Zhongshan & Zhongzheng

At what age did these guys start using these names? Did they choose them themselves? Were they used as titles, or as forms of address? Would their friends say “Hey Zhongshan, wanna go have a beer?”, or would the usage differ? If I started calling myself Zhongtian or Zhonghai, would that be viewed as a form of ostentation? What other Chinese people have these names? Did CKS go with the “Zhong” because Sun Yat-Sen did? Is is a China “Zhong”, or is the connotation something else? I remeber reading Seagrave’s Soong Dynasty in which he mentions that Sun Yat-Sen’s name (Sun Yixian in Mandarin) was actually given to him by western missionaries. Anybody know what his original name was? Lots of questions, I know…

This is interesting because I’ve always wondered myself.

Found this:

quote[quote]On November 12 1866, Sun Yat Sen was born into a tenant-peasant family in Cuiheng village, Xiangshan county, Guangdong. He had many monikers. He was known as Sun Wen, Deming (childhood name) or Dixiang (name he took at 20). In his adulthood, he assumed the name of Rixin or Yixian (Yat Sen) which his foreign friends refer to him as. When he was conducting revolutionary activities in Japan, he used the Japanese name, Nakayama Kikori (Zhongshan Qiao). On establishing the republic, people referred to him as Mr Zhongshan. [/quote]

Changing your name and or assuming a pen or public name seems to have been very common in China at that time and presumably before. I know that some of the great monks of the era used names other than their ordination names and if I’m not mistaken Lu Xun’s mama didn’t call him “Lu Xun.” I don’t really know any more about it than that though. I’d be interested if anyone can give more background on this.

There’s some more on Sun Yat-sen’s various names in the interesting page on his years in Hawaii:

As for Lu Xun, he was born Zhou Shuren.

I once had a student who was a ‘name teller’. Fortune teller for names. Lots of Chinese people change their names in order to change the fate assumed by the old names. My boyfriend’s brother changed his name too actually. Surname and all.
I find this name superstition as interesting as shaving off one’s eyebrows and tatooing new ones on in order to change fate. There was a guard at TSMC fab II who’d done that. I always thought he looked very odd and asked one day and this was the answer I was given.
But back to names, perhaps Chen Shui Bien should change his since it’s been causing a whole lot of trouble…

Originally posted by Alien:

quote[quote]Perhaps Chen Shui Bien should change his since it's been causing a whole lot of trouble...[/quote] Back during the flooding (seems like a long time ago), some jokester opposition legislators proposed (perhaps seriously -- one should never overestimate the general quality of the legislators here or in just about any country) that Chen Shui-bian should change his name because the floodwaters were attracted by the "shui" (water) in his name.

Doesn’t look like their theory, um, holds any water…

Well, with first too much water and then too little, it seems that the trouble has always revolved around water, so perhaps they have a point.