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My English name does not transliterate well to Mandarin, so I'm choosing a Chinese name. I want it to evoke wisdom, inner strength, peace, beautiful and serene elements of nature, and poetry.

I'm new to Chinese. I'm positive my clumsy attempts at a name will reflect that. After some research, I've put together this list that I think sound beautiful and have fascinating meanings.

Could you tell me if these words are recognizable as Chinese names? Would they sound overly unusual for a female? Are any incorrect or have confusing alternate meanings? What would be a native speaker's perception of these names?

Surname is 谷

  1. 送慧 Songhui - "bearing wisdom." I hope this doesn't sound pretentious, but I like names that honor wisdom, and I think it sounds lovely.

  2. 秋月Qiuyue - autumn moon. I was born at night in the autumn.

  3. 和凤 Fènghé - gentle Phoenix. The Chinese Phoenix is majestic and generally a symbol of female ideals / yin / the empress. The double meaning lies in the fact that the Phoenix is sometimes used for my zodiac, the rooster.

  4. 智慧 Zhìhuì - resourcefulness, wisdom, cleverness. I LOVE the series 天盛长歌 (Rise of Phoenixes on Netflix) where the main character is named 凤知微 (Feng Zhiwei). This name echoes that character I admire and contains the admirable qualities I aspire to have.

  5. 美惠 Meihui - beautiful wisdom. Is this a common name?

  6. 凤智 Fèngzhì - wise Phoenix. I'm concerned of being conceited here too, but the symbolism is beautiful. This name also reminds me of Feng Zhiwei, at least phonetically.

  7. Zhìfèng 智凤 wise Phoenix. Reverse of above.

Am I being clumsy with the language? Are any of these names acceptable and beautiful to a native speaker?

  • 1
    @droooze you can find more 美恵 than 惠美 when you search in Japanese wikipedia. – fefe Dec 19 '18 at 9:39
  • @fefe thanks, I must have been searching the wrong term. – droooze Dec 19 '18 at 9:40
  • As a Chinese I'm against 送慧,和凤,智慧 and 美惠. 送慧 means send wisdom, which you lost your wisdom. 和凤 and 美惠 look like Japanese name. 智慧, people seldom use meaningful word as their name. – Zang MingJie Dec 19 '18 at 11:16
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谷送慧 - "bearing wisdom."

'送' means 'send'. as a verb, it doesn't go well with a noun 慧 (wisdom)

谷秋月 - autumn moon.

Although '秋' and '月' are commonly used in female names, the name '秋月' itself is quite unisex. I meant '秋月' as a man's name is totally acceptable. (remind me of 張淡月 in 鹿鼎記) It is a good choice nonetheless.

谷和凤 - gentle Phoenix.

和 could mean 'and' ; 谷和凤 doesn't sound like a name but a phrase 'valley and Phoenix'

谷智慧 - resourcefulness, wisdom, cleverness

智慧 is a common compound word noun. It is quite unusual to be used as a name. Generally, people tend to avoid common nouns like 努力,勇敢 or 正義 when picking a name

谷美惠 - beautiful wisdom.

It sounds Japanese

谷凤智 - wise Phoenix.

谷智凤 wise Phoenix. Reverse of above.

Both sound masculine, and reminds people of 庞统, whose nickname was 凤雏.

I want it to evoke wisdom, inner strength, peace, beautiful and serene elements of nature

I suggest 谷秋月

'月'(moon) associates with 'peace, beautiful and serene elements of nature.

  • 果然只有秋月是可以普遍接受的呀☆ – Toosky Hierot Dec 15 '18 at 4:46
  • 秋月 sounds quite hickish tho – user3306356 Dec 15 '18 at 5:07
  • Would 谷玫瑰 sound like an acceptable alternative? Is that name equally hickish? – M. Bal Dec 15 '18 at 15:27
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Personal opinion:

  1. A bit of pretentious, as you said.
  2. Great one. This is also very easy for people to infer that you are female.
  3. Great.
  4. We generally do not use a 2 character word as names. Usually people choose 2 characters to indicate 2 meaning. However this is just convention. Choose whatever you like :)
  5. My first impression is that this is a translation from a Japanese name. Maybe someone else have adopted this name. You could try it. This is also a typical female name.
  6. & 7. Pretty great.

Additionally, #3, #6 and #7 are gender generic. Although 凤 is the male, as in 凤求凰 [凰 is wooed by 凤].

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Apart from the meanings, pronunciation is equally important to be considered(/ω\). Roughly speaking, the first and second tone are 平声, and the third and fourth tone are 仄声. For a three-character name, it is not recommended to consist of three 仄声 characters, since it sounds a bit aggressive and monotonous. Thus I exclude 1,4,6,7 (5 is special, for 谷 will be pronounced as gu2 before another third tone).

I prefer 谷秋月. However, 秋月 is a common metaphor in Chinese poetry. There are more than half a thousand poems mentioning 秋月, so 秋月 gives people impression far more than mere "autumn moon". If you have a special favor for 月, you might replace 秋. I come up with 谷怀月(醉倚梅花满怀月),谷归月(戴月荷锄归)

By the way, 谷知慧/谷慧知/谷美知(replace fourth tone 智/慧 with a first tone synonym) is good as well.

I like 归月 most.

  • Interesting. Are there normal tone combinations that imply male or female names? – M. Bal Dec 15 '18 at 14:31
  • @M.Bal No such things. The number of permutations of 平仄 in 3 characters is just 6 LOL, too small to imply anything. – Toosky Hierot Dec 15 '18 at 15:19
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Your candidates are all typical female name.

送慧 Songhui

An interesting name, 慧 is a very old-school character for name, but 送 is very rare in people names, the combination makes it unique.

秋月Qiuyue

A very common name, One of my middle school classmate name, who is the dream lover of all the boys in my school. LMAO.

和凤 Fènghé -

A very old-school name, tbh, 和 is in my father's name, and 凤 is in my mother's name. Believe it or not.

智慧 Zhìhuì -

Usually, I just describe the fact, but I strongly suggest you do not pick this one, because it is a word itself.

美惠 Meihui -

It sound like traditional Japanese name to Chinese. But absolutely OK.

凤智 Fèngzhì -

It reminds me some Beijing Opera stage names.

Many Chinese use poetry searcher to build name, here is what I got:

谷宜秋

It is from a poetry by 李白

<<寻高凤石门山中元丹丘>> ...

高松来好月,

谷宜

溪深古雪在,

石断寒泉流。 ...

You can try it yourself http://www.shicimingju.com

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"凤" in Chinese means "male phoenix" while "凰" means "female phoenix".

Try to avoid "凤" if you are looking for a lady's name.

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About "智慧", I suggest other options.

"千惠", or "千慧" Those names are used for female often. They all means wise.

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