forms exist (William/Will; Joseph/Joe)

Overall, I think the best way to pick a name is to either check with an English-speaker or name yourself after a famous person you admire. Just don't get too creative, my Chinese friends! ;-)

August 18, 2016

Very nice to know that, thank you mollie.

茉莉,actually means a kind of flower in China. But nowadays most Chinese  won't be named after any flower, or people may think he or she is hidebound or maybe from some very underdeveloped areas. However, 茉莉 diverges a bit from others as it reminds me of a very famous and elegant song , named 茉莉花.  Also the characters  of 茉莉 are not so much cliche thing or two a penny as kind of decent or other way around. So I personally it's find, however May be better to plus a surname before it to make it more Chinese.

Just some personal view about names. (:

August 17, 2016

茉莉 is a flower name of jasmine in Chinese. In China, we always call others the full name with last name in front and given name followed. 茉 is not a last name in China, however, 莫 ,the homophone of 茉, is a common Chinese last name. I think maybe you can name yourself  莉.

September 20, 2016

Some girls mayb used this flower name 茉莉 as their name。

茉莉in China is a kind of beautiful flowers。

September 21, 2016

(Deleting my posting, it's irrelevant).

September 20, 2016
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Language Skills
Chinese (Mandarin), English
Learning Language
Chinese (Mandarin)