Friday, November 4, 2011

Name Round Up: Chinese Orphans

While us in the baby names blog world are abuzz with the international news of the naming ceremony in India changing the names of 285 "Unwanteds" into something much more positive of their choosing, my mother took out a photography book about girls in Chinese orphanages. Like India, Chinese children also suffer from their society's preference for sons, and many wind up being given away. According to the book Mei Mei: Portraits from a Chinese Orphanage by Richard Bowen, 95% of the children in orphanages are girls.

In the back of the book there is a list of the names of the girls that were photographed, what it looks like in Chinese script and the meaning. Here are just a sampling of them. I sorely wished that they listed what the names sound like phonetically, but at least I can take solace in the fact that there isn't a single "Unwanted."

Double Vitality
Autumn Celebration
Dreaming Swallow
Little Endurance
Feminine Ingenuity
Graceful New Beginning
Gentle Willow
Literary Elegance
Harvest Tale
Flourishing Rhetoric
Idyllic Spring
Merciful Sea
Vivid Profusion
Exquisite Implication
Agile Intuition
Graceful Posture
Nurturing Beauty
Passing Exquisiteness
Morning Leaf
Winter Rain
Brimming Security
Copious Joy
Erudite Scholar
Lavender Jade
Pristine Journey
Charming Jubilee
Delightful Sand
Enduring Plum Blossom
Everlasting Orchid
Beautiful Legend
Welcoming Cloud
Admire Haze
Tranquil Fragrance
Sage Coral
Fragrant Heroine
Magnificent Dragon
Joyful Integrity
Wonder Dew
Standing Victory
Plentiful Rouge
Innocent Rose
Lilac Moon
Misty Laurel
Dawning Bamboo
Harmony Bell
Progressive Gathering
Palm Sonnet
Constructive Clarity
Refined Chastity
Sunny North
Hopeful Expectation
Erudite Colorful Cloud
Predestined Beginning
Everlasting Dazzle
Glowing Pearl

Mei Mei: Portraits from a Chinese Orphanage by Richard Bowen

Image Credit:
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  1. Brought tears to my eyes; those are truly beautiful names for little girls.

    I loved many of these names, and I think quite a few are usable in English too.

    There's something about Everlasting Dazzle that sticks in my mind.

  2. Lilac Moon is woderful, but my favorite is Erudite Colorful Cloud -- can't beat a meaning like that.

  3. These are wonderful.

    You are right, it would be nice to know how these names are said phonetically in Chinese, but that said, these names would work equally well in English.


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