A Chinese name that isn't too Chinese

(52 Posts)
imightbeaspy Tue 06-Dec-11 19:37:39

Me and DH have compromised - DCs get to have his surname and he gets to pick middle names and I get first names.

Surname is an unusual Scottish name ,but is a Mac.....
Middle name is Teàrlag if a girl and Teàrlach if a boy

I was born and grew up in Hong Kong and I only moved to the UK 8 years ago.
I count myself as Scottish - Hong Konger.
I speak cantonese (with friends me and my brother often spoke cantonese when we were younger and now and still will speak it to each other - we code switch most of the time). My parents still live out there.

So I want a chinese name for incoming DC - but not too chinese-y. (if that makes sence) they will probably have flaming red hair and be very pale and so I feel it would be odd to call them Chenguang or something.

So a Chinese name that isn't too chinese:

I've come up with:





Opinions/any suggestions ??

OP’s posts: |
MotherPanda Tue 06-Dec-11 19:42:34

they all sound very Chinese to me! Fei is my favourite girls name - similar to the English Faye? Wei is probably the best boys name, but I'm not so keen

To be honest - all the Chinese friends I've had have picked English names to use when here - like Will and Yasmin, so i'm not a very good judge!

Binfullofgibletsonthe26th Tue 06-Dec-11 19:43:18

I like Jia.

How about Mei? or Xui?

Boys seem a little more difficult somehow. Would you not perhaps give them a Chinese middle name?

imightbeaspy Tue 06-Dec-11 19:53:03

mother most of my friends back in Hong Kong who are chinese -HK have a western name as well as do there DCs (DCs as their actual name and friends mostly as a nickname that is used by everyone or have it alongside a chinese name). While me and my brother are the other way around. We have very standard Scottish names but when we were little were given chinese names by friends. and we are both now known by our chinese names - even in the UK. and yep similar to Faye/Fay in english

Mei I really like but a very close friend has just named their daughter it so can't use and Xui i think is supper chinese-y (it is the X)

DH is set on Teàrlag/Teàrlach after his granny and no way am I giving DC one of them as a fn (and DH agrees)

OP’s posts: |
Goalie Tue 06-Dec-11 20:56:30

My nieces and nephew are half HK. They all have chinese middle names with my nephews being Joe. Can't for the life of me remember what it stands for, but it is a British sounding Chinese name! Just for interest, my nieces middle names are Tone and Yung.

MerryMarigold Tue 06-Dec-11 21:10:36

Is Liu a girl's name? (as in 'Loo' like Lucy nn)

There was a boy in my class in school called 'Wai' (why?) and he used to tease supply teachers mercilessly? "What's your name?" "Wai" "I want to know your name. Now tell me it!" "Wai"

How about Li for a boy?

I'm trying, but to be honest, I think it would be really weird for a white, pale kid in Scotland to have a Chinese name - and they all sound very Chinese to me. How about a different kind of approach? Could you use a place name? My dd is named after a beach in Sri Lanka (sounds like Marissa but spelled differently) because my dh is Sri Lankan. We didn't want to go all out on a Tamil name, since neither of us have Tamil names (I'm mixed but always English speaking) and we don't speak the language at home. Or 2 middle names, one being a Chinese one.

picalooo Tue 06-Dec-11 21:29:12

well I have a cousin Lin (her mum is Thai - not that you would know it) I think as a name Lynne/Lyn is one of those names that people spell lots of different ways anyway so that would fit the bill. I think the same for Jia as it doesnt look supper chinese and sounds like other western names
Yanlin fo a boy could work - okay so it sounds/looks chonese but would they get called Yan? that isn't just a chinese name so i suppose would fit the bill?

mumzy Tue 06-Dec-11 21:37:32

Are the names going to br pronounced in Mandarin or cantonese dialect and do you want one or two characters?
Suggestions: girls
Chun ( spring)
Lili ( some type of plant)
Ying (intelligent)
Ling ( graceful)
Sam ( number3!)
Ken ( personally hate this name but have known number of chinese boys called Ken)
Gok ( patriotic)
Ming ( bright) maybe you could use Menzies as its pounced Ming as in Menzies Campbell

drcrab Tue 06-Dec-11 21:40:44

Girls I'd go for Mei, Lin, Yin, An, En, Lian

Boys could be Kai, Ming, Jin, Liang

Thing is you need it to be pronounceable. I've sat through enough graduation ceremonies at university to cringe everytime a name with an x, j, z comes into play. And I say that as someone who's of Chinese ethnicity who's married to an English man. We went for English first names and 2 middle names, one of which is Chinese (but v pronounceable).

drcrab Tue 06-Dec-11 21:44:09

Haven't your parents got any say in helping to choose? Mine did. The brief was for the name to be pronounceable. smile

Blatherskite Tue 06-Dec-11 21:52:39

My friend has a Chinese husband and named her Son Archie - his chinese name is Chi so it works in both languages....?

imightbeaspy Tue 06-Dec-11 21:56:56

mumzy hong kong cantonese (which is slightly different to mainland cantonese - not a lot but it is different) And I haven't even thought of characters if i am honest. thanks for the suggestions

drcrab My name (the chinese one) is 2 letters - and it always confuses people. I really like Lian
Kai could work - except would people think the rooney's?

OP’s posts: |
imightbeaspy Tue 06-Dec-11 21:58:07

Parents - nope not all - why would they?

OP’s posts: |
growing3rdbump Tue 06-Dec-11 22:57:56

We go to suzuki violin lessons with lots of chinese children - some not too chinese names include:



picalooo Tue 06-Dec-11 23:20:39

I would have thought those boys names growing are biblical used by people who are chinese/chinese heritage. so would bronagh, ivy, teri. for girls
I know HK who is a lili not a lily (sorry I did live in HK for a bit)

drcrab Tue 06-Dec-11 23:21:50

Because Chinese parents feel they'd like to help especially with the Chinese characters (meaning etc). No problem if they don't want to - just a thought since I know of many grandparents who'd be more than happy to help. smile my son was born first Followed by my brother's daughter and interestingly her chinese name is a follow on from my son's which I thought was really nice. All thought of by the grandparents. Of course it was a selection of names... Not an imposition.

My son is a Kai. It means happiness (or it could mean victorious). We named him that before Rooney even conceived his one grin.

Li-an is a nice name. Sue? Jing?

BingBongSong Tue 06-Dec-11 23:23:23

How about Min for a girl?

Jun for a boy?

Trying to figure out how to share the characters!

CointreauVersial Tue 06-Dec-11 23:24:33

I have a half-Chinese niece - she is called Tamsin, which is obviously an English name, but it has a Chinese ring to it, and really suits her. DD1 has a Chinese friend Lian - also lovely.

Albrecht Tue 06-Dec-11 23:31:57

I have a friend called Soo. Very easy to pronounce / understand but not 100% Scottish. Would that be any good?

imightbeaspy Tue 06-Dec-11 23:35:50

oh right drcrab my parents aren't Chinese both glaswegians (can both speak cantonese but written understanding is awful - me and my brother are the ones who speak/read/write cantonese and use it) We always spoke english to our parents. but not to each other. That is really sweet about your sons/neices name.

OP’s posts: |
Offspring Wed 07-Dec-11 02:37:43

Names of Chinese people that I know:



All easy to pronounce, but whilst they are names of Chinese people I know, I'm not sure if all of them are Chinese names iyswim. I do especially like Kei though.

ShengdanRoad Wed 07-Dec-11 02:56:23

I only speak Mandarin so not sure if these would work in Cantonese, but how about:

Jin (金) - could be nicknamed Jinny
Mei (美) - a classic in most languages
Lan (兰) - pretty meaning
Lulu (露露, or other 'Lu' characters that you like)

ShengdanRoad Wed 07-Dec-11 03:00:05

Wow, so Chinese characters aren't supported on here!

Jin = gold
Mei = beautiful
Lan = orchid
Lulu = crane

recall Wed 07-Dec-11 03:35:36

I think Lili is clever. I always wanted a girl called Tiger Lilly, but my family couldn't stand it. I think of the flower, it's so beautiful.

MerryMarigold Wed 07-Dec-11 16:20:13

I forgot, I have a Chinese friend (female) called 'Bo', no confusion in pronounciation and not too obviously Chinese.

I think it's super cool: Bo Macwhatever

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