2022, Volume 19, Issue 2

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Qian Zixin
Ural Federal University
Ekaterinburg, Russia

Chinese Personal Names Expressing the Idea of Manliness

Voprosy onomastiki, 2022, Volume 19, Issue 2, pp. 239–249 (in Russian)
DOI: 10.15826/vopr_onom.2022.19.2.026

Received on 13 February 2022

Abstract: The study attempts to analyze modern Chinese male personal names from the standpoint of the semantics of the most frequently used lexemes, thereby revealing a corpus of words (hieroglyphs) that serve to designate “masculine” in the Chinese name system. The author relies on the recent data obtained from a survey with 200 respondents, however, historical Chinese male names are also considered. It is established that in Chinese linguistic culture, masculinity is a multifaceted concept, essentially associated with such qualities as strength, perseverance, will, determination, the ability to withstand any life challenges. The name semantics may convey that both through direct definitions (“strong”, “solid”, “strong”, “resolute”, etc.), and through images in which these qualities are embodied allegorically (“wave”, “dragon”, “tiger”, “cypress”, etc.). At the same time, Chinese male names of the 20th century also showcase the semantics related to the history of the country, citizenship, patriotism (“Shine, China”, “Make the country strong”, etc.). The author notes that since the Confucian era, such qualities as wisdom, humanity, benevolence, following etiquette, and flexibility have been blended into the “male” semantics. Apparently, these are the newly adopted virtues of manliness, without which it would be impossible to survive in the modern world.

Keywords: Chinese, onomastics, anthroponymy, male personal names, traditional folk names, names of the Confucian era, ideological names.


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