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10月17日 669 次浏览

西方人为什么会有中间名?

 

你应该有听说过George Walker Bush(美国第四十三任总统小布什),以及《豪斯医生》的主演名叫James Hugh Calum Laurie,那么哈利波特中饰演Hermione赫敏的演员真名你知道吗? ——Emma Charlotte Duerre Watson。为什么这些人有这么长的英文名字?

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很多西方人都有中间名,这对中国人来说就比较难理解了。

中国人是没有中间名的。不过呢,现在给孩子取四个汉字的名字越来越流行,因为独生子女政策,父母双方都希望孩子能继承双方的家族姓氏,所以可能会把姓氏都加入到孩子的名字当中。中国人这种做法和西方人取中间名并没有很大的不同。在西方,中间名也同样强调了家庭的纽带。

中间名还有什么作用呢?让我们来给你做出解答。
 

  • 中间名可以作为替代名字

有远见的父母会给他们的小孩一个中间名作为第二选择,在孩子成长过程中如果发现第一个名字不太适合ta性格的时候,这时中间名就可以作为一个备选。如果西方小孩在长大后,不喜欢父母取的第一个名字的读音,或觉得它没有很好的反应自己的个性,如果觉得中间名更适合,那他们可以选择使用中间名作为正式名字来介绍自己。

很多西方人会用字母来写自己名字的简称——第一个名字首字母+中间名首字母+姓氏全称——这时候中间名的存在就可以给他们的名字多一些选择了。文学泰斗J.R.R. Tolkien 和 E.M. Foster就是两个例子,还有中国观众所熟悉的J.K. Rowling(哈利波特系列的作者),她名字的缩写帮助她避免了工作歧视,因为字母缩写让别人看不出她的性别。(就算是在现代社会,还是会有出版商对女性作家有性别歧视, 有些出版商知道作者是女性之后就可能不想发表她的作品。)

用名字首字母缩写往往听上去比较官方正式,而且显得更重要。如果你想成为作家,或者想要在派对让自己引人注目的话,你可以考虑给自己一个时髦有趣的中间名

  • 中间名是财富的象征

纵观历史长河,在西方中间名还被认为是地位和财富的象征。这种传统在现代贵族中依然盛行。比如,英国女王Elizabeth Alexandra Mary,还有威廉王子的名字是William Arthur Philip Louis。即便如此,很少有人会在介绍自己的时候会同时说出名字和中间名。

  • 中间名渗透着传统

中国父母在给孩子取名时总是希望能寄予财富、智慧、平安等美好的祝福 - 谁不想让孩子拥有这些呢? 尽管如此,西方人的命名方式和中国人还是有些不同。

古罗马人的名字会体现他们的出氏族关系,而俄罗斯人有着沿用父亲名字的传统。一个中间名通常是顺应祖先和家族历史的。

有时候,中间名是用来纪念父母:

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如果你没有中间名,也不要觉得自己落伍了。你不需要靠一个独一无二的名字来表明你是一个不可替代的人。

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还有,不是所有的中间名都很酷。你可以放弃一个让你看起来不那么狂拽帅酷的中间名,比如说James Herbert Bond的中间名Herbert。
 

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Why Westerners Have Middle Names

Maybe you've heard of George Walker Bush. That guy who played House is James Hugh Calum Laurie. Hermione's real identity? Emma Charlotte Duerre Watson. Why do these people have so many names?
 

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Many Westerners have middle names, a phenomenon that can be quite confusing.

In China, people don't use middle names. However, four-character names gained popularity with the one-child policy, as both mothers and fathers aimed to preserve their lineages. This practice is not all that different from bestowing a middle name. In the West, middle names can also emphasize family bonds.

Middle names serve other functions, too. Like what? I'm glad you asked.

Middle names offer alternate identities.

Progressive parents might give their kid a middle name as a second option, a backup name in case the first one proves unsuitable. If you dislike the sound of your first name, or if you think it's an inaccurate reflection of your personality, you can choose to introduce yourself by your middle name instead.

A middle name also offers an extra initial. Plenty of Westerners choose to shorten their names to initials. Literary heroes J.R.R. Tolkien and E.M. Foster are two examples. Another is J.K. Rowling, creator of the Harry Potter series. Her initials actually helped her to avoid sexist discrimination, since they concealed her gender. (Sexist publishers proved less interested in her work when they knew she was a woman.)

Initials tend to sound official and important. If you want to become a writer, or sound interesting at a dinner party, you might consider getting yourself one of those fancy middle names.

Middle names signify wealth.

Historically, middle names were considered a status symbol. This tradition remains prevalent among modern aristocracy. For example, the Queen of the United Kingdom is Elizabeth Alexandra Mary. Prince William's given names are William Arthur Philip Louis. Even so, very few people would introduce themselves using both first and middle names.

Middle names embrace tradition.

Chinese parents imbue baby names with fortune and good wishes — and who wouldn't want these things for their child? Nevertheless, Western naming traditions operate differently.

The ancient Romans used names to delineate clan ties. Russians have a history of adopting a father's name. A middle name often pays homage to ancestors and family history.
 

Sometimes, you need to honour your parents:
 

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If you don't have a middle name, don't feel left out. You don't need a one-of-a-kind name to be an irreplaceable person.
 

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What's more, not all middle names are cool. You might need to drop a middle name that kills your swag, like James Herbert Bond.
 

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