help with ethnicity and last name, "Wong" — The Bump
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help with ethnicity and last name, "Wong"

Hi Ladies,

I'm a semi regular, but created a new screen name so that I can get some anonymous opinions on names with my last name. My husband's father is Chinese (his mother is white), and his last name is Wong. My children are/will be one quarter Chinese and their last name is also Wong. I took my husband's last name.

So one question is how would/do you handle a last name that is a different ethnicity than you are? We all would be considered visually "white", except for maybe my husband who appears mixed. Does it matter? Am I over thinking this?

Another question what do you think of first names that start with "W" going with Wong as a last name?

Finally, any thoughts or feedback on these names and how they might work with Wong?

Girl:
Nora/Eleanor Wong
Lydia Wong
Elise Wong
Eva Wong
Claire Wong

Boy:
Connor Wong
Andrew Wong
Bradley Wong
Wesley Wong (too much W?)
Edward Wong
William Wong (I love William, but all I can hear is Willy Wong-ka and the chocolate factory.)

Thanks for your thoughts!

Re: help with ethnicity and last name, "Wong"

  • And I forgot one more possible boy name:

    James Wong

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  • None of them sound bad, although I'd probably avoid Wesley and William (Wesley Wong and Will Wong just don't sound great).  Your choices are lovely!
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  • I think that while "Wong" is obviously an ethnic name, it is not nearly as hard to work with as say "Nguyen" or other Asian surnames. 

    This is a neat article I found from Canada.

    https://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/relationships/family/think-your-family-reunion-is-big-try-being-a-wong/article2127532/

    And there is a quote that Wong goes with any first name. 

    I think since your children will look "white" you can choose any name you like. It would be weird if they looked obviously Chinese and you named them an American sounding name.

    William Wong might be too easy to tease, but other names like James, Henry, Michael all go really well. I would pick a traditional name over something trendy though. 

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  • For girls I like Elise the most, then Lydia and Nora.  For boys, I like Andrew the most, then James and Bradley.  I would avoid the W first names.

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  • Any of these names would work with a Chinese last name.  Although I usually like alliteration, I don't like the way William Wong or Wesley Wong sound. 

    I LOVE Eleanor/Nora and Lydia.  Beautiful!!  For the boys, I love Andrew and Edward.  Those are all on our list.  Lovely choices. 

    Good luck!


  • imagegreenleaf123:

    Girl:
    Nora/Eleanor Wong
    Lydia Wong
    Elise Wong
    Eva Wong
    Claire Wong

    Boy:
    Connor Wong
    Andrew Wong
    Bradley Wong
    Wesley Wong (too much W?)
    Edward Wong
    William Wong (I love William, but all I can hear is Willy Wong-ka and the chocolate factory.)

    Thanks for your thoughts!

    I bolded my favorites.  I agree with pp not to use a W first name because it might be a little bit much. 


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  • I like Wesley! My husband also has a 1-syllable last name that begins with a W, and that name is high on our list.

    I wouldn't use a 1-syllable first name with a 1-syllable last. So personally, I'd cross off James and Claire. 

    Your children may, in fact, look mixed. Or maybe not. I know several women who are white who took their husbands' (asian) last names and sometimes get inquiring looks when they come in for doctor's appointments and whatnot, so I'm sure you know how it goes. I had a friend who was 1/4 Chinese whose last name was Jung. I suppose she was "lucky" since Jung can also be German (but she pronounced it with a G sound, the Chinese way, rather than with a Y sound, the German way). Sometimes people would ask about it and she would just tell them she was 1/4 Chinese. No biggie.

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  • Oh, I forgot to add my favorites:

    Nora/Eleanor Wong
    Lydia Wong

    Connor Wong
    Andrew Wong
    Bradley Wong
    Wesley Wong (too much W?)

    Lydia, Andrew and Wesley are my favorites. 

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  • I wouldn't overthink the last name...I think it's fine.  My favorites on your list are Lydia, Elise, and Edward. 
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  • imageMelleTX:


    I think since your children will look "white" you can choose any name you like. It would be weird if they looked obviously Chinese and you named them an American sounding name.


     

    So if her children didn't look "white" and instead looked "asian" then it would be weird to give them an American sounding name? Seriously? 

  • imageRubyEggi:
    imageMelleTX:


    I think since your children will look "white" you can choose any name you like. It would be weird if they looked obviously Chinese and you named them an American sounding name.


     

    So if her children didn't look "white" and instead looked "asian" then it would be weird to give them an American sounding name? Seriously? 

    Seconded on the "seriously?"

    You should name your children whatever you'd like--I think pretty much anything goes with Wong. (Just not William because Willy Wong-ka is bad!) I don't think ethnic appearance plays a role.

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  • imageObLaDi:
    imageRubyEggi:
    imageMelleTX:


    I think since your children will look "white" you can choose any name you like. It would be weird if they looked obviously Chinese and you named them an American sounding name.


     

    So if her children didn't look "white" and instead looked "asian" then it would be weird to give them an American sounding name? Seriously? 

    Seconded on the "seriously?"

    You should name your children whatever you'd like--I think pretty much anything goes with Wong. (Just not William because Willy Wong-ka is bad!) I don't think ethnic appearance plays a role.

    Ditto the above two posts.  I don't understand why it would be strange for a child who "looks Asian" to have an American name.

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  • imageRubyEggi:
    imageMelleTX:


    I think since your children will look "white" you can choose any name you like. It would be weird if they looked obviously Chinese and you named them an American sounding name.


     

    So if her children didn't look "white" and instead looked "asian" then it would be weird to give them an American sounding name? Seriously? 

    i third your "seriously." So Asian Americans should all have asian first names if they look asian?  i guess because i'm black i should also have a more ethnic sounding name. 

    i also like the names you've picked and think anything is fine with Wong.  i don't like these W names, but i know a Wyatt with your last name and i like that.  Also, like PP have said, your children may look asian.  i know many people who are 1/4 asian and definitely look asian.  it will be part of their ethnicity.

    i think that as long as you choose names you like, it'll work! 

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    Bradley

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  • Add me to the "whats?"

    Of course someone who appears Asian can have an American name.  Like, um, most every Asian-American?

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  • Really all your names are good! I would stay away from W W's... No wesley or william.. Poor kid might not be able to say his name if he doesn't speak completely clearly the second he starts talking. I also love william, but willy wong, no. Don't do that to your child.

    Connor's not really my cup of tea. Otherwise I see very good names!!

  • One of my friends growing up was full Chinese and all of her siblings had "White"- American first names and then a traditional Chinese middle name.  Anyway, I see nothing wrong with any of the name options and the last name.  But I don't really think it's that crazy to have an Italian first name and an Irish last name, with no Italian blood, such as Gianna O'Houlihan or something like that.
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  • imageMoneypenny424:
    imageRubyEggi:
    imageMelleTX:


    I think since your children will look "white" you can choose any name you like. It would be weird if they looked obviously Chinese and you named them an American sounding name.


     

    So if her children didn't look "white" and instead looked "asian" then it would be weird to give them an American sounding name? Seriously? 

    i third your "seriously." So Asian Americans should all have asian first names if they look asian?  i guess because i'm black i should also have a more ethnic sounding name. 

    i also like the names you've picked and think anything is fine with Wong.  i don't like these W names, but i know a Wyatt with your last name and i like that.  Also, like PP have said, your children may look asian.  i know many people who are 1/4 asian and definitely look asian.  it will be part of their ethnicity.

    i think that as long as you choose names you like, it'll work! 

    I'm with all you guys. What exactly is an American name anyway seeing that America is a big ol melting pot?

  • imagelavieennoir:
    imageMoneypenny424:
    imageRubyEggi:
    imageMelleTX:


    I think since your children will look "white" you can choose any name you like. It would be weird if they looked obviously Chinese and you named them an American sounding name.


     

    So if her children didn't look "white" and instead looked "asian" then it would be weird to give them an American sounding name? Seriously? 

    i third your "seriously." So Asian Americans should all have asian first names if they look asian?  i guess because i'm black i should also have a more ethnic sounding name. 

    i also like the names you've picked and think anything is fine with Wong.  i don't like these W names, but i know a Wyatt with your last name and i like that.  Also, like PP have said, your children may look asian.  i know many people who are 1/4 asian and definitely look asian.  it will be part of their ethnicity.

    i think that as long as you choose names you like, it'll work! 

    I'm with all you guys. What exactly is an American name anyway seeing that America is a big ol melting pot?

    OK, I apologize. My point clearly came out way wrong. It was not my intention to suggest names were assigned to any particular ethnicity. 

    The OP was asking about her obviously Chinese name and how would a name traditionally considered white or American sound with a Chinese last name like Wong and would it be weird. I was trying to say that it is not weird. I would find it more weird to meet a Jennifer or even a Rafaello in China than a Wong in America. 

    Obviously I didn't say it right and I do sincerely apologize for that.

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  • imageMoneypenny424:
    imageRubyEggi:
    imageMelleTX:


    I think since your children will look "white" you can choose any name you like. It would be weird if they looked obviously Chinese and you named them an American sounding name.


     

    So if her children didn't look "white" and instead looked "asian" then it would be weird to give them an American sounding name? Seriously? 

    i third your "seriously." So Asian Americans should all have asian first names if they look asian?  i guess because i'm black i should also have a more ethnic sounding name. 

    i also like the names you've picked and think anything is fine with Wong.  i don't like these W names, but i know a Wyatt with your last name and i like that.  Also, like PP have said, your children may look asian.  i know many people who are 1/4 asian and definitely look asian.  it will be part of their ethnicity.

    i think that as long as you choose names you like, it'll work! 

    This. All of it.

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  • Girl:
    Nora/Eleanor Wong
    Lydia Wong
    Elise Wong
    Eva Wong
    Claire Wong

    Boy:
    Connor Wong
    Andrew Wong
    Bradley Wong
    Wesley Wong (too much W?)
    Edward Wong
    William Wong (I love William, but all I can hear is Willy Wong-ka and the chocolate factory.)

    James Wong

    The ones I like the most are in bold.

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  • lydia or eleanor

    andrew

    i don't prefer the "w" names with the last name wong.

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