Vol. 72 No. 2 (2024): NAMES: A Journal of Onomastics

Young Chinese Women's Reasons for Changing their Given Names: An Online Investigation

Yi Liu
Huizhou University

Published 2024-06-06


  • given names,
  • women,
  • personal names,
  • Chinese,
  • autonymy,
  • name changing,
  • self-renaming
  • ...More


The implementation of the Civil Code of the People’s Republic of China in 2021 greatly facilitated the legal procedure for changing one’s name. The current study collected 334 cases of young Chinese women’s given name changes from January to June 2022 on the Xiaohongshu app, a lifestyle platform that inspires people to discover and connect with a range of diverse lifestyles. After collecting the 334 former and 334 present names of the Chinese women included in this research, the reasons the respondents gave for changing their given names were examined. These reasons included following superstition, correcting registration mistakes, and clarifying gender confusion. The decisions to adopt new names were found to have been motivated by several different reasons. These motivations are explained in detail. As will be shown, the self-renaming practices discovered in this study demonstrate how modern Chinese women can use their personal names to reflect their personal identity. The findings of this study increase our collective understanding of women’s efforts to express their self-awareness through name change.


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