Beijing Olympics


What’s in a Name? In China, the Olympics

June 12, 2008 04:24 PM
by Sarah Amandolare
Chinese babies are often named after significant events, such as the Olympic Games. But does a name change the way a person is perceived?

30-Second Summary

According to the BBC, “more than 4,000 children in China have been given the name Aoyun, meaning Olympic Games, in the past 15 years,” thought to signal support for the Beijing games being held this summer.

More recently, babies in China have been named after the devastating earthquake that hit the country in May 2008. The name “Zhensheng,” which literally means, “born from a quake.”

In China, children are often named after significant events and “popular slogans—such as Defend China, Build the Nation and Space Travel,” said the BBC.

The best-selling book “Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything” examines the significance of names of people and of streets. The authors found that an unfavorable street name could result in a lower-priced home, while people’s names usually had little effect on how they were perceived by others.

Headline Links: In China, it’s all in the name

Related Topics: The psychology of names

Reference Links: ‘Freakonomics’


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