The definitive guide to names and style names

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Unread postby Lady Wu » Tue Jan 01, 2008 8:55 am

Sorry for the late reply:
Shi Tong wrote:wow
伯/孟/叔/季/幼
can you explain a bit clearer, how are these pronounced (the first one is Bo, right?), and what do they signify?

伯 "bo2" = eldest
孟 "meng4" = second oldest
叔 "shu1" = third oldest
季 "ji4" = fourth oldest
幼 "you4" = youngest

Wanted to add a correction. I had originally said that fathers may not address to their sons by style, and vice versa. This is an oversimplification. There was a shift in social rules about terms of address and family relations around the time of the Three Kingdoms. Wei/Jin people were a lot stricter and cared a lot more about distinguishing rank/status within the family than their predecessors. Up to the late Han period, there was a lot more equality between fathers and sons. But starting in late Han, people were obsessed about proper etiquette in terms of address. It was even considered rude to refer to the father by his style name while speaking to the son. Sima Lang was recorded to be pissed off when a guest mentioned Sima Sr's style in Lang's presence. A similar incident was recorded of Chang Lin (of Wei). This is in contrast with the early Han times, where cases of fathers and sons addressing each other by style names (or official ranks) were attested.
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Re: The definitive guide to names and style names

Unread postby Lady Wu » Thu Dec 22, 2011 8:49 am

Bumping this due to recent discussions about naming conventions, and also a reminder to myself that this document is not complete. :(
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Re: The definitive guide to names and style names

Unread postby Shen Ai » Thu Dec 22, 2011 4:55 pm

What would a wife call her husband? I mean, apart from, My Lord or something like that, would she ever use his given name or style name?
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Re: The definitive guide to names and style names

Unread postby Lady Wu » Thu Dec 22, 2011 9:33 pm

In general, Chinese people avoid calling each other by name, but rather by their social position (especially when one is addressing a superior). I can't think of any examples off the top of my head, of direct speech between husband and wife, but my hunch is that she would call him "Husband" or "Lord" or something along those lines. For a wife to use her husband's given name would be a big no-no, definitely. It's more imaginable for her to use his style name, though if I were to guess, that would be rare as well.
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Re:

Unread postby Dtjahyadi » Mon Apr 07, 2014 8:55 am

Lady Wu wrote:Appendix A: Meanings of certain names and styles



Here are some name/style translations for the more popular officers of the Three Kingdoms era:

Wei

Cao Cao (Mengde): Cao = 'virtuous conduct', De = 'virtue'
Cao Pi (Zihuan): Pi = 'greatness'; Huan = 'supremacy'
Cao Zhi (Zijian): Zhi = 'to plant, establish', Jian = 'to build'
Xiahou Yuan (Miaocai): Yuan ='deep ravine', Miaocai = 'wonderful talent'
Xiahou Dun (Yuanrang): Dun = 'sincere', Rang = 'to yield, for the reason of propriety'
Cao Ren (Zixiao): Ren = 'humane', Xiao = 'filial'
Xun Yu (Wenruo): Yu = 'having literary flair', Ruo = 'as'
Jia Xu (Wenhe): Xu = 'to speak with wit, to brag', He = 'harmony'
Guo Jia (Fengxiao): Jia = 'to praise', Fengxiao = 'to uphold filial piety'
Sima Yi (Zhongda): Yi = 'virtuous', Da = 'to arrive (at understanding)'
Zhang Liao (Wenyuan): Liao = 'distant' , Yuan = 'far'
Xu Huang (Gongming): Huang = 'bright', Ming = 'bright'
Yu Jin (Wenze): Jin = 'regulation, to forbid', Ze = 'guidelines'
Yue Jin (Wenqian): Jin = 'to enter, to advance, to promote", Qian = "to be humble, to withdraw"

Shu

Liu Bei (Xuande): Bei = 'prepared', Xuande = 'deep virtue'
Liu Shan (Gongsi): Shan = 'an imperial ceremony', Si = 'to be heir'
Zhuge Liang (Kongming): Liang = 'bright', Ming = 'bright'
Pang Tong (Shiyuan): Tong = 'unity', Yuan = 'first, one'
Fa Zheng (Xiaozhi): Zheng = "upright, straight", Xiaozhi = 'filial-straight'
Guan Yu (Yunchang): Yu = 'feather', Yunchang = 'cloud-long'
Zhang Fei (Yide): Fei = 'to fly', Yide = 'increase in virtue'
Zhao Yun (Zilong): Yun = 'cloud' , Long = 'dragon'
Ma Chao (Mengqi): Chao = 'exceptional', Qi = 'to arise'
Huang Zhong (Hansheng): Zhong = "loyal", Hansheng = 'Han rises'
Wei Yan (Wenchang): Yan = 'to extend', Chang = 'long'
Jiang Wei (Boyue): Wei = 'to maintain', Yue = 'to save, to be thrifty'
Deng Zhi (Bomiao): Zhi = 'a fragrant plant', Miao = 'a seedling'
Wang Ping (Zijun): Ping = 'level', Jun = 'even'

Wu

Sun Jian (Wentai): Jian = 'firm', Tai = 'a terrace'
Sun Ce (Bofu): Ce, Fu = types of insignia or tally
Sun Quan (Zhongmou): Quan = 'power', Mou = 'strategy'
Zhou Yu (Gongjin): Yu, Jin = types of beautiful jade
Lu Su (Zijing): Su = 'solemn', Jing = 'to respect'
Lü Meng (Ziming): Meng = 'to cover, obscure', Ming = 'clear, open'
Lu Xun (Boyan): Xun = 'humble', Yan = 'speech'
Huang Gai (Gongfu): Gai = 'to cover', Fu = 'to cover'
Cheng Pu (Demou): Pu = 'all', Mou = 'strategy'
Taishi Ci (Ziyi): Ci = 'gentle, benevolent', Yi = 'good, righteous'
Gan Ning (Xingba): Ning = 'tranquil', Xingba = 'raising-hegemon'
Ling Tong (Gongji): Tong = 'to lead, to unify', Ji = 'merits'
Lu Kang (Youjie): Kang = 'resistance', Jie = 'upright, principled'
Zhuge Ke (Yuanxun): Ke = 'respectful and careful', Xun = 'humble'

Other

Dong Zhuo (Zhongying): Zhuo = 'surpassing', Ying = 'excellent'
Yuan Shao (Benchu): Shao = 'flourishing', Benchu = 'original, first'
Yuan Shu (Gonglu): Shu = 'art, way', Lu = 'road, way'
Lü Bu (Fengxian): Bu = 'cloth, to cover', Xian = 'first'
Gongsun Zan (Bogui): Zan, Gui = types of precious jade
Liu Biao (Jingsheng): Biao = 'example', Jingsheng = 'auspicious-rise'
Liu Zhang (Jiyu): Zhang, Yu = types of precious jade
Tao Qian (Gongzu): Qian = 'humble', Gongzu = 'honour-grandparent'
Ma Teng (Shoucheng): Teng = 'soar', Shoucheng = 'longevity-accomplish'
Chen Gong (Gongtai): Gong = 'palace', Tai = 'terrace'
Tian Feng (Yuanhao): Feng = 'abundance', Hao = 'pure white'
Wan Yun (Zishi): Yun = 'agree', Shi = 'teacher'

Appendix B: On name-changing in the Three Kingdoms

[NOTE: This is simply cut & pasted from some of my old posts, so I'll be rewriting this part to make it fit the rest of the essay. I'm only putting it here as a placeholder.]

There are various reasons why people changed their names--to avoid the taboo of the name of a superior (emperor, boss, someone else's ancestor), to fulfill a dream (such as Cheng Yu), or something like that. In extreme cases, a vengeful ruler would order the name of an offending minister be changed to something bad, but it's really rare.

Some people have proposed that Lu Xun's name was changed because Sun Quan was angry at him. The character for that Xun means "humble, inferior", which doesn't match his style, "Boyan" ("bo" means "eldest", and "yan" means "speech"--his original name, "Yi", means "discuss"). This seems to support the point that Sun Quan tried to demean him by forcing this name change on him.

However, I highly doubt this was the case. Lu Kang and Sun Quan finally sorted stuff out between them, and Sun Quan expressed great regret about what he did to Lu Xun. He ordered all his reproaching correspendces burnt, as an effort to erase the bad past. Lu Kang had Sun Quan rehabilitate his father's honour. It would be unthinkable that Sun Quan did all that but refused to change Lu Xun's name back.

There is actually a little bit of evidence that Lu Xun changed his name before Yiling. In Lu Xun's bio, Lu Meng is directly quoted to recommend "Lu Xun" to Sun Quan, and Liu Bei has a line saying "Now I am defeated by Lu Xun...". Chen Shou does a pretty good job keeping names in direct quotes the way they would have been said at the time--for example, though Sima Yi's given name (Yi) is taboo during the Jin, Chen Shou kept it in Zhuge Liang's speeches. If Chen Shou was being consistent, then Lu Xun's name (Xun) must have been in use by the time of Yiling.

Of course, stronger evidence for this dating of the name change should come from official petitions or writings, rather than direct speech--it's not clear how much of the conversations recorded did happen in history (who was around to write them down??).


CMIIW the Chinese held great meaning in naming someone, and reading a few of those, they kinda reflect the fate of the name bearer. Take Zhuge Liang's name, bright + bright, Ma Chao = to arise (he did exceptionally arise from Ma Teng's shadow)

Probably it's just me over parabelling, but you really can sum the whole life with just their name description
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