Name Spotlight: Xinyi (girl)

xinyi

A Chinese name with all the excellent qualities added to it.

MEANING AND PRONUNCIATION

The second character that is most often used in Xinyi/Xin Yi is 怡 () which means “harmony, pleasure, joy.”¹ Most forms used in Xinyi have a first character that is romanised as xīn and they include, as found through the second source listed below and on LinkedIn:

  • 欣怡 “happy, joyous” and “harmony, pleasure, joy”¹
  • 心怡 “heart, mind” and “harmony, pleasure, joy”¹
  • 新怡 “new” and “harmony, pleasure, joy”¹
  • 馨怡 “fragrant, aromatic” and “harmony, pleasure, joy”¹
  • 鑫怡 (a character used in names) and “harmony, pleasure, joy”¹
  • 芯怡 (a character referring to a pith from the common rush) and “harmony, pleasure, joy”¹
  • 昕怡 “dawn” and “harmony, pleasure, joy”¹
  • 忻怡 “delightful, joyful” and “harmony, pleasure, joy”¹
  • 歆怡 “like, admire” and “harmony, pleasure, joy”¹

With regards to pronunciation, the basic form would be sheen-ee (underlined – like English ‘sh’ but softer). However, the tone of the characters are important. In the cases of these forms above, the tone of the first character is high all the way. The tone of the second character, on the other hand, starts with a mid pitch and rises to a high pitch.

POPULARITY OF XINYI

According to Chinese naming service website Qimingtong, in co-operation with Tsinghua University, Xinyi, as 欣怡, was ranked 7th in 2015 based on the data of 5.4 million babies born in that year². The other variant seen in the report, 心怡, left the top 30².

As far as I’m aware, there isn’t any data on some of the popular names of the past decades, just the most common surname+given name combos. Instead, I have used statistical data from Spain³ and Italy⁴ and sorted out the Chinese names in the data. From what I’ve found, Xinyi is the most commonly used female name of the 21st century (so far) among the Chinese living (and born) in these two countries (the next three for both countries being Jiayi, Jiaqi and Yuxin – the forms used for Jiayi (嘉怡/佳怡 – Jiā Yí) and Yuxin (雨欣 – Yǔ Xīn) had all left the top 30).
With regards to when it started being used more often, using the same data from Spain and Italy as well as looking through the profiles on LinkedIn (most of the female Xinyis there tend to be fairly young), it does seem as if it started in the 1980s (or the 1990s at least).

What do you think of the name, its popularity or, maybe, the post in general? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below the sources.

Sources:
Chinese Character Dictionary from Mandarin Tools – http://www.mandarintools.com/chardict.html¹
Qimingtong on 2016 names – http://www.qimingtong.com/article/0² (via Shanghai Daily in indirect manner (Thanks, Clare!))
Instituto Nacional de Estatistica (in English) – http://www.ine.es/en/daco/daco42/nombyapel/nombyapel_en.htm³
ISTAT (Italy – in English) – http://www.istat.it/en/products/interactive-contents/baby-names⁴

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