October 22nd by Brian Adams
China’s state-run CCTV News has shared several amusing tips for Chinese citizens searching for English names including staying clear of names used by strippers as well as young adult fiction favourites Edward Cullen and Dumbledore.
In an article published earlier this week, the news site said that while the Chinese are fortunate to choose their English name, the selection process could result in unintended blunders.
While some names are “safe”, they may come with baggage such as being too British or conservative (Elizabeth, Michael, William). Other names, the CCTV warns, are either not names at all (Surprise, Dragon, Fish, Lawyer) or can be unintentionally suggestive (Candy, Sugar, Cherry).
Popular names throughout history both real (Einstein, Madonna, Obama) and fictional (Dumbledore, Medusa, Edward Cullen), the article suggests, may strike up conversations with foreigners but ultimately mean you are not taken seriously.
On opposing ends of the spectrum, the CCTV also says very old names are great if you want to be ironic (Gertrude, Percival, Wilbert) while sex names (Bunny, Beaver) are best avoided especially given the dual meaning of Chinese surnames such as Wang.
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