Understanding China, One Blog at a Time

An American in China

I’m Rick, I’m Juicy, I’m Suzie- Naming in China

Posted by w_thames_the_d on April 1, 2011


Chinese all take an ‘English’ or normal name, it’s kind of like a right of passage. For those Chinese who are fortunate enough to have known civilized folk, ie foreigners, they have a relatively normal ‘English name’ such as Amy or Jessica.
When left to their own devices, however, some Chinese go overboard and choose some bizarre names. Friends of mine know one-child burdens named ‘Satan, Thousand, Killer” and the like.
One of the most frustrating things, however, is not their poor choice of names, but their incessant need to change them. Today your co-worker is Suzie, and suddenly she is Nina. Or you get a message from Lisa, who you once knew as Tyler who is now liz. In the end you can do nothing more than throw up your hands in defeat and make them tell you just who the heck they are and how they knew you anyhow.
If you have never visited the land of graft and toxins then this post may make no sense to you and you thus scroll down to the photos I posted earlier.

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