Each native Chinese name has a particular meaning which usually expresses what a father, grandfather, or himself hopes, wishes the name owner to be or to do. That is naming culture in China.
Normally, When a girl is going to be born, her father or grandfather is engaged to look up dictionaries, classics, poetry, etc to search a sentence or phrase, then extracts one or two words as her name.
But, our latest statistics shows that the words used most frequently in girl's names still follow a basic rule. That is, words for girl's names are those represent 'beautiful, flower, nice sound, girl, graceful, jade, pretty, bright, smart, etc'.
The top 20 words for girl's names are listed as follow. You could compare them with Top 20 Chinese Characters For Man's Names to know briefly their difference and meaning of Chinese names. Note that the top words we are talking about are the last characters of given names because they determine mainly the meaning of the names.
Names for two daughters of The President Mao Zedong are good samples of Chinese names, because their family names are not 'Mao' instead of 'Li'. Why? And their two given names join together to express a particular meaning, which is very common when a family has more kids.
One day in 1949, Li Min asked his father why her family name was Li rather than Mao, because other kids always had the same one as father's.
The President Mao told her a story about his another name. He said, one day in 1947 in the civil war, when Mao with his headquarter staffs and army were forced to be evacuated as the enemy advanced, Mao said to his generals and soldiers, "We leave here is not for giving up here, but for all of China, for the victory of the war. So now my name is Li Desheng, which means that giving up is for winning out." (in Chinese, the family name Li pronounces similarly to a Chinese word Li which means leave, or evacuate.
Mao continued to his daughters. "So, my another name is Li Desheng, and now I give you the names Li Min and Li Ne, and you also has the same family name as mine. Do you satisfy your family name even though it is not Mao?"
Then Mao took a book The Analects of Confucius and pointed at a sentence jun zi yu ne yu yan er min yu xin (in Chinese ) and side "this sentence means that a person with noble character should be slow to speech and agile to action, so the elder sister's name is Min (the eighth Chinese character, red) and the younger sister's name is Ne (the 4th word, red). I hope you are both the gentlewomen, to be slow to speech and agile to action."
The both girls were very happy, because they not only had the same surname as their great father, and got the meaningful names.
The name for a popular actress and dancer in China is Chen Shu ( in Chinese ). As you know the first character is her family name, and the second one a given name.
About her name, she said: "When I came to this world, my elders were very happy. My grandparents who are both professors in Hubei university gave me a name: Shu (in Chinese ); this word could not be joined with other words to form any phrase or sentence, and only has one meaning welcome rain or well-timed rain."
"I like this name very much. But the problem is that many people, including the media, could not know this word properly and usually made some confusions because this word is not common in Chinese. So I thought I should give myself a name for people and media."
"After one month studying, I took the last word shu from an idiom xin zhong you shu (in Chinese as my new name; the idiom means with one's eyes open; fully aware of what one is doing; and the new name sounds the same as my previous name."
What the more interesting is that these four-words phrase also means literally place 'Shu' in mind or in heart. Chen Shu hopes all audiences who like her could place 'Shu' in their heart.
Chinese given name usually is taken from a sentence in the classics, a phrase, lines of poetry, etc and carries its meaning.
Common words used for girl's given names mean 'beautiful, flower, nice sound, girl, graceful, jade, pretty, bright, smart, etc'.