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A while back, when I first started learning Chinese, I chose my Chinese name to be 谦恭. I chose this because 谦恭 is a loose direct translation of the meaning of my name.

So, a few years later, I found out that 谦恭 cannot be used as a name as it is improper. I did not worry about it so much then, but now I am going to be studying abroad in China in the Fall. So I would like to know if there are any names in China that start with 谦. I am really attached to 谦恭 because I have had it as my name for so long.

My actual legal name has no phonetic similarities with 谦恭 either. Just so you know.

Does anyone have any suggestions?

  • a chinese name starts with the family name, and 谦 is not a common one. But as a given name, 谦恭 is absolutely ok. – Jason Swift Apr 23 '18 at 5:22
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    It is okay if 谦 is the first (or the sole) character of a given name. For example: 于谦 wapbaike.baidu.com/item/%E4%BA%8E%E8%B0%A6/377 You can use 谦恭 as your given name and also give yourself a family name (pick one from 百家姓). Although a Chinese name starts with family name, people often address each other using given names, too. – wks Apr 23 '18 at 5:31
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Here's an alternative point of view.


谦恭 is an okay Chinese name, albeit "uncommon."


If you check out this article on zhummzyking的博客 it talks about as a surname.

Under part two origins the article explains:

二.姓氏渊源:

第一个渊源:源于礼法,出自春秋时期君子之道,属于以儒家礼法为氏。

谦,是春秋时期儒家学派所提倡的礼法,提倡恭谦退让为尚,有心谦和面谦之分,儒家强调以君子之风,面对同等地位之人,应在内心上恭顺谨慎、文良逊让,以显尊敬,其在史籍《史记·乐书》中就有记载:“君子以谦退为礼。”当然,如若社会地位不对等者,儒家就不讲求什么“谦”了。

春秋后期,有一些人以君子自诩,遂改以礼法为姓氏,即称谦氏,后有不少人改回原姓氏,但仍有坚持为谦氏者,世代相传至今,其姓源繁复,不可一论。

Then it talks about a fairly well known monk by the name of:

谦开善.

The page also mentions a second origin but I won't paste that here.

  • 谦 is not a common surname, but it is indeed a last name.

How about 恭 then?

This is where the China Biographical Database (CBDB) comes in handy.

A search for names with 恭 in them provides many names, alternative names and courtesy names.

Names like:

陳彥恭


程嗣恭


孫恭

Multiple people have the posthumous name:

文恭

including 王珪 and 王綯.

If you go through CBDB's name list the number of 恭's is immense.

  • 恭 is a legit name.

You might see some complaints about your name, but Chinese names are diverse and varied and after all you have evidence to back you up.

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"恭" is rarely used in first name for Chinese people because it sounds like 公 which is an honorific

I suggest 谦遜

It is a common sounding first name. If you treat 谦 as a family name, 遜 is also a good matching given name

: modest; unassuming; humble

: modest; humble; unassuming

陸遜 is one of the famous people in Chinese history who named 遜

  • 遜 also means sucks, as in that sucks, i.e.: that's awful. Probably not a good suggestion for a name. – user3306356 Apr 23 '18 at 5:50

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