UK teen makes a name with English monikers
British schoolgirl and business owner Beau Jessup is teaming up with a Chinese website for mothers, BabyTree, to help parents pick English names for their children.
Less than two years ago, Jessup, now 17, created the website SpecialName, a baby naming service that has since generated more than 260,000 English names for Chinese users. The site has earned her 50,000 pounds ($62,358).
In her partnership with BabyTree, Jessup will write a weekly blog that explores the origins and meanings behind English names and offers readers tips on how to choose an appropriate one.
“It’s quite overwhelming, because I didn’t expect it to become this big,” Jessup said. “I was in China with my dad when he was doing business about two years ago. One of his work colleagues asked me to suggest an English name for her 3-year-old daughter.”
Jessup asked the woman to describe her daughter and learned she liked to surprise people with her achievements.
“I gave it some thought and suggested Eliza, inspired by Pygmalion (the play byGeorge Bernard Shaw). That’s where the idea sprang from,” she said.
Sheendedupcreating a website with 4,000 English names.
Visitors click on the gender andthen select five characteristics from a list of 12 that include elegance, intelligence, sensitivity and honesty. The site generates three names that match those qualities. Users pay 60 pence to access the service.
WuMeng, a userfromChina, heard about the site from a friend and chose thenameDaisy for her daughter.
“Having an English has become essential she said.
Jessup said the decision of many Chinese people to select an English alternative to their name reflects the rapid increase in cross-cultural links.
“Because of business and education, there’s an increasing amount of communication with theWest,” Jessup said. name nowadays,”
LindsayJernigan, aUScitizen in Shanghai, started a naming website called BestEnglishName, which is now the bilingual multimedia site Benku8. She said Chinese people have at times ended up with inappropriate names drawnfromWestern brands or pop culture, such as Rolex or Gandalf.
“Sometimes, it comes from direct translation of a Chinese name. Someone will say, ‘my Chinese name means green, can I be called Green?’” Jernigan told China Daily.
“It’s difficult to explain that youcanbecalled Violetor Scarlet, but it would be strange to be called Green.”