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I would like some help determining if these names are good/appropriate/authentic for male characters in an ancient Chinese story?

(从霜)

(千秋)

(兰韵)

(清绝)

(飞流)

(花箨)

(飞瑶)

(忘机)

I would also like to ask for some good sources to find authentic ancient Chinese names.

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imo, none of these “terms” are suitable for male name.

sources to find authentic ancient Chinese names

the proper way is, refer to the four-and-twenty histories (二十四史), in which, there’re biographies (列傳)

here’s the table of content of the 列傳, from the book 後漢書:

https://ctext.org/hou-han-shu/lie-zhuan/zh

you may grep some names from it, and, these are authentic names of 漢 dynasty :)

the second way is, read tales and notes (小說筆記). that, these books recorded numerous stories, and each story mentioned names of their characters.

here’s two excerpts “宋名臣言行錄” & “六科舊僚題名”, from the book 水東日記:

https://ctext.org/wiki.pl?if=gb&chapter=755528

https://ctext.org/wiki.pl?if=gb&chapter=491456

have fun :)

  • Thank you for your reply & for the links! I'll look into them & see if I can find anything suitable ^^ – Cain F May 26 at 17:52
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Mainstream names are different in different times. You may search for celebrities of ancient dynasties to grasp the trend of that time. As for your list provided, however, I don't think any of them is likely to be a name of a real person.

Let me explain in Chinese:

主要的问题在于名称的寓意不明。不论今古,名字总要寄托命名者的期望或态度。尤以古代为看重。这里的大部分名字读来让人一头雾水,故不好。

“从霜”不知所云。稍微检索一下,你就会找到“从道”,“从实”,“从古”,“从直”等名字,是不是一眼能看出其内涵?即便“霜”取高洁之意,也不是这么个用法。

“千秋”就如“千古”与“百年”一样,可作人逝世的婉辞,是不适宜作名字的。

“兰韵”中“兰”字确实不错,但是“韵”字实在奇怪,如果你知道“韵”本义就是“和谐的声响”,“竹韵”就是“风过竹叶发出的悦耳的声音”的话,“兰韵”这个名字就很无厘头了。或许有人说“兰韵”是想表达什么“如兰的风韵”什么的,“韵兰”才是更贴切的那个。

“清绝”。用“清”字的人确实很多,但是“绝”字就要考量考量了。“绝”的本义是“断”,所谓“断绝”是也。其引申的,形容词性的所谓“独特”等等意思,其实与“断”有很大关系。我猜想,如此起名的人很少,果然,检索后一个人也没有,至多是自号“绝学先生”罢了。另外,“清绝”搭配,不知所指。

“飞流”。这个名字不好在两个地方。一是,“飞流”可作瀑布解,李飞流?似乎还成,不过转念就是“李瀑布”,一下子就奇葩了起来。二是,“飞流”其实还可以作动词解,就是“飞行”的意思,也不好。注意这里我并非要说一个词又是名词又是动词不好,而是不论哪种,其含义在中华文明中没有什么特别的寓意。古人看到这种名字,就跟今人看到“李汽车”,“王吃饭”一样摸不着头脑。

“花箨”。“花”字常为姓,在名字中确实少见。“箨”?我唯一能想起的词是“箨叶”“箨环”,都是竹子等植物上的一种保护结构。先不说花有没有“箨”,光是这两个字就足够诡异了。你仔细想想,要是有人起名,想强调花的美节,那一定会就用那种花名了,单用个“花”字,什么意思呢?

“飞瑶”。无效组合,不知所云。

“忘机”是这之中最正常的。也是唯一我认为可以当作“小说”中人名的。但是古代的真人恐怕难以取这个名,原因就不详述了。(但是取为字是挺不错的)

结论:

1、古代人名须有寓意、需符合我国文化语境,不是随便拿两个好听、美义的字就可以用的。

2、小说人名不同于真实人名。小说人名是作者赋予,能用以暗示其性情、褒贬乃至命运,是决定论的东西,小说人物也没办法反抗作者。而那些名字中的许多,真人是不会取的。

  • omg, you say the rationale loudly 🙀 the op is a newbie here, it’s too harsh lah 😼 – 水巷孑蠻 May 26 at 2:15
  • @水巷孑蠻 ARRH but they well aroused my 吐槽欲┐(‘~`;)┌ – Toosky Hierot May 26 at 2:21
  • well, i’d describe these as “terms” only, in lieu of “name” 😼 – 水巷孑蠻 May 26 at 2:36
  • @水巷孑蠻 Hah, sadly, however, these "terms" may actually be names given by today's parents poisoned by web novels. – Toosky Hierot May 26 at 2:43
  • what? you must be kidding 😾 judgement day of the xxx culture is near, if it’s true😿 – 水巷孑蠻 May 26 at 2:50
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The list below are all nonsensical

(从霜)

(千秋)

(兰韵)

(清绝)

(飞流)

(花箨)

(飞瑶)

(忘机)

Let me try to make them more sensible:

(韩霜) - sounds the same as 寒霜 (cold frost)

(千秋) eon (This one is actually not bad for a fictional name)

(万鈞) tremendous power

(绝清) absolutely clear

(飞川) extremely fast river

(憐花) tender to flower (lady) - sounds the same as 蓮花 (lotus flower)

(飞瑶) no help for this one

(忘紀) sounds the same as 忘己 (forget oneself)

To make up Chinese names for fictional characters, you can reference actual Chinese novels (also read Toosky Hierot's post for tips)

  • Thanks for the all the help! I really appreciate that you took the time to correct them for me ;-; I noticed in Toosky's post that (千秋) represents a person's death. Essentially, the character I'm using it for is the spirit of a dead person. So would it still be suitable, since I really like the meaning behind the name? Also,(飞流) is used as a name in 琅琊榜... And I really love the character, so is it impossible to work? My last point is about the character (箨)... I love the way it sounds, so is there any way to make it work in a name? Or a name that has a similar sounding character? – Cain F May 28 at 9:35
  • + I also want to ask for clarification about (忘己). Is this appropriate as a name? Because I like it more than (忘紀) – Cain F May 28 at 9:41
  • the term 千秋 (thousand autumns) just means a long long time (eon), The term that describes a person's death is actually 百年之後 (pass away after age of 100). or 千古 baike.baidu.com/item/%E5%8D%83%E5%8F%A4/9959395. – Tang Ho May 28 at 13:32
  • neither 忘紀 nor 忘己 is a common name in real life, but for a fictional character, it is possible. (you have to come up with a back story for why someone would name himself or his son 忘己 though) – Tang Ho May 28 at 13:35

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