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A courtesy name (), also known as a style name, is a name bestowed upon one at adulthood in addition to one's given name. This practice is a tradition in the
East Asian cultural sphere The East Asian cultural sphere, also known as the Sinosphere, the Sinic world, the Sinitic world, the Chinese cultural sphere or the Chinese character sphere, encompasses countries in East Asia East Asia is the eastern region of As ...
, including
China China (), officially the People's Republic of China (PRC; ), is a country in . It is the world's , with a of more than 1.4 billion. China spans five geographical and 14 different countries, the in the world after . Covering an area of ap ...

China
,
Japan Japan ( ja, 日本, or , and formally ) is an in . It is situated in the northwest , and is bordered on the west by the , while extending from the in the north toward the and in the south. Japan is a part of the , and spans of coveri ...

Japan
,
Korea Korea (officially the "Korean Peninsula") is a region in East Asia. Since 1945 it has been Division of Korea, divided into the two parts which soon became the two sovereign states: North Korea (officially the "Democratic People's Republic of ...

Korea
, and
Vietnam , image_map = , map_caption = , capital = Hanoi , coordinates = , largest_city = Ho Chi Minh City , languages_type = National language , languages ...

Vietnam
.Names of Persons and Titles of Rulers
/ref> The courtesy name would replace a man's given name as he entered adulthood. It could be given either by the parents or by a private teacher on the first day of school. Women might adopt a ''zi'' in place of their given name upon marriage. One also may adopt a self-chosen courtesy name. A courtesy name is not to be confused with an
art name An art name (pseudonym or pen name), also known by its native names ''hao'' (in Mandarin) (), ''gō'' (in Japanese), ''ho'' (in Korean), and ''hiệu'' (in Vietnamese), is a professional name used by East Asian artist An artist is a person en ...
(''hào'', ,
Korean Korean may refer to: People and culture * Koreans, ethnic group originating in the Korean Peninsula * Korean cuisine * Korean culture * Korean language **Korean alphabet, known as Hangul or Chosŏn'gŭl **Korean dialects and the Jeju language **S ...

Korean
: ), another frequently mentioned term for an alternative name in Asian culture-based context. An art name is usually associated with art and is more of a
pen name A pen name, also called a ''nom de plume'' () or a literary double, is a pseudonym (or, in some cases, a variant form of a real name) adopted by an author and printed on the title page or by-line of their works in place of their real name. A pen ...
or a
pseudonym A pseudonym () (originally: ψευδώνυμος in Greek) or alias () is a fictitious name that a person or group assumes for a particular purpose, which differs from their original or true name (orthonym). This also differs from a new name that ...
that is more spontaneous, compared to a courtesy name.


Usage

The ''zì'', sometimes called the ''biǎozì'' () or "courtesy name", is a name traditionally given to Chinese men at the age of 20, marking their
coming of age Coming of age is a young person Youth is the time of life Life is a characteristic that distinguishes physical entities that have biological processes, such as Cell signaling, signaling and self-sustaining processes, from those th ...
. It was sometimes given to women upon marriage. The practice is no longer common in modern Chinese society. According to the ''
Book of Rites The ''Book of Rites'', also known as the ''Liji'' (), is a collection of texts describing the social forms, administration, and ceremonial rites of the Zhou dynasty as they were understood in the Warring States and the early Han periods. The ''Bo ...
'', after a man reached adulthood, it was disrespectful for others of the same generation to address him by his given name, or ''míng''. Thus, the given name was reserved for oneself and one's elders, whereas the zì would be used by adults of the same generation to refer to one another on formal occasions or in writing; hence the term "courtesy name". The ''zì'' is mostly
disyllabic A syllable is a unit of organization for a sequence of speech sounds. It is typically made up of a syllable nucleus (most often a vowel A vowel is a Syllable, syllabic speech sound pronounced without any stricture in the vocal tract. Vowels a ...
, consisting of two
Chinese character Chinese characters, also called ''hanzi'' (), are logogram In a written language A written language is the representation of a spoken or gestural language by means of a writing system. Written language is an invention in that it ...

Chinese character
s, and is often based on the meaning of the ''míng'' or
given name A given name (also known as a first name or forename) is the part of a quoted in that identifies a person, potentially with a as well, and differentiates that person from the other members of a group (typically a or ) who have a common . ...
. For example,
Chiang Kai-shek Chiang Kai-shek (31 October 1887 – 5 April 1975), also known as Chiang Chung-cheng and Romanization of Chinese, romanized via Mandarin Chinese, Mandarin as Chiang Chieh-shih and Jiang Jieshi, was a Chinese Kuomintang, Nationalist politician, ...

Chiang Kai-shek
's ''míng'' (, romanized as Kai-shek) and ''zì'' (,
romanized Romanization or romanisation, in linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the methods for studying and modeling them. The traditional areas ...
as Chung-cheng) are both from the ''yù'' hexagram of
I Ching The ''I Ching'' or ''Yi Jing'' (, ), usually translated as ''Book of Changes'' or ''Classic of Changes'', is an ancient Chinese divination text and among the oldest of the Chinese classics. Originally a divination manual in the Western Zhou ...
.
Yan Zhitui Yan Zhitui (, 531–591) courtesy name Jie () was a Chinese calligrapher Calligraphy (from Greek language, Greek: καλλιγραφία) is a Visual arts, visual art related to writing. It is the design and execution of lettering with a broad- ...
of the
Northern Qi The Northern Qi (), also called Later Qi and Gao Qi, was one of the Northern dynasties of imperial China history and ruled northeastern China from 550 to 577. The dynasty was founded by Emperor Wenxuan of Northern Qi, Emperor Wenxuan, and it was en ...
dynasty asserted that whereas the purpose of the ''míng'' was to distinguish one person from another, the ''zì'' should express the bearer's moral integrity. Another way to form a ''zì'' is to use the homophonic character ''zǐ'' () – a respectful title for a man – as the first character of the disyllabic ''zì''. Thus, for example,
Gongsun Qiao Gongsun Qiao (; died 522 BC), better known by his courtesy name A courtesy name (), also known as a style name, is a name bestowed upon one at adulthood in addition to one's given name. This practice is a tradition in the Sinosphere, including C ...
's ''zì'' was Zǐchǎn (), and
Du Fu Du Fu (; 712–770) was a Chinese poet and politician of the Tang dynasty The Tang dynasty (, ; ), or Tang Empire, was an imperial dynasty of China that ruled from 618 to 907, with an interregnum between 690 and 705. It was preceded b ...

Du Fu
's: Zǐměi (). It is also common to construct a ''zì'' by using as the first character one which expresses the bearer's birth order among male siblings in his family. Thus
Confucius } Confucius ( ; zh, s=, p=Kǒng Fūzǐ, "Master Kǒng"; or commonly zh, s=, p=Kǒngzǐ, labels=no; ) was a Chinese philosopher Chinese philosophy originates in the Spring and Autumn period () and Warring States period (), d ...

Confucius
, whose name was Kǒng Qiū (), was given the ''zì'' Zhòngní (), where the first character ''zhòng'' indicates that he was the second son born into his family. The characters commonly used are bó () for the first, zhòng () for the second, shū () for the third, and jì () typically for the youngest, if the family consists of more than three sons. General
Sun Jian Sun Jian () () (155–191), Wentai, was a Chinese military general, politician, and warlord who lived during the late of China. He allied himself with in 190 when warlords from eastern China formed a coalition to oust , a tyrannical warlord ...
's four sons, for instance, were
Sun Ce Sun Ce () () (175–200), courtesy name Bofu, was a Chinese military general, politician, and warlord who lived during the late Eastern Han dynasty of China. He was the eldest child of Sun Jian, who was killed during the Battle of Xiangyang (191) ...
(, Bófú),
Sun Quan Sun Quan (, Chinese: 孫權) (182 – 252), courtesy name A courtesy name (), also known as a style name, is a name bestowed upon one at adulthood in addition to one's given name. This practice is a tradition in the Sinosphere, including Chi ...

Sun Quan
(, Zhòngmóu),
Sun Yi Sun Yi (184–203), courtesy name Shubi, was a younger brother of Sun Quan, the founding emperor of the state of Eastern Wu in the Three Kingdoms period of China. Life Sun Yi was the third son of the warlord Sun Jian and his wife Lady Wu (Sun Ji ...
(, Shūbì) and
Sun Kuang Sun Kuang ( 190s), courtesy name Jizuo, was a younger brother of Sun Quan, a Chinese warlord who lived during the late Eastern Han dynasty and became the founding emperor of the state of Eastern Wu in the Three Kingdoms period. Life Sun Kuang was ...
(, Jìzuǒ). The use of ''zì'' began during the
Shang dynasty The Shang dynasty (), also historically known as the Yin dynasty (), was a Chinese dynasty Dynasties in Chinese history, or Chinese dynasties, were hereditary monarchical regimes that ruled over China during much of its history. From ...

Shang dynasty
, and slowly developed into a system which became most widespread during the succeeding
Zhou dynasty The Zhou dynasty ( ; Old Chinese Old Chinese, also called Archaic Chinese in older works, is the oldest attested stage of Chinese, and the ancestor of all modern varieties of Chinese. The earliest examples of Chinese are divinatory inscript ...
. During this period, women were also given ''zì''. The ''zì'' given to a woman was generally composed of a character indicating her birth order among female siblings and her surname. For example, Mèng Jiāng () was the eldest daughter in the Jiāng family. Prior to the twentieth century, sinicized
Korea Korea (officially the "Korean Peninsula") is a region in East Asia. Since 1945 it has been Division of Korea, divided into the two parts which soon became the two sovereign states: North Korea (officially the "Democratic People's Republic of ...

Korea
ns,
Vietnam , image_map = , map_caption = , capital = Hanoi , coordinates = , largest_city = Ho Chi Minh City , languages_type = National language , languages ...

Vietnam
ese, and
Japan Japan ( ja, 日本, or , and formally ) is an in . It is situated in the northwest , and is bordered on the west by the , while extending from the in the north toward the and in the south. Japan is a part of the , and spans of coveri ...

Japan
ese were also referred to by their ''zì''. The practice was also adopted by some
Mongols The Mongols ( mn, Монголчууд, , ''Mongolchuud'', ; russian: Монголы, ) are an East Asian East Asia is the east East is one of the four cardinal direction The four cardinal directions, or cardinal points, are the di ...

Mongols
and
Manchus The Manchu (; ) are an officially recognized ethnic minority in China and the people from whom Manchuria Manchuria is an exonym and endonym, exonym for a historical and geographic region of Russia and China in Northeast Asia (mostly in N ...
after the Qing conquest of China.


Examples


See also

* ''
Cognomen A ''cognomen'' (, ; Latin plural ''cognomina''; from ''con-'' "together with" and ''(g)nomen'' "name") was the third name of a citizen of ancient Rome, under Roman naming conventions. Initially, it was a nickname, but lost that purpose when it beca ...
'', the third name of a citizen of ancient Rome


References

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