In 2009, a man in Shandong, China, tried to name his baby girl “Bei Yan Yun Yi.”
But the name — an extra-long first name with no surname — was considered too unusual, so it was rejected by officials.
The father filed a lawsuit in December of 2009. Last April, he finally got his day in court.
[He] said his daughter’s name was poetic: Bei (meaning north) was chosen because Shandong is in the north of China; Yan (wild goose) and Yun (cloud) are words frequently used in poetry; and Yi was a character from China’s first collection of poetry, the Shijing.
My source article said that a judgement on the case would be “passed in a few days,” but it’s been more than eight months and I haven’t seen any updates, so I’m not sure what the outcome was.
The article did mention the outcome of an earlier name-related court case, though:
A similar case occurred in 2009 after parents in east China’s Jiangxi Province named their son Zhao C, with the English letter “C” as his given name. A court ruled they must change his name.
Many other Vietnamese names — Bao, Chinh, Dao, Giang, Huong, Khanh, Lam, Nguyet, Phuc, Quyen, Suong, Thanh, Vuong, and so forth — debut on the SSA’s list during the late ’70s and early ’80s.
One of the Vietnamese babies born at Chaffee in 1975 was Dat Nguyen, who went on to become the first Vietnamese-American to play in the NFL. His name, Dat, wasn’t popular enough to make the national list until 1979.
[For context, one of the pop culture names that debuted in 1975 was Chakakhan. Another was Tennille, inspired by Captain & Tennille.]
In South Korea, parents are slowly moving away from traditional methods of choosing baby names.
Name decisions used to be made either by a grandfather or by a professional baby namer (who would use the Chinese zodiac to spot “weaknesses” in the baby’s fate and choose a name to help counter those weaknesses). While many parents still consult with professionals, the belief that choosing a name via astrology can affect a baby’s fate is less common than it once was.
So how are parents in Korea choosing names these days? In various ways…
Some are choosing names based on how easy they are to pronounce in English, avoiding tricky Korean syllables such as “Eun” and “Eo.”
Some are looking to pop culture (especially celebrities and reality TV) for names.
Some are taking a more creative route, turning Korean words into names. (One woman interviewed by Arirang News mentioned her son’s name was Ara, from the Korean word for “sea.”)
Some are going for a unisex sound with syllables like “ji” and “bin.”
According to Arirang News, the most popular baby names in South Korea from 2008 through most of 2013 were Seo-yeon for girls and Min-jun for boys: