Chinese style name

Chinese style name
"Azana" redirects here. For the fungus gnat genus, see Azana (gnat).

A Chinese style name, sometimes also known as a courtesy name (), is a given name to be used later in life. After 20 years of age, the is assigned in place of one's given name as a symbol of adulthood and respect. Primarily used for male names, one could be given a by the parents, or by their first personal teacher on the first day of family school, or one may adopt a self-chosen . The tradition of using style names has been fading since the May Fourth Movement in 1919. There are two common forms of style name, the and the hào.


(adult name)

Chinese name
Chinese (表)字
- Hanyu Pinyin (biǎo) zì
- Wade–Giles (piao) tzu
Japanese name
Hiragana あざな
- Revised Hepburn azana
Korean name
- Revised
- McCune-
Vietnamese name
Vietnamese Tên chữ (Tự)

The , sometimes called the biǎozì or "courtesy name", is a name traditionally given to Chinese males at the age of 20, marking their coming of age. It was sometimes given to females upon marriage. As noted above, the practice is no longer common in modern Chinese society. According to the Book of Rites (traditional Chinese: 禮記; simplified Chinese: 礼记), after a man reaches adulthood, it is disrespectful for others of the same generation to address him by his given name, or míng. Thus, the given name was reserved for oneself and one's elders, while the would be used by adults of the same generation to refer to one another on formal occasions or in writing; hence the term 'courtesy name'.

The is mostly disyllabic (comprises two characters) and is usually based on the meaning of the míng or given name. Yan Zhitui (顏之推) of the Northern Qi Dynasty believed that while the purpose of the míng was to distinguish one person from another, the should express the bearer's moral integrity.

The relation which often exists between a person's and his míng can be seen in the case of Mao Zedong (traditional Chinese: 毛澤東; simplified Chinese: 毛泽东), whose was Rùnzhī (traditional Chinese: 潤之; simplified Chinese: 润之). These two characters share the same radical - 氵, which signifies water. Both characters can mean "to benefit" or "to nourish".

Another way to form a is to use the homophonic character (Chinese: ; pinyin: ) - a respectful title for a male - as the first character of the disyllabic . Thus, for example, Gongsun Qiao's was: Zǐchǎn (traditional Chinese: 子產; simplified Chinese: 子产), and Du Fu's: Zǐméi (子美).

It is also common to construct a by using as the first character one which expresses the bearer's birth order among male siblings in his family. Thus Confucius, whose actual name was Kǒng Qiū (孔丘), was given the Zhòngní (仲尼), where the first character zhòng indicates that he was the second son in his family. The characters commonly used are bó (伯) for the first, zhòng (仲) for the second, shū (叔) for the third, and jì (季) typically for the youngest, if the family consists of more than three sons.

The use of began during the Shang Dynasty and slowly developed into a system, which became most widespread during the succeeding Zhou Dynasty . During this period, women were also given . The given to a woman was generally composed of a character indicating her birth order among females siblings and her surname. For example, Mèng Jiāng (孟姜) was the eldest daughter in the Jiāng family.

Prior to the 20th century, sinicized Koreans, Vietnamese, and Japanese were also referred to by their .

The of some famous people:

Family name Given name
Laozi 老子 Lǐ (李) Ěr (耳) Bó Yáng (伯陽)
Confucius 孔子 Kong (孔) Qiu (丘) Zhòngní (仲尼)
Cao Cao 曹操 Cao (曹) Cao (操) Mengde (孟德)
Liu Bei 劉備 Liu (劉) Bei (備) Xuande (玄德)
Sima Yi 司馬懿 Sima (司馬) Yi (懿) Zhòngdá (仲達)
Zhuge Liang 諸葛亮 Zhuge (諸葛) Liang (亮) Kongming (孔明)
Li Bai 李白 Li (李) Bai (白) Taibai (太白)
Sun Yat-sen 孫逸仙 Sun (孫) Deming (德明) Zaizhi (載之)
Mao Zedong 毛澤東 Mao (毛) Zedong (澤東) Runzhi (潤之)
Yue Fei 岳飛 Yue (岳) Fei (飛) Pengju (鵬舉)
Bai Chongxi 白崇禧 Bai (白) Chongxi (崇禧) Jiansheng (健生)
Ma Fuxiang 馬福祥 Ma (馬) Fuxiang (福祥) Yunting (雲亭)[1]
Ma Hongkui 馬鴻逵 Ma (馬) Hongkui (鴻逵) Shao-yun (少雲)[2][3]
Yusuf Ma Dexin 馬德新 Ma (馬) Dexin (德新) Fuchu (復初)
Muhammad Ma Jian 馬堅 Ma (馬) Jian (堅) Zishi (子實)

Hào (pseudonym)

Chinese name
Traditional Chinese
Simplified Chinese
- Hanyu Pinyin hào
- Wade–Giles hào
Japanese name
Kana ごう (modern usage)
がう (historical usage)
- Romaji
Korean name
- Revised
- McCune-

Hào (simplified Chinese: ; traditional Chinese: ; pinyin: hào; Japanese ; Korean: ho; Vietnamese: hiệu) is an alternative courtesy name, usually referred to as the pseudonym. It was most commonly three or four characters long, and may have originally become popular due to people having the same . A hào was usually self-selected and it was possible to have more than one. It had no connection with the bearer's míng or ; rather it was often a very personal, sometimes whimsical, choice perhaps embodying an allusion or containing a rare character, as might befit an educated literatus. Another possibility was to use the name of one's residence as one's hào; thus Su Shi's hào Dongpo Jushi (i.e., "Resident of Dongpo" ("Eastern slope"), a residence he built while an exile in Hainan). An author's hào was also often used in the title of his collected works (also called Bi Ming literally pen name).

See also: Art-name () in Japan.


External links

See also

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Chinese given name — Chinese given names (Chinese: 名字; pinyin: míngzì) are generally made up of one or two characters, and are written after the family name, therefore John Paul Smith as a Chinese name would be read Smith John Paul . Chinese names can consist of any… …   Wikipedia

  • Chinese surname — Chinese family names have been historically used by Han Chinese and Sinicized Chinese ethnic groups in mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and among overseas Chinese communities. In ancient times two types of surnames, family names (Chinese: 姓;… …   Wikipedia

  • Chinese name — Personal names in Chinese culture follow a number of conventions different from those of personal names in Western cultures. Most noticeably, a Chinese name is written with the family name first and the given name next, therefore John Paul Smith… …   Wikipedia

  • Chinese people in Japan — Kanteibyou Temple in Yokohama Chinatown Total population 655,377 (as of 2008 …   Wikipedia

  • Chinese bakery products — (Chinese: 中式糕點; pinyin: zhōng shì gāo diǎn; literally Chinese style cakes and snacks or Chinese: 唐餅; pinyin: táng bǐng; literally Tang style baked goods ) consists of pastries, cakes, snacks, and desserts of largely Chinese origin, though some… …   Wikipedia

  • Chinese bakery — Chinese bakeries in big cities like Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Shanghai, and across the world in Chinatowns, serve traditional Chinese goods such as mooncakes, sun cakes, and wife cakes. Such establishments may also serve tea, coffee, and other drinks …   Wikipedia

  • Chinese spoon — The Chinese spoon or Chinese soup spoon (Chinese: 中式湯匙; pinyin: zhōngshì tāngchí; literally Chinese style soup spoon ) is a type of spoon used in Chinese cuisine with a short, thick handle extending directly from a deep, flat bowl …   Wikipedia

  • Chinese hip hop — Music of China Timeline General topics Traditional Chinese instr …   Wikipedia

  • Chinese New Year — For other traditions of celebrating lunar new year, see Lunar New Year. Chinese New Year Chinatown, London around Chinese New Year Also called Lunar New Year, Spring Festival Observed by …   Wikipedia

  • Chinese chef — A Chinese chef is a person who cooks Chinese cuisine dishes professionally. Contents 1 Categories of Chinese Culinary Techniques Chinese Chefs 2 National Occupational Standards for Chinese Chefs 3 Red Board Chinese Cu …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.