The name is just like a person's dressing and the appropriate and suitable dressing always makes a good impression on other people. Also, it can be compared to one's conversational manner. We often listen to one's language expression to judge his/her life experience and cultural accomplishment while reading a stranger. The name is also just like one's body; the bonny body and the graceful manner always leave a good impression on others. Chinese characters are extensive and profound and it takes a lot of learning to name the new baby.
While picking a name, Chinese people pay attention to the characters' property of five elements and try to conform to the requirements of the Chinese zodiac as much as possible. The meaning of the character in anthroponymy is also of vital importance and priority is given to the characters with auspicious implications while the inauspicious characters are avoided. In addition, the gender characteristics of boys and girls are considered in picking a name for the convenience of life and work. Besides, the character pronunciation shall be sweet-sounding and have rhythm by taking the tone pattern into consideration.
The best method of picking a name is the combination of multiple methods instead of only taking a single method. A good name shall be pleasant to hear, easy to write, good-looking, meaningful and easy to be spread.
Based on Chinese Zodiac
It refers to picking a name according to the characteristics of various Chinese Zodiac signs
for the purpose of development. For example, the cattle and rabbit are fond of grass, so a baby born in the year of cattle or rabbit often has the name with a prefix of ''艹'' (grass in Chinese); the snake likes to stay in the cave, so a baby born in the year of snake may have the name with a prefix of ''口'' (cave in Chinese); the chicken mainly eats cereal, so a baby born in the year of chicken may choose the Chinese characters like 豆 (bean), 米 (rice), 禾 (millet), 麦 (wheat) and 粱 (sorghum) as the name.
Correlated Family Name and Given Name
In picking a name, the family name and given name can be correlated to form an integral structure. For example, a baby with the family name of 许 (Xu) can be named 许诺 (Xu Nuo) which means making a promise; a baby with the family name of 钱 (Qian) can be named 钱来 (Qian Lai) or 钱满 (Qian Man) with the meaning of making money; a baby with the family name of 成 (Cheng) can be named 成功 (Cheng Gong) which means success; a baby with the family name of 甘 (Gan) can be named 甘甜 (Gan Tian) which means sweetness.
Based on the Characteristics of the Birthday
It refers to picking a name based on the baby's birth date, hour, season, weather, events and other factors. Focusing on the birth of the baby, this method is relatively simple and easy. For example:
曾子叶 (Zeng Ziye) means the baby was born in the midnight (''子夜'' in Chinese, homophonic to ''子叶'');
柳雨庭 (Liu Yuting) indicates that it was raining when the baby's mother was sent to the delivery room but the rain stopped after the baby's was born (''雨庭'' is homophonic to ''雨停'' which means the rain stops);
杨楠楠 (Yang Nannan) suggests that it was very difficult for the mother to deliver the baby and 楠楠 (homophonic to ''难难'' which means difficulty) was used to commemorate this memorable dystocia experience;
宋迎春 (Song Yingchun) indicates that the baby was born in spring (''春'' means spring).
Taking the Name of the Birthplace or Hometown
The name of the birthplace or hometown, or the parents' location can also be used in picking a name for the baby. For example, Confucius was born in the Niqiu Mountain (尼丘山) southeast of Qufu, so he was named 丘 (Qiu) with the courtesy name of 尼 (Ni); the names like 鲁豫 (Luyu), 湘琼 (Xiangqiong), 桂宁 (Guining) are also derived from the place names since they are the abbreviations of Chinese provinces.
Based on Five Patterns in Chinese Feng Shui
Selecting a Chinese name based on Five Patterns in Chinese Feng Shui
also means picking a name according to the strokes. Based on the stroke number, five patterns, namely heaven, earth, human, overall and outside, are listed out to adjust the number of strokes for the best combination of family name and given name.
Based on the Five Elements and the Eight Characters of a Horoscope
Generally, after analyzing the eight characters of a horoscope, the weakness in five elements is figured out to identify the Auspicious God and the Supporting God. In this way, the Chinese characters with the corresponding properties are chosen to remedy for the weakness so as to achieve the balance of five elements. The five element theory
has an important impact on anthroponymy and the method of picking a name according to the weakness in five elements for eight characters of a horoscope played a very important role in ancient times. 闰土 (Run Tu), the hero in Lu Xun's novel Hometown, is a typical example and he is given the name of 闰土 (Run Tu) because of the weakness in earth (''土'' in Chinese) in five elements.
Deriving from Poems and Allusions
It refers to picking a name by selecting one or two characters from a meaningful sentence in ancient literature works, poems or allusions. For example, 阑珊 (dim light) can be derived from the verse "I have searched for her hundreds and thousands of times in the crowd; when I looked back suddenly, I found that she was there by the dim light." as one's name; 浩然 (uprightness) can be derived from the sentence "a gentle shall be cultivate the spirit of uprightness" said by Mencius as one's name.
Auspicious Homophonic Method
A baby with the family name of 冯 (Feng) can be named 冯源 (Feng Yuan) which is homophonic to "逢源" in the idiom "左右逢源" (achieving success one way or another) with the meaning of handling affairs smoothly and skillfully. A baby with the family name of 李 (Li) can be named 李貌 (Li Mao) which is homophonic to 礼貌 (politeness). A baby with the family name of 郑 (Zheng) can be named 郑好 (Zheng Hao) which is homophonic to 正好 (just right). The poor homophonic characters shall be avoided, such as 徐伟 (Xu Wei) which sounds like 虚伪 (hypocrisy); 吴廉 (Wu Lian) which sounds like 无脸 (impudence); 胡莉 (Hu Li) which sounds like 狐狸 (fox).
Based on Parents' Expectations
It means picking a name for the baby based on the parents' expectations for the baby in the future, such as 博学 (Boxue) which means good learning and being knowledgeable; 国栋 (Guodong) which means contributing to the country. The characters like 富 (wealth) are considered if the parents want their baby to make outstanding achievements in economy; the characters like 聪 (smart) are considered if the parents wish their baby to be smart.