I suggested naming a Chinese baby girl 桂英 after her grandmother but my suggestion was rejected as the name was considered outdated. I know there is a legendary heroine named 穆桂英 and the name 桂英 is commmonly used by many Chinese ladies. The name itself sounds beautiful and bears nice meanings. Is it considered as outdated? If so, why did it lose its popularity?

By the way, if there is any statistics, I would love to know the rank of the name 桂英 by popularity among 2018 born baby girls. May I know how to find it out?

  • Haha, today popular names for baby are mostly contributed by 80's parents, deeply influenced by web novel, "fast food" literature. In these works several pattern of characters are often used in many characters' names to sound emmmmmmm beautiful, antique... It doesn't means these names are bad, but just too unimaginative and monotonous. Commented Jan 16, 2019 at 7:21
  • Unfortunately, my name, which was took long ago, though, falls into today's popular names... frustrating. Commented Jan 16, 2019 at 7:24
  • outdated? someone's kidding :( imo, it's an average / good name. Commented Jan 16, 2019 at 7:51
  • Names in a lot of cultures follow fashions: take "Chris" in Hollywood. You want to get the right balance of individual-vs-fashionable, distinctive-vs-recognisable for any of your children.
    – Michaelyus
    Commented Jun 20, 2019 at 15:35

4 Answers 4


Yes, it is indeed outdated.

Moreover, you may not want to name your child after a renowned person, for example (武)则天、(毛)泽东、(周)恩来、(朱)元璋 and so on. Especially when you two share the same surname.

However, some more common names, especially single-character names, could still be used, for example, (杨)勇、(李)密、(刘)秀、(王)勃 and so on. But try to avoid when you share the same surname.

Also, it is not a common practice to have children and their elder relatives using same characters in first names. We do not memorize our loved ones that way.

As for the popularity of a name, you may check the 公安部 website.

A name can lose its popularity when more and more people start using it, just like the cloth fashion, something new has to come up every decade!

  • 1
    Thanks! Is 穆桂英 considered as super famous in China? It seems that she is only from a novel.
    – Zuriel
    Commented Jan 16, 2019 at 5:16
  • @Zuriel Yes, she is indeed! There are many operas about her and almost all Chinese you would meet know her, not necessarily in detail though.
    – zyy
    Commented Jan 16, 2019 at 5:20
  • Then why there are many Chinese ladies named 桂英?
    – Zuriel
    Commented Jan 16, 2019 at 5:21
  • 1
    @Zuriel You don't want to name your children after super famous people because you don't want your Children to be make fun of. And there's no proof of many people named 桂英 in the mid 20-centry. People also don't name after famous people due to respect. No one whose family name is 孔 would name his son 丘 because there is only one 孔丘, Google who 孔丘 was
    – Tang Ho
    Commented Jan 16, 2019 at 6:38
  • 1
    The people who named their son 瓜瓜 should go to prison...
    – Tang Ho
    Commented Jan 17, 2019 at 4:19

There is some rules for naming a baby. 1.Avoid same name with Historical Figure. 2.Never to using a very strong word such as 钢。 3.The name should be speak loudly. 4.where is weak of 五行 then take that word. such as if you weak of 木 then the word should have the 木. for example 林.

So 桂英 should not be your baby's name.


桂英 sounds like people living in 1k years ago…

  • Exactly! People may think of 穆桂英, over a thousand years ago.
    – Victor
    Commented Jan 19, 2019 at 18:23

No. Don't do that. This definitely sounds ancient. Modern Chinese people rarely use any of these two characters, 桂 and 英, unless they can come up with a fancier character combination.

For the character 桂, I know a lot of 50-year-old Chinese women are named after 桂芳. For 英, I think nowadays people prefer to use 瑛 more.

Fortunately, Chinese has numerous homophones. If you really like these two characters, maybe you can try homophones like 樱 instead, which has the same pronunciation as 英. People tend to use more poetic and aesthetic characters for names.

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