Women's names

Join the Romance of the Three Kingdoms discussion with our resident Scholars. Topics relating to the novel and history are both welcome. Don't forget to check the Forum Rules before posting.
Kongming’s Archives: Romance of the Three Kingdoms
Three Kingdoms Officer Biographies
Three Kingdoms Officer Encyclopedia
Scholars of Shen Zhou Search Tool

Women's names

Unread postby Sun Fin » Tue Mar 06, 2018 3:17 pm

We don't often know the personal names of women in the era. Normally they are referred to as Lady then their family name, for example Lady Sun or Lady Qiao. What I'm asking is whether have a list of female names that were common in the era? I presume that the popularity of names has changed throughout the history of China? So names on this list for example wouldn't have been used during the 2nd century?
Interested in the history behind the novel? Find a list of english language Three Kingdom sources here.
User avatar
Sun Fin
Librarian of Shen Zhou
 
Posts: 7102
Joined: Sat Nov 10, 2007 9:20 pm
Location: The birthplace of radio

Re: Women's names

Unread postby CaTigeReptile » Tue Mar 06, 2018 8:17 pm

Chinese names can be pretty much anything. Based on the few women's names we do have, I think that list would be a safe enough bet - things like "princess" and "flower" and "beauty" haven't really changed and you really can't go wrong with. A couple names are even on that list. It's just worth remembering that names are more a reflection of the parent than they are the child - which is why you have Sun Quan's two daughters whose style names were Xiaohu and Dahu (small tiger and big tiger).
User avatar
CaTigeReptile
Langzhong
 
Posts: 568
Joined: Sat Aug 24, 2002 8:58 pm
Location: General who Stabs Evil People

Re: Women's names

Unread postby Sun Fin » Wed Mar 07, 2018 9:02 am

Interesting! Thanks CaTiRe. I guess that is one of the affects of having a symbol based writing system instead of a letter one. Spellings and pronunciations haven't become corrupted or evolved in quite the same way, as say names from the same period in England!
Interested in the history behind the novel? Find a list of english language Three Kingdom sources here.
User avatar
Sun Fin
Librarian of Shen Zhou
 
Posts: 7102
Joined: Sat Nov 10, 2007 9:20 pm
Location: The birthplace of radio

Re: Women's names

Unread postby CaTigeReptile » Thu Mar 08, 2018 4:04 pm

Sun Fin wrote:Interesting! Thanks CaTiRe. I guess that is one of the affects of having a symbol based writing system instead of a letter one. Spellings and pronunciations haven't become corrupted or evolved in quite the same way, as say names from the same period in England!


The characters are pretty much the same and so you can read straight off of an ancient stele, but pronunciations are wildly different - with Cantonese a tiny bit closer to the Eastern Han spoken Chinese - which, at the time of the Three Kingdoms, is believed to have been mutually intelligible across the entire empire.

For instance, Sun Ce is . . . well, Sun is not actually a good choice because it's pretty similar, but Ce, which is like 'Ts'e' in Mandarin, is like Ts'ag in Cantonese and was something closer to 'Shreg' during the Three Kingdoms. And that's not much of a change.

Even though Cao Cao's surname and given name sound the same today - Ts'ao Ts'ao in Mandarin and Ts'o Ts'o in Cantonese, was something similar to "Zlu Sha-ws."

Then you have some that I can't transliterate from IPA to just English letters, and that make me gag when I try to pronounce them.

Here's a cool video, but in the beginning the speaker has trouble rolling his Rs so he overemphasizes them (there are some comments below). However, as usual, Lady Wu knows way more about this stuff than I ever could! Since she's literally a linguistics expert and all.
User avatar
CaTigeReptile
Langzhong
 
Posts: 568
Joined: Sat Aug 24, 2002 8:58 pm
Location: General who Stabs Evil People


Return to Sanguo Yanyi Symposium

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests

Copyright © 2002–2008 Kongming’s Archives. All Rights Reserved