My first question is similar to Lil ol' 阮天文's post regarding how to describe my name, 楚胜天. Most native speakers have me repeat myself several times or write it down before understanding me, it would be great to have a good way of explaining the characters.

My 老师 gave me the name 楚胜天 a while back when I was attending university. I was told it had significant meaning and it was from some classic texts, but I don't recall what the real meaning is or from what texts it originated. I understand the literal translation, but I would love to understand what this name means and what native Chinese speakers may think upon hearing it. Also, if anyone knows if this name comes from anywhere I would love to know.


When I hear the name 胜天, the first thing that comes to my mind is the idiom "人定胜天"

人的智慧和力量可以战胜自然 (Human wisdom and strength can overcome nature)

The name 胜天 implies optimism and confidence


is a common family name, it means:

  • clear; neat; in good order

  • name of a state in the Eastern Zhou period (770-256 BC)

  • a name for the region of Hubei and Hunan

To describe your name, you can say: 我的名字是楚胜天。楚国的楚,胜利的胜,天空的天。(any common two characters compound word would do)


楚: a country name in 2000 years ago, in 战国时代. Currently its area is about in Hubei province.

It's a common name in chinese.

西楚霸王: is a candidate of the emperor, and there are very famous story about him (霸王别姬) , and finally defeated by 刘邦, the emperor of 汉朝. 

胜天: defeat the fate. (In chinese myth stories, we always think the fate would be changed by our great effort. e.g. 精卫填海, 愚公移山, 哪吒闹海. whatever, human being is the gold of our self, don't believe the 牛鬼蛇神)

so, you can introduce your name as:

大家好, 我的名字是 西楚霸王的楚, 人定胜天的 胜天. :)

p.s. 胜天 this name sounds a bit 名字有点儿大(here 大 means 狂妄)

  • Quote:- "p.s. 胜天 this name sounds a bit 名字有点儿大(here 大 means 狂妄)" Yes, he would be teased and maybe even "challenged" in a boys' school. Not an easy name to live up to. I mean being called "victory over heaven"? It's like Sun Wukong (孫悟空), the Monkey King of "西游记" giving itself the title (齊天大聖), Qí tiān Dà shèng, (Great Sage Equal to Heaven), and even then only "equal" not victory over heaven. – Wayne Cheah Jul 21 '20 at 10:44

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