Parenting & Family

English and Chinese middle name?

  • Last Updated:
  • Jun 24th, 2019 9:28 pm
[OP]
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May 22, 2003
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English and Chinese middle name?

We are expecting our first child any day now. My wife and I wanted to give the child an English middle-name after someone who was very dear to us who passed away. My parents want to give him/her (gender is currently unknown) a Chinese middle name. Would you put both full English and Chinese middle names on the official documentation, or would you abbreviate the Chinese name?

For example

Nancy Elaine Fook-Shing Wong or Nancy Elaine F.S. Wong?
30 replies
Deal Expert
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Nov 15, 2004
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Why not just use Elaine as the first name?
Could HAVE, not could OF. What does 'could of' even mean?
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Mar 21, 2010
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I wouldn't abbreviate, since that kind of minimizes what your parents want anyway. I would either include it in full, or not put it in officially (if that's what you want). I suppose it's also up to how you/your wife feel culturally and how your son/daughter will grow up, in terms of whether they have any connection to that culture.

I personally have a middle name from a culture I don't identify with at all (same reason, grandparent kicked up a fuss). I wish I didn't, and it only ever appears on my passport and other formal government documents. I don't have it on my degree, professional qualification etc.
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Feb 7, 2017
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Piro21 wrote:
Jun 4th, 2019 1:03 pm
Why not just use Elaine as the first name?
Abbreviating by just using initials
Means that forever in life you are setting the kid up for issues
As the two won’t line up ...
And officials (in Govts etc)
Are forever going to ask / be confused
“ Is FS a real name ? What does it stand for ? Etc “
So why set your kid up for a lifetime of that ?

Birth Certificate should contain the full names (for legal reasons)
As you the parent want them to be recorded for eternity
[OP]
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May 22, 2003
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Piro21 wrote:
Jun 4th, 2019 1:03 pm
Why not just use Elaine as the first name?
Sorry, Elaine is not the actual name we plan on using, just an example. The name we intend to use is a little uncommon, hence why we wanted to use it as a middle name and not the first name.
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PointsHubby wrote:
Jun 4th, 2019 1:22 pm
Abbreviating by just using initials
Means that forever in life you are setting the kid up for issues
As the two won’t line up ...
And officials (in Govts etc)
Are forever going to ask / be confused
“ Is FS a real name ? What does it stand for ? Etc “
So why set your kid up for a lifetime of that ?

Birth Certificate should contain the full names (for legal reasons)
As you the parent want them to be recorded for eternity
I didn't write that clearly. I meant why not just drop 'Nancy' and name the kid 'Elaine Fook-Shing Wong'? If the OP and his wife are already set on one English name, what's the need for a second English name?

I agree that using initials alone isn't a good idea.
Could HAVE, not could OF. What does 'could of' even mean?
[OP]
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May 22, 2003
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Manatus wrote:
Jun 4th, 2019 1:16 pm
I wouldn't abbreviate, since that kind of minimizes what your parents want anyway. I would either include it in full, or not put it in officially (if that's what you want). I suppose it's also up to how you/your wife feel culturally and how your son/daughter will grow up, in terms of whether they have any connection to that culture.

I personally have a middle name from a culture I don't identify with at all (same reason, grandparent kicked up a fuss). I wish I didn't, and it only ever appears on my passport and other formal government documents. I don't have it on my degree, professional qualification etc.
Thanks. Yes, I was born and raised in Canada and am pretty white-washed and don't really follow much chinese traditions. I will have to ask my parents if they are okay with us not putting the Chinese name on official documents - I suspect not. Was just wondering if it looks weird with such a long middle name.
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Feb 7, 2017
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Piro21 wrote:
Jun 4th, 2019 1:26 pm
I didn't write that clearly. I meant why not just drop 'Nancy' and name the kid 'Elaine Fook-Shing Wong'? If the OP and his wife are already set on one English name, what's the need for a second English name?

I agree that using initials alone isn't a good idea.
I am guessing based on his post, that in this given example
Nancy is the name, the parents want to give their kid
Elaine & Fook-Shing as middle names are those they have chosen to honour family
(Not that unusual for any heritage to give names in this way ... in this case one from each side of the family)
And Wong is their family Surname

So 99% of the time...
Kid will be Nancy Wong
[OP]
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May 22, 2003
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Vancouver
Piro21 wrote:
Jun 4th, 2019 1:26 pm
I didn't write that clearly. I meant why not just drop 'Nancy' and name the kid 'Elaine Fook-Shing Wong'? If the OP and his wife are already set on one English name, what's the need for a second English name?

I agree that using initials alone isn't a good idea.
The name we are trying to commemorate is a little uncommon so we're not sure about using it as a sole first name.
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notenoughsleep wrote:
Jun 4th, 2019 1:31 pm
The name we are trying to commemorate is a little uncommon so we're not sure about using it as a sole first name.
That's a good thing. I have an uncommon 'old' English name too (I've only met 4 others in my life, and they were mostly Chinese whereas I'm not). You don't want your kid to be Nancy Wong #9731564673.

Although 'Elaine Wong' is still pretty common.
Could HAVE, not could OF. What does 'could of' even mean?
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Feb 7, 2017
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notenoughsleep wrote:
Jun 4th, 2019 1:29 pm
Thanks. Yes, I was born and raised in Canada and am pretty white-washed and don't really follow much chinese traditions. I will have to ask my parents if they are okay with us not putting the Chinese name on official documents - I suspect not. Was just wondering if it looks weird with such a long middle name.
It is what it is...
Don’t worry about it

I know lots of families here in Canada
That have UK Roots (English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh)
Where Surnames as middle names is common practice
So kid could be
Maryanne Fergus Duncan McDonald
But she’ll go thru life as Maryanne McDonald

You just don’t know this ...
Cuz welll how often is anyone called out by all their given names ?
Newbie
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Oct 15, 2009
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notenoughsleep wrote:
Jun 4th, 2019 12:59 pm
For example

Nancy Elaine Fook-Shing Wong or Nancy Elaine F.S. Wong?
Are initials in the example allowed for official names?

From BC Vital Statistics:

Acceptable Characters for Names
Names must use roman alphabetic letters, and can contain apostrophes, hyphens and a standard set of French accents. Numbers, brackets (), slashes / or other symbols are not accepted.

https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/life ... gistration


Maybe it's a non-issue...
Newbie
Apr 24, 2017
94 posts
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my niece's middle names are English and Chinese. They didn't abbreviate it because you lose the importance of the name if you have abbreviated it. It just becomes a pain in the butt when filling out forms when you run out of space in the middle name field lol.
Sr. Member
May 12, 2014
782 posts
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Markham, ON
notenoughsleep wrote:
Jun 4th, 2019 1:29 pm
Thanks. Yes, I was born and raised in Canada and am pretty white-washed and don't really follow much chinese traditions. I will have to ask my parents if they are okay with us not putting the Chinese name on official documents - I suspect not. Was just wondering if it looks weird with such a long middle name.
This is your baby, not your parents. Name the baby whatever you want.

Unless there's a large inheritance at stake. /S
Most of the people I know with extra names do not use them and only find is a nuisance especially when filling forms. Sometimes gets called by the unused name and not realize someone is asking for them.
The one benefit for having a long name is that when the kid is in trouble, you can use the full name to give the situation gravitas.
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Jun 21, 2003
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Bobberts wrote:
Jun 5th, 2019 8:11 am
This is your baby, not your parents. Name the baby whatever you want.

Unless there's a large inheritance at stake. /S
Most of the people I know with extra names do not use them and only find is a nuisance especially when filling forms. Sometimes gets called by the unused name and not realize someone is asking for them.
The one benefit for having a long name is that when the kid is in trouble, you can use the full name to give the situation gravitas.
I'm a believer of what was said above in bold as well. Granted I was never brought up with any sort of culture like that and my family has no history of that sort of family tradition so it is hard for me relate and see what you are going through. I do feel very strongly personally, as does my wife fortunately that no matter what at the end of the day we make all the decisions regarding the upbringing and well-being of our daughter together without outside influence. I am personally comfortable with the relationship with my parents and hers and have no issue offending them when it comes to making a major decision like naming without considering their opinions on it. I understand some cultures are quite different and people can be raised to follow those types of expectations.

I'm sorry to hear you are in this situation as it doesn't seem like it's the easiest thing for you, rightfully so. You are about to experience one of the biggest joys you will ever experience and no one should put undue stress or negativity on that. I hope your wife and you are able to come to a decision you are both comfortable with and I wholeheartedly hope that you two make the best decision for you and your child, no one else. Good luck !

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