Independent baby name blog & directory, est. 2006.
How popular is the baby name Aoyun in the United States right now? How popular was it historically? Find out using the graph below! Plus, see baby names similar to Aoyun and check out all the blog posts that mention the name Aoyun.
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Many Chinese babies are given names that reflect current events. As time goes by, these current events become past events, in turn making Chinese names a lens through which to view historical Chinese events/attitudes.
During the post-Civil War 1950s, when Chinese parents had “hopes for a prosperous country,” popular baby names included:
Dongfeng, meaning “eastern wind”
Guangqiang, meaning “strong nation”
Jianguo, which refers to the establishment of the People’s Republic
Jianhua, which also refers to the establishment of the People’s Republic
Minzhu, meaning “democracy”
Qiangguo, meaning “strong nation”
While the Korean War (1950-1953) was being fought, popular baby names included:
Kangmei, meaning “resist U.S. aggression”
Weiguo, meaning “guard China’s territory against infringement”
Yuanchao, meaning “aid the Korean people”
(Yuanchao was the name chosen by Zhu De, former commander-in-chief of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army, for his eldest grandson (b. 1951). It’s also the name of the current Vice President of the People’s Republic of China, Li Yuanchao (b. 1950).)
During the years of the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976), when Chinese parents wanted to demonstrate “their loyalty to the revolution,” popular baby names included:
Weidong, meaning “protect Dong” [Chairman Mao Zedong]
Weihong, meaning “protect red”
Wenge, meaning “cultural revolution”
Xuenong, meaning “learn from the peasants”
From in the 1990s and early 2000s, while China was gearing up for Summer Olympics in Beijing, popular baby names included:
Some of the names above were given to hundreds of thousands of babies in China. Combine that with the relatively small number of Chinese surnames, and the result is oodles of people with identical full names, which I’m sure gets pretty confusing…
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).