Languages › Mandarin How to Choose a Chinese Baby Name for a Boy Share Flipboard Email Print Wild Horse Photography/Getty Images Mandarin Mandarin History and Culture Pronunciation Vocabulary Understanding Chinese Characters By Qiu Gui Su Chinese Language Expert Qiu Gui Su is a native Mandarin speaker who has taught Mandarin Chinese for over 20 years. our editorial process Qiu Gui Su Updated November 04, 2019 All parents have experienced the excitement and anxiety of naming their newborn child. In every culture throughout the world, there is a general belief that names have an influence on the child’s life, either for better or for worse. Most parents choose names based on the following principles: meaning, special significance, family connection, and/or sound. Chinese parents also consider these things when naming their baby boy or girl. But on top of that, Chinese parents have to consider the Chinese characters that make up the name. Stroke Count Most Chinese names are made up of three characters. The first character is the family name and the last two characters are the given name. There are exceptions to this general rule – some family names are made up of two characters, and sometimes the given name is just one character. Chinese characters can be classified by the number of strokes required to draw them. The character 一, for example, has one stroke, but the character 義 has thirteen strokes. Both these characters, by the way, are pronounced yi. The number of strokes determines whether a character is yin (even number of strokes) or yang (odd number of strokes). Chinese names should have a balance of yin and yang. Elements in Chinese Names In addition to stroke counts, each Chinese character is associated with one of the five elements: fire, earth, water, wood, and gold. The Chinese name for a baby boy or girl must have a harmonious combination of elements. Genealogy It is common for Chinese names to incorporate a genealogical marker. Meanings, siblings will often have names composed of the same first character. The second character in the given name will be distinct to the person. That way, all family members of the same generation will have similar names. Chinese Baby Names for Boys Chinese names for boys usually have gender qualities such as strength and glory for boys. Here are a few examples of Chinese names for boys: Pinyin Traditional Characters Simplified Characters Ān Róng 安榮 安荣 Ān Dū 安督 安督 Yǎ Dé 雅德 雅德 Jié Lǐ 杰禮 杰礼 Hàn Róng 翰榮 翰荣 Xiū Bó 修博 修博 Jiàn Yì 健義 健义 Zhì Míng 志明 志明 Jūn Yí 君怡 君怡 Wěi Xīn 偉新 伟新 A similar process is undertaken when choosing Chinese Baby names for girls. How to Choose a Chinese Name by Number of Strokes How Are Strokes Used in Chinese Writing? Why Is the Chinese Character for Horse so Important? What Does "He" in Chinese Really Mean? How to pronounce Li Keqiang, China's premier The Sun and Moon and Other Opposites: The Mandarin Meaning Of Yin Yang How to Say Good Morning and Good Evening in Chinese Chinese Names—Choosing a Good Mandarin Name Is There a Specific Stroke Order for Writing Chinese Characters? Do You Know the Chinese Character for "Left"? How to Say and Write "Good" in Chinese Learning to Write Chinese Characters by Hand Why Are Fish So Important in Chinese Language? Tips on How to Read Chinese Learning the Building Blocks of Chinese Characters How Do You Say These North American Cities in Mandarin Chinese?