Chinese Baby Names
Traditionally, Chinese names are often based on attributes that parents desire for their babies, with boys names tending towards ideals of strength and honor and girls often being named after beautiful flowers or typically feminine qualities such as grace. As Chinese baby names become more popular in the western world, many are now commonly used for both boys and girls and some have well known anglicized spellings to help with pronunciation. One of the best things about borrowing names from the Chinese language is that they are often short so can be joined with other names or western suffixes to create a name unique to your baby with a meaning that is special to your family (eg: Bai-Lynn could mean ‘pure waterfall’).
Mei– meaning simply ‘beautiful’, this short name sounds super cute but won’t sound silly as your child grows into an adult. Mei is traditionally a girl’s name and is a nice alternative to ‘May’.
Jiang– This name is commonly used for both boys and girls and has a great Chinese sound with spelling that won’t confuse English speakers. Meaning ‘river’, Jiang would be a good choice for a baby born to nature loving parents.
Bai– The meaning of this name is generally accepted to be ‘person of purity’ as it is derived from the word for ‘white’ or ‘pure’ but can also relate to the Chinese words for ‘many’ or ‘hundred’ and ‘cypress tree’ or ‘cedar tree’. Bai is an easy name to hyphenate or add to and could be used for a boy or a girl.
Chao– This boys name, derived from the Chinese word for ‘surpass’, means ‘excellent’ and is also related to a word meaning ‘tidewater’ so is a great name for a baby of water loving parents.
Huan– Used for both boys and girls, Huan means ‘happy’, ‘joyful’, or ‘pleased’ in Chinese.
Xiu– Pronounced ‘shyu’, this girl’s name has a very typical Chinese sound. Derived from the word for ‘beautiful’, ‘elegant’, or ‘outstanding’, Xiu has a lovely meaning as well as sounding pretty.
Zhen– This beautiful name is usually used for girls and is pronounced similar to the name ‘Jen’. It’s meaning can be taken from any one of three Chinese words meaning ‘precious’, ‘genuine’, and ‘virtuous’ or ‘loyal’.
Keung– This very funky name means simply ‘universe’ or ‘cosmos’ and is most commonly used for boys.
Qi– Pronounced ‘chi’, this name’s meaning may already be well known to many English speakers as ‘vital energy’ thanks to the popularity of Tai Chi in Western culture. Qi could be used for a boy or a girl and could easily be added to another name to create a unique moniker for your little one.
Shen– A boy’s name meaning ‘extremely spiritual’ or ‘deep thinker’, Shen is a great choice if you’re looking for an easy to spell name that is unlikely to be mispronounced and also has a lovely meaning.
Xian– Meaning ‘enlightened person’, ‘celestial being’, ‘immortal’, or ‘transcendent’, Xian could be used for either a boy or a girl. Pronounced ‘shyan’, this name has a great traditional Chinese sound to go with it’s very spiritual meaning.