Sunday, June 17, 2007


I have been tagged by Joyce about the meaning of "Charlotte", this is sort of a game the group has started and it is pretty interesting especially when everybody responded! So, here is my turn writing about the name, Charlotte.

When I was pregnant, we were not able to know the gender until the 6th month! So, Pat and myself had to plan every thing for both genders including the name. Web was our main resource when we were looking for names, websites like the,,, and of course some books. In fact, I used a lot throughout my entire pregnancy and I continue to get useful tips from the website on my toddler's development progress.

Our number 1 choice of girl's name was Kaitlyn. It means "little darling" originated from Celtic. We were 99.9% satisfied and sure with this before Pat found out that one of his colleagues just had a daughter and they named her Kaitlyn. Just one month before my due date, I also found out that another friend also naming her daughter the same name.

We then had to consider other names obviously. Some of our choices were Lynette, Ashley, Kaylie, Noelle, Deanna and of course Charlotte. We couldn't decide which is better, some were too common others were too difficult to pronounce and may potentially being relate to some funny meanings. We only came to agreement to name her Charlotte when we were due for her registration (oops...).

Charlotte, in french means petite and feminine and I always wanted to name my baby girl this name. Subconsciously, maybe I wished for her to be like the young talented soprano, Charlotte Church or this 6 years old girl

Working out a Chinese name was a challenge. Pat doesn't know Chinese and thus only very limited comment from him each time i suggest a Chinese name. We had to turn to our parents to ask for help. I also bought a book called "寶貝取名有學問" and also other books from friends and family members. The book suggested many methods to name a baby, eg. personality, career, number of strokes, the year the baby is born and etc. Some are rather difficult to understand while others are too complicated. Pat and I then agreed that we took the year and the number of strokes as guidelines.

Guidelines (those few that I remembered):
1. Charlotte is born in the year of "Rooster" and it is suggested that a rooster needs food and shelter. Words with these radicals are highly encouraged

2. Words with radical of knife or king/emperor are not encouraged to use because a rooster is slaughtered and served to the emperor during celebrations.

3. Try to get total strokes of 18 or 28, Pat likes number 8 (our house number is 28 if you noticed)

My original choice was(clever, intelligent)(appropriate), pronounce as "lì yí". It met criteria #1 as it carries the radicals of food and shelter. However, later we realized that it violates criteria #2 becausehas the radical of "knife". Also, that time we wanted to name our baby girl as Lynette instead of Charlotte. The initial of this combination is not very appealing (if you can figure out)...

(announce, proclaim)(forgive, pardon), pronounce as "xuān yòu". MIL suggested this and told us that it means she has the authority to conduct pardon. It has total 18 strokes, both the characters have the radical that represents shelter, met criteria #1 and #3 and also not violating #2. So we accepted it.

Her full name is Charlotte Chan. Yes, just Charlotte Chan and you must be wondering why? Well, it was my idea not to register the Chinese name but just make it available for her. Most of the time I noticed that someone's Chinese name is hardly refer to if he/she has an English name. Take Pat's name for example, his full name is Patrick Chan Kin Tek. Only his family members call him "Tek" (which is not even his full Chinese name) and everyone else knows him as Patrick. However, we want her to have a Chinese name so that she can use it if she needs to.

Therefore, Charlotte Chan or 陈宣宥 (chén xuān yòu) is the name of our baby girl. Petite, feminine but yet strong and empowered to forgive.

Anyone else left to tag? I doubt so...


  1. Kaitlyn is in my top 10 list for my future daughter :p

  2. Interesting. Charlotte is already a unique name and from what I can tell, suits her really well. :D

  3. Other than we want Ching Ern to be 感恩, the other reason is she can turn the last name Ern as Ernie.

  4. hi, did you find out what the chinese for deanna was? i am having great trouble finding that one!!