Sunday 6 June 2010

0497 HKSAR Name of the Day

Raymund Kwok Wai Man, professor, Dept of Chemistry, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

About Novel HKSAR Names
Name Category: Rare; Phonetic-based


  1. aimlesswanderer7 June 2010 at 21:37

    Do you think that many of these people who have names like this (also on the increase here in Aust, 'normal' names which are just changed a tiny bit) are just looking for a name which is "a bit different"/"unique"?

    Personally I think it is often a bit silly.

  2. Thanks AimlessW. From my limited observations, I would agree with you when you say that many local Hongkongers are looking for a name which is "a bit different"/"unique". The interesting question is “why”? Why does this motivation to be different/unique appear to be relatively more frequent in Hong Kong compared with Singapore, Taiwan or mainland China? I’ve begun to discuss this a little in About Novel HKSAR Names. Would be interested to know what you and others think.

    BTW, how common is this becoming in Australia? Are you referring to the Chinese population or general population in Australia?

  3. aimlesswanderer10 June 2010 at 17:45

    Is it more common in HK? I must admit I have no idea how relatively frequent it is in HK compared to other places. Perhaps it is just an expression of how Hongkies like to think they are better than everyone else, especially those upstart peasants to the north.

    I am referring mostly, I guess, to the general population - especially the "bogan" part. They are, generally looked down up as being uneducated, poor, uncivilised and ignorant, and are thought to have a liking for "unusual/unique" (eg Blain) names. I must admit that I don't know any bogans, so can't really comment. I think that another main section of the community likely to give their kids strange names are the, well, yuppies/tree huggers/"inner city intellectuals". They are the ones who want their kids to be 'a little bit different'. Oh, and the large population of recent migrants sometimes give their kids culturally traditional names, but I suppose that doesn't count.

    My relos aren't exactly radical, so the cousins have named their kids quite conventionally.

    Maybe I'll ask my little bros wife.

  4. Thanks AimlessW, you make a valid point about education being a factor, as well as superiority complex. Funny how you mention bogans! There’s a book called Freakonomics and it mentions an interesting observation about how the black community have distinct names. Perhaps this is all related?

  5. aimlesswanderer18 June 2010 at 22:47

    Hmm, I have also noticed that the US black population have a definite tendency to name their kids name which are "different", and you can often just see some names and there are some which immediately 'seem' to be black names.

    While it can be a way to maintain difference from the mainstream, it may also be looked down upon by said mainstream and lead to discrimination.

    Vaguely similar to the bogans here, who are looked down upon for a number of perceived reasons, one of which is the 'weird' naming of their kids.