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Todd’s Stunt Double Goes to Meetings and We Can’t Show His Face

Todd’s Stunt Double Goes to Meetings and We Can’t Show His Face published on 2 Comments on Todd’s Stunt Double Goes to Meetings and We Can’t Show His Face

So, for reasons I’ve never been fully clear on, the Chinese insist on taking (wildly inappropriate) English names when they come stateside, a problem that Mei Li and Ping are avoiding because someone–presumably Sera or Dr. Wolf–convinced them that May Lee and Ping are perfectly functional American names that don’t make either of them stand out strangely. That said, I’ve known girls named Mei Li in real, actual life who used American names like “Coco Butter” and “Agnes.” The former is a stripper pseudonym and the latter is a Grandma name, and neither really fit the bearers of the name well.

So, while I’m not completely clear on why this happens, I do have a fun theory.

I’ve had a lot of different names given to me by my Chinese friends from year to year–from Fat Ox (which didn’t translate offensively in Chinese but sounds awful in English) to, and I’m being dead serious here, “God’s Weapon-Gift” (武天赐). Names in Chinese have meaning, and people often have more than one name that people actually, for serious use. Not just truncations, like Jo from Jody, but full-on names that describe your character. The aforementioned Coco-Butter had a nickname that translated out into “Five Mouths,” for instance. (I absolutely do not have time to explain why I got the exceptionally regal nickname I listed above.) I suspect that this custom makes the choosing of an English name much less of a serious affair for a visiting Chinese student than it would be to me if I had to choose my own Chinese name–especially since there’s apparently a custom of your friends giving you different names.

With this in mind, however, yes, Cid’s Chinese name is Fat Beard.

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