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I am not Chinese, and know very little of the language, but I was born in China since my parents happened to live there at the time, and somebody gave me a Chinese name, which, unfortunately, I do not completely remember all the details of. Here is what I remember:

  • Without the tones (I don't know what they are), my name is "dong hua" and I have a nickname "dong dong" (is nickname the right thing to call it?)
  • I remember there being a double meaning, one meaning "winter flower" since I was born in January, and another that had to do with being born in Shandong province.
  • I remember there was a sort of joke/phrase about me that was something like "dong dong di di yo da du du"

Can anybody fill in the missing details for me? I'm especially interested to know if anybody is able to reconstruct what the characters of my name might be.

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    As "花" is seldom used for a boy's name, my best guess is 东华. 东(east) has the same pronunciation as 冬(winter) in Mandarin, and 华 is a common name for a boy, meaning both China and flower (actually in ancient China, 华 is a variant of 花), so, 东华 means "eastern China" (born in Shandong) and 冬花 with similar pronunciation means "winter flower". Assume it's 东华, then 东东 as the nickname is natural. However I don't quite get what "dong dong di di yo da du du" means. – Stan Jan 16 '15 at 6:02
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    东东弟弟有大肚肚....... – user3306356 Jan 16 '15 at 6:21
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your name could be: 冬花 冬:winter 花:flowers. Shandong province 山东, 东 east,pronounced same as 冬:winter I guess, you are a girl.

  • I'm actually a boy. :-) What about "dong dong"? Would it be 冬 冬 or 东 东 or 东 冬 or 东 冬? – Peter Olson Jan 16 '15 at 5:08
  • As "花" is seldom used for a boy's name,so I thought you were a girl. – Max Mandarin Jan 16 '15 at 13:30
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1st.clue:dongdong

The possible common names are 东东,冬冬.

No one use 东冬,or 冬东. It is weird using different characters that have same pronounciation.

Since you was born in January,probably 冬冬,especialy when your family have no relation to shandong province.

Shandong province 's short name is 鲁(lu3). When Chinese give baby name like this,they always use the province's short name.

2nd clue: hua

Common character is 花 or 华. Since you are a boy.I think it is 华.

3rd clue:dong dong di di yo da du du

I was wrong.....

and we still don't know your formal name...

Conclusion

冬华 have more sense based on clues,but 东华 is a more common name.

Both 东 and 华 means China.东 could also stand for 山东,though it is rare.

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From the language laboratories here in Fangshan (ie my girlfriend):

dongdong didi .......you.. da.. dudu

东东......弟弟.........有..大.....肚肚!

Dong little brother has a big stomach!

肚子 = stomach 肚肚 = childrens language

Dongdong is just doubled up to match didi which is 'little brother'

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For anyone interested, since asking this question, I actually returned to to China and lived there for a couple years. During that time, I met the person who named me, found out the answer.

My Chinese name is 盛华东. (Apparently I remembered incorrectly and it was actually hua dong and not dong hua). This name was chosen because I was born in the east (东) of China (华), specifically in Shandong province (山东). Also I was born in the winter, and 冬 (winter) sounds the same as 东 (east).

盛 is just a phonetic approximation of the last syllable of my surname Olson.

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