Kongming-Sleeping Dragon? (A discussion on names)

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Unread postby Starscream » Tue Dec 24, 2002 4:48 am

Ma Chao nearly got himself bashed up by Guan Yu and Zhang Fei when he addressed Liu Bei as "Bei", but anyway, that's the thing of the past. It's more common now I think for people to address one another by their given names. :P

Oh yeah, before I forget, I think it's more common for people to address another person with both their given name and family name, if their given name has only one character. Like if I have a friend called Liu Bei, I'd call him Liu Bei, because it's funny to just say one character...it's just out of habit, no better explanation for this phenomena. Is this peculiar to me only? :roll:
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Unread postby Lodril » Tue Apr 01, 2003 9:10 pm

I remember reading, though I can't recall wherein, that part of the 'sleeping dragon' nickname came from where he lived. Apparently there was a hill or something with that name. How accurate that is though, I have no idea. :)
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Unread postby Guest » Mon Apr 28, 2003 5:09 am

Lady Wu wrote:
Sun Seth wrote:Whoa, never knew that. I am learning so much from this board, lol. So they gave themselves their own name, but put in it things like youngest and second child?

IMO the first characters are mostly just by convention. Like if you're the second kid of the family you're expected to use Zhong, etc. Perhaps you're parents pre-picked something for you and you just formalise it when you're old enough, who knows. I mean, Sun Quan had 2 daughters whose styles were "Big Tiger" and "Little Tiger" -- what girls in their right minds would call themselves that??


maybe they felt like if they called them selves big and little tiger they would scare someone? or maybe they have self esteem problems and needed a big scary animal to make them feel like they are important.
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Unread postby GLUEMAN » Fri Jul 04, 2003 4:20 pm

i thought zilong meant little dragon
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Unread postby Milliardo » Mon Aug 11, 2003 7:05 pm

GLUEMAN wrote:i thought zilong meant little dragon
Read above, its his style.
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Unread postby Stedfel » Wed Dec 31, 2003 6:37 pm

I am not 100% sure about this but I read that Kongming means confucian wisdom.

I am 100% percent sure that there was a ridge called sleeping dragon ridge that was behind Zhuge LIang's town or house.
Last edited by Stedfel on Thu Feb 19, 2004 11:37 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Unread postby Han Liang » Thu Feb 19, 2004 2:30 pm

Lady Wu wrote: I mean, Sun Quan had 2 daughters whose styles were "Big Tiger" and "Little Tiger" -- what girls in their right minds would call themselves that??



Don't forget... their uncle is the Little Conqueror, and, more importantly, their aunt is Sun Shang Xiang!
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Unread postby Lady Wu » Mon Apr 05, 2004 4:12 am

Liu Yun, Son of Liu Feng wrote:What is the purpose of the style name

Example: Liu Bei, style: Xuande


A style name is granted to a man upon his 20th birthday by his father, his teacher, or some elder/scholar. The style name "explains" his given name in some way or is related in meaning to it. For example, the Yu and Zhou Yu and the Jin in his style, Gong-jin, both refer to a beautiful jade. More information about the meaning of the names can be found in this thread:

http://the-scholars.com/viewtopic.php?t=2520

The style name can only be used between peers and is a sign of familiarity and friendliness. I can call my friends by their style name and maybe my younger siblings too (if I respect them enough), but I'd be beaten up in no time if I try to call an elder in the family (anyone who's older than you), someone of higher rank, or a stranger by their style. In the historical texts, Sun Quan often refers to Cao Cao by his style (Mengde), which is quite cheeky. Since Sun Quan's dad was the same generation as Cao Cao, Cao was an elder to Sun Quan and thus Quan technically shouldn't call Cao Cao Mengde. Besides, they were enemies, not friends. Ma Chao's will contains the line, "My family was all killed by Mengde", which is quite shocking to people who understand the name system. Since the style name is a sign of friendliness, Ma Chao's last words lend themselves to two possible readings: either he was still really pissed off at Cao Cao and wanted to be sarcastic (or at least even things out by claiming Cao as a peer; again, Ma Teng was Cao's age, so Ma Chao was a junior to Cao Cao), or he forgave him on his deathbed :?: .

Incidentally, while it's normal for someone to refer to themselves by their given name as a sign of humility and respect towards their addressee, one would never NEVER NEVER call themselves by their style. Cao Zhi, hanging out with his friends, could say something like, "(I,) Cao Zhi thinks that....", but never ever "(I,) Zijian thinks that...". They always do that TV series or poorly-researched historical novels, and it ticks me off to no end.
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Unread postby White Horse General » Tue Apr 06, 2004 5:26 pm

Wasn't it also a sign of respect to refer to someone by their style rather than their given name?

I recall in SGYY at least when Cao Cao was trying to be on good terms with Liu Bei he once called him Xuande, but after they became strict enemies it was always Liu Bei the sandal maker.
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Unread postby Lady Wu » Tue Apr 06, 2004 7:50 pm

White Horse General wrote:Wasn't it also a sign of respect to refer to someone by their style rather than their given name?

Yup, respect as in respect for one's friends. Calling someone their given name assumes authority over them. I think the closest equivalent to English is like calling someone "Jimmy" versus "James Thomas Clarence Johnson Jr.". When your mom calls you by your full name, middle name and all, you know you're in hot water. The main difference is that in Chinese, it's a matter between peers, not just elder/junior.
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