Babies in China Being Named Aoyun after the Olympic Games

I’m sure you know that the Olympics are happening this summer in Beijing. But did you also know that children in China are being named after the event?

In the past 15 years, over 4,100 children in China have been named Aoyun, which means “Olympic Games.” (Back in October, the tally was just 3,500.)

The first surge in Aoyuns came in 1992, when China applied to host to the 2000 Games. About 680 Aoyuns were registered at the time.

In 2002 another 553 Aoyuns were named, after China was chosen to host the 2008 Games.

Over 92% of the registered Aoyuns are male.

Other names that have been popping up in China recently are:

  • Beibei, Jingjing, Huanhuan, Yingying and Nini, after the 5 Olympic mascots*
  • Fuwa, “good-luck dolls,” in reference to the aforementioned Olympic mascots
  • “Hope for Sichuan,” in reference to the recent earthquake

*Update: I recently found some numbers on the mascot names. As of 6 August 2008, nearly 5,000 babies were named after the Fuwa (unveiled in November, 2005). The most popular mascot name was Jingjing (1,240 babies), followed by Huanhuan (1,063), Beibei (880), Nini (642) and Yingying (624).

Sources: Chinese babies named ‘Olympic Games’, Nearly 3,500 Chinese babies named ‘Olympics’, Baby? No, it’s Beibei as mascots inspire names

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