Congrats on the baby boy! If you are of Chinese descent or just fond of Chinese culture (you are in Singapore, after all), here are some Chinese baby names to consider naming your little boy.
Chinese Baby Names
If you’re reading this, it means that you have somehow confirmed (you may have tried the Chinese calendar, but the only way to confirm it is through ultrasound) that you are having a baby boy.
Now that you’ve learned about your baby’s sex, the next exciting step is to find a name for your son.
Naming a baby is a big deal (as your child will use that name for the rest of their lives) for us parents, but even more so in the Chinese tradition.
After all, there’s a popular Chinese saying that goes:
(cì zǐ qiān jīn, bù rú jiào zǐ yí yì. jiào zǐ yí yì, bù rú cì zǐ hǎo míng)
which translates to, “Instead of giving your child gold, teach him a skill. Instead of teaching him a skill, give him a good name.”
According to the website Improve Mandarin, a person’s name does not only symbolise one’s cultural and family heritage, but also a denotation of their parents’ ideals, beliefs, and great expectations. We have so many big dreams for our children, and what better way to start than by giving them a name that embodies all that we hope for them to be?
We have cute and meaningful Chinese male baby names for you, but before that, here are some things to remember when naming your Chinese son.
Unlike in other cultures where you can just name your baby after your favourite TV personality or a national hero, naming your child after a famous person or celebrity is frowned upon. You cannot give your child the same name as his dad, let alone an emperor. This is where you get to be unique and find a name that means a lot to your family.
How Many Characters?
There’s also the issue of how many characters will the name comprise. Most Chinese given names are made up of one, two, or three Chinese characters that follow the family’s surname. Only a few people use three Chinese characters for the given name.
The Chinese also put great consideration into the visual and sound of their baby’s name. In fact, the number of strokes used to write the character is also a factor. And one Chinese character or one sound can mean several things in Chinese.
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Consulting Experts for Chinese Baby Names
In a previous article, Lee Cher Leng, a professor of Chinese Studies at the National University of Singapore said that more and more parents in the metro are consulting geomancers for advice on the best name for their baby.
It can be due to two things: first, people are more cautious of the name they give their children (it’s all about the aesthetics for us, millennial parents) and the new generation of parents aren’t as fluent in Mandarin as the previous ones.
With these things in mind, let’s move on to the most exciting part – finding a suitable name for your baby boy.
Male Chinese Names
In traditional Chinese culture, males are considered stronger than females, so the usual names that are given to baby boys are related to strength or greatness.
For instance, from the previous article, here are 10 Chinese names for boys that allude to one’s masculinity or strength:
- 张伟 (Zhang Wei), meaning “Great”
- 王伟 (Wang Wei), meaning “Great”
- 李强 (Li Qiang), meaning “strong”
- 王磊 (Wang lei), meaning “rock pile”
- 李伟 (Li Wei), meaning “Great”
- 刘伟 (Liu Wei), meaning “Great”
- 李军 (Li Jun), meaning “Army”
- 王勇 (Wang Yong), meaning “Brave”
- 张勇 (Zhang Yong), meaning “Brave”
- 李杰 (Li Jie), meaning “Hero”
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As we have learned earlier, these names are a combination of one or two words to form a deeper, more auspicious meaning. In the next examples, you will see how the Chinese look to the infinite character of nature as inspiration for greatness:
- 沐辰 (Mu chen) – “to bathe in celestial abode,” or to enjoy the company of the sun, the moon and the stars
- 浩宇 (Hao yu) – which means “vast universe”
- 浩然 (Hao ran) – “vastness” (you may be seeing a common theme here)
- 明涛 (Míng tāo) – “a bright, large wave”
- 浩洋 (Hào yáng) – “vast sea”
- 石磊 (Shí lěi) – “stone rocks”
- 乐洋 (Lè yáng) “happy sea” or ocean
- 天阔 (Tiān kuò) – “vast sky”
- 东阳 (Dōng yáng)–which means “eastern sun”
Side note: Yang is also associated with the masculine, positive principle in Chinese philosophy, which is why it’s a popular addition to common male Chinese names.
If you still haven’t found a match for your baby in our list above, here are more options for Chinese boy names, which are more Western in sound (because most of them are just monosyllabic) but still of Chinese origin:
- Chang – this male Chinese name means “smooth, free and unhindered.”
- Chen – meaning “great” or “tremendous”
- Chun – if you’ve had a difficult time conceiving before being pregnant with your son, or you’re giving birth in March, you can name your son Chun, which means “spring” in Chinese.
- Jun – a simple name but with great meaning. In Chinese, this name is related to the words “ruler, talented and handsome.” Characteristics that you hope your baby boy would have.
- Li xin – forget masculinity for one second. If you want a baby boy with a sunny disposition, this name is perfect, as it translates to “a glorious and beautiful sunrise” in Chinese.
- Long – 2022 is year of the tiger, and 2023 is year of the rabbit in Chinese zodiac, but if you want your little boy to be as fierce and powerful as a dragon, this is the perfect name for him.
- Ming – another common Chinese name which means “bright”
- Ping – this name reminds us of the name Mulan used when she was disguised as a boy (in the Disney animated movie), but this name actually means “peaceful or stable” in Chinese.
- Shu – another male Chinese name with a positive meaning. In Chinese, the word shu translates to “warm-hearted.”
- Tai – another name that alludes to man’s superiority, as Tai in Chinese means highest or “great extreme.” Well, all parents would agree that their child is simply a stand-out, a cut above the rest.
- Yu – a simple male Chinese name which means “bright.” But as we learned earlier, this name can also mean “precious stone,” “pleasant” or “rain,” depending on which Chinese character you use.
There you have it, mums and dads! With this list, we hope you have found some inspiration in choosing a strong and meaningful name for your baby boy.
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