General Question

Jude's avatar

Could someone tell me what the name "Hua Bin" (Chinese) means?

Asked by Jude (32098points) November 16th, 2010

It was my niece’s name when she was in the orphanage. The nannies there gave it to her and I have always wondered if it meant anything.


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10 Answers

CaptainHarley's avatar

Do you have it in the original Chinese ideographs??


It’s kind of hard to translate, because when Chinese is phonetically spelled in English, it can mean different things. But I strongly suspect that “Hua” means “flower” in Chinese. As for “Bin”, I think it stands for “ice” or “snow”. So your niece’s name could mean “Snow Flower” in Chinese.

jlelandg's avatar

Mr. Shinyshoes, I was crafting a similar response but leaving much less certainty. Additionally, I think for a foreign family, Snow Flower is a perfect answer. Touchdown minus 1!


@mama_cakes Above are the Chinese characters for “flower” and “ice” respectively. These characters are also used in Japanese, and are worded “hana” and “setsu”.

The_Inquisitor's avatar

I agree with @MRSHINYSHOES, for the “hua” meaning flower.. but with uncertainty, I’ll have to argue that “bing” means ice, not “bin”.

angelzgurl's avatar

Chinese slang for “how have you been?”.

just kidding

jlelandg's avatar

@curiouscat with the numerous possibilities and with an untrained foreign ear having difficulty hearing an “ng” sound as opposed to a straight “n” I think Snow Flower is the best answer for this question (i.e. it has a feel good ending)

Kayak8's avatar

I would just add that the orphanage name is likely that given by the workers at the orphanage as it seems rare that parents drop kids off having named them in advance. This always worries me that the kids will later be told their name was “such and such” without understanding that it was a only temporary moniker until they got adopted.

lifeflame's avatar

Another possibility for hua instead of flower (花) is ” 華”
The root image is similar, the moment of “flowering” (you can see all the crosses in the ideogram as the hua tree in bloom), but it also has the nuance of being beautiful/illustrious or “related to China”.
Actually, it’s more probably 華 than 花. It’s rather rare to have hua (花) in your name – I personally don’t know of anyone with that character. It’s a but too simplistic a term for “flower” – people are generally more specific. For example, my grandmother is 少蘭, “young orchid”.
On the other hand, if they knew they were planning to give the kid a name that was easy for foreigners…

“Bin” also has the possibility of ”彬” – “of literary talent and simple style”

Seriously though, we have so many homophones in Chinese it’s really really difficult if you don’t know the character. So “snow flower” could be a good guess as any.

The_Inquisitor's avatar

@jlelandg, I see, good point.

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