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Choosing your Baby's name
The Meaning of Names

How do you choose your Baby's name? The Meaning of names is terribly important especially for Chinese names.

For any names you select for your baby, you will be calling and intoning that name many times a day. Chinese believe that the name meanings are reinforced and over time, the child must fulfil his destiny as carried in his name. We believe that having a suitably auspicious name for your baby can have a positive influence and effect on his life.

However, you must remember that whatever name you choose for your baby, it is just the beginning. He cannot hope to attain his full potential without your guidance and both your hard work throughout his childhood.

Here are some pointers that you should consider when choosing a name for your newborn baby, whether it is girls' names or boys' names :

  • Will the name be suitable for your child at all stages throughout his or her life?
  • Is it obvious how the name is spelt or pronounced?
  • Does the name sound right when put together with the middle name and your surname or Chinese name?
  • Will the initials of the full name make a word when they are put together?
  • Are you happy with any associations that may be apparent?
  • Is there any way in which your child may be teased as a result of the name you have chosen?

Naming your baby can be surprisingly difficult, but when you do decide, doesn't it feel just right, as if it was the natural choice all along? Your baby's name should look attractive to the eye and sound pleasant to the ears. A good name helps your child remember who they are and what they want to be.

For the selection of Chinese names, you can refer to this book, '500 Famous Chinese Names' by Luo Tong and Cao Jia Wei. It was an excellent guide in choosing all our babies' names. It lists the names of historically famous artists, emperors and kings, generals and warriors, officials, scholars and writers. We agonised over baby boy names for our son for ages and finally chose a Chinese character that signifies 'exemplary conduct or virtue' from the chief general of the Wei kingdom (from Romance of the Three Kingdoms). He was the father of the future emperor who united all of China after the wars between the three states.

Choose a meaningful name for your baby, as a person's name gives others a first impression of him or her. For the Chinese, the name is an embodiment of the person, expressing his or her hopes, dreams, convictions and skills. Your child's name connects him to his past by your family surname, background and history, to your baby's present in his personality, beliefs and talents, and on to his future through his aspirations, hopes and dreams.


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