The China Daily doesn’t like the names of China’s current college freshmen.
The newspaper claims that many of these frosh have “monikers that [are] difficult to pronounce or could annoy others and draw ridicule, a phenomenon that has baffled many faculty and sociologists.”
Among the best-known freshmen this year are those named after Kong Zi or Confucius in English, ancient emperors and the name of the first US president in Chinese. In one case, a student of Huazhong University of Science and Technology in Hubei province who had given his name as Wang Zi, which means “prince” in English, found his roommate was Kang Xi, the title used by the fourth emperor of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911).
The article also includes plenty of warnings, like this one:
An unusual name could become a serious liability, not a boost to the owner’s career, like the case of a freshman in Jiangxi province, who was reportedly forced to quit school because he couldn’t bear the attention his name drew.
But I think my favorite line is this: “In the past, rural children were named after animals because poor farmers hoped they would bring up their children as cheaply as raising pigs and puppies.”
Talk about contrast. The two types of names (world-famous historical figures vs. lowly farm animals) certainly say a lot about the differing circumstances/expectations of the respective sets of parents.