What’s behind a name? After I did a whole detailed post on Ethan’s name, it’s now Hannah’s turn.
When we found out we were gonna have a baby girl, we had already pretty much decided on the name Hannah. I have loved the name Hannah since I was a schoolgirl, and it was only apt that I name my daughter as such. We definitely wanted a Biblical name and one that is meaningful both for us and for her. And we also wanted a name that’s not too common. That’s why we chose Hannah, which means Favored (or Favored by God), or Grace. In Biblical context, Hannah was one of the wives of Elkanah, and she was blessed with six children, one of whom was Samuel, the glorious warrior and judge of Israel.
With the Christened name decided, it was time for the harder part: deciding on a Chinese name.
Thanks to the internet, while we were in the US, I contacted a friend of mine in Penang to ask her hubby to help me ascertain a good number of strokes for Hannah’s Chinese name, based on her birth year, surname and also Mommy and Daddy’s birth year. This friend of mine was also the one who helped calculate the number of strokes suitable for Ethan’s Chinese name.
She then came back with the results, which stated that based on Pete’s surname, Chua (蔡Cài), there were 4 stroke combinations that would be a good match for the 2nd and 3rd Chinese character for Hannah’s name:
- 7 + 18
- 18 + 7
- 8 + 17
- 18 + 7
So off to the drawing board we went. Referring to some Chinese name books we had brought along, we wanted a name that had the water radical or water element in it. I used the internet to list out the various combinations that would sound good and mean good, meeting all the criteria we had set out, and then we gave the list to another friend of ours in Santa Clara to help us decide or recommend. After a few tweaks here and there, we arrived at a name that we all thought would be perfect for our baby girl.
We chose the name Xi Ling (Xǐ Ling: 禧泠), which is a combination of 17 + 8 strokes. Xǐ (禧) meant Joy and Ling (泠), which also contained the water radical, carried the meaning “sound of the water flowing“; and together, Xi Ling (Xǐ Ling: 禧泠) means Joy Overflowing, which Hannah is living up to really well, seeing what a happy little baby she is!
So Hannah’s full name is Hannah Chua Xi Ling (蔡 禧 泠 ~ Cài Xǐ Ling), carrying the meaning of Favored by God and Full of Grace, with Overflowing Joy. Isn’t that a pretty name for a pretty baby?