What is 征 here please? I guess it is either 征求 or 征集。Would either fit the bill? Maybe 征名 is a word? I think it is really '征集名字‘。

The background is, 兰州的‘读者文摘’ had to change the name of their magazine, because the American '读者文摘‘ had already registered that name.


The Editorial Department took swift action, they published an announcement in the magazine, calling for/soliciting (new) names for their publication.

Any chance 征 could be 征询 的‘征’??

3 Answers 3


Your guess is right. It means 征求 or 征集。In English, it means "Call for", and here it is "call for names". The dictionary definitions are close.

For 征询, 征询 = 征求、询问. However, it is usually used to ask for opinions. The word 征 in 征询 is indeed the same though.

  • Upvote, thanks. I was surprised by 'call for', I hadn't thought of that. Dictionaries gave me 'solicit, recruit, collect'
    – Pedroski
    Jun 1, 2015 at 2:25

征集 is the correct meaning. Usually it's used in an ad to solicit suggestions and votes from the audience/readership/viewership to choose a name for something. Put "征名" into baidu image search for many examples.

  • 1
    I think I better translate the whole sentence, see if you agree. Please check my edit above.
    – Pedroski
    Jun 1, 2015 at 2:34

My wife's first name, so I think I need to say something.

Originally, Zheng means (1) "go on a journey" (foot + distant place). Later, which also naturally relates to kind of "military service".

I GUESS, the nature of this kind of forced "service" later make Zheng extend its meaning to a noun (2) tax;

Later as noun and verb frequently were used interchangeably, Zheng became a verb for taxing/collecting-tax, so Zheng has a third meaning (3) Collect/go-to-collect;

Then ZhengXun most probably appeared later, the word Zheng here is only related to an action of "go". You see it is still somehow related to the original meaning, however, its original meaning is weaker and weaker.

PS: Most of the Chinese characters lost their original meanings. Some however still keep them (Zheng is one of these). Still some may have multiple meanings from the very beginning.

Mostly, people don't care the original meaning, but for me, they are still helpful, especially, when you use it as your name.

  • The character 征 in simplified Chinese has two origins: 征 and 徵. 征 means "go on a journey" / "military action". 徵 means collect / demand / call for, etc.
    – Danke Xie
    Jun 1, 2015 at 5:30
  • Are you sure about that? Then what about this "於是黃帝乃徵師諸侯,與蚩尤戰於涿鹿之野。"
    – Daniel
    Jun 1, 2015 at 6:35
  • I do hope your wife is not a tax collector! They are not my favourite people! 呵呵
    – Pedroski
    Jun 1, 2015 at 6:39
  • Yes, I am pretty sure: 徵 -- 2. 召集。如:“徵兵”。《史記•卷一•五帝本紀》:“於是黃帝乃徵師諸侯,與蚩尤戰於涿鹿之野。” It means 皇帝 called together soldiers (于/from) 诸侯 (于 is omitted), and fought 蚩尤 in the fields of 涿鹿. zdic.net/z/19/js/5FB5.htm
    – Danke Xie
    Jun 1, 2015 at 6:47
  • Hmm, I checked zdict too. (1) "military service" to (2) "tax collection", are obviously two different thing, I used to wonder, that starting from what time, was Zheng first used for tax collection. But it seems your point is, Zheng used as tax collection started INDEPENDENTLY as 徵. Then by quoting from Shiji "黃帝乃徵師諸侯", I was trying to say, that in this sentence, 徵 still closely related to a military event. Secondly, are you sure, in the old time, both 徵 and 征 were being used simultaneously?
    – Daniel
    Jun 1, 2015 at 7:04

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