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The Top Twenty Bizarre English Names in Taiwan

Xpat Magazine June, 2007

Top_20_NamesAt least once in their career, most English teachers in Taiwan stand in the unique position of naming children, or encountering a Taiwanese person, young or old, with a desire to assume an inappropriate English name. Sometimes kindie teachers, spurred by lack of sleep and unmetabolized alcohol, give kids wacky names for their own amusement, but more often Taiwanese people choose these names themselves and are unwilling to give them up despite the protest of their conscientious foreign educators and friends. Either way, Taiwan is a cornucopia of strange, incongruous, and hilarious names. I scoured various Internet bulletin boards in search of the most ingenious, insulting and comical English names that local xpats have come across. Here are the best that I found.

20) Cash
The funny thing about this name isn’t that some Taiwanese kid heard it in a movie and picked it for a name—it’s that I can actually punch the name into Google and find two dozen inept hip-hop artists who chose this name on purpose without realizing how ridiculous it sounds.

19) Pizza
Well, at least it’s better than Hamburger, or worse—McDonalds (which I was very glad not to have found).

18) Zigga
This kid was named after a DJ scratch sound. Now, no matter how dorky he may be, this kid can go anywhere English is spoken and be cool. He could walk through East LA in horn-rimmed glasses and an argyle sweater, and all the Latinos would drive by and yell, “yo, wassup Zigga,” and offer him a ride.

17) Snatch (female)
The guy who posted this one wrote that when his friend, this elementary schoolgirl’s teacher, suggested that she change it she replied, “No, I like Snatch.”

16) Easy (female)
The poster of this name said that the girl chose it because you have to smile in order to say it. I hate to tell you this sweetie, but that’s not why he’s smiling.

15) Facial (female)
I don’t think I need to comment on this one.

14) Titty (female)
My god, how many sexually suggestive female names are there out there? I swear this is the last one.

13) Swallow (female)
Okay, this is the last one.

12) Zeus
Sometimes kids have the balls to do things that we all really want to do, like stick their hands down their pants in public, pick their noses and wipe it on their pants, or choose to be named after the god of the gods. Well done.

11) Turbo
The poster of this one wrote that if you ask this guy why he named himself Turbo, he’ll stand up, do a James Brown hip thrust and proclaim, “because I’m turbo charged!” I have nothing but respect and admiration for this man.

10) Peter Pan
The poster claimed that this guy was actually a pilot for Singapore Airlines. Unbelievable.

9) Sorry (female)
Scene: A local bar
“What’s your name?”
“Sorry.”
“What’s your name?”
“Sorry.”
“What’s your name?”
“Sorry.”
“What’s your name…”
(Drunk foreigner breaks out in hysterics as the unimpressed Taiwanese girl rolls her eyes and contemplates changing her name to ‘Easy’ like her friend who’s now being pampered by a crowd of smitten foreign men).

8) Urine (male)
Why would you do this? There’s no explanation, not even that you don’t speak English.

7) Panda
It’s not such a great name in English, but I have this friend whose English name phonetically translates to “tricky panda” in Chinese. When he told me I was so jealous it made me sick. Mine means “lucky forest” or something stupid like that.

6) Booger
The poster said he asked the kid why he chose it and the kid replied that it was because he liked the game Boogerman, and because “it sounded dangerous”.

5) Iron
Apparently this is the name of a personal trainer at California Fitness. He must speak English and must have known exactly what he was doing. He’s the Taiwanese equivalent of those moronic hip-hop artists who name themselves ‘Cash-something’.

4) Jackhammer
This guy is probably Iron’s drinking buddy. On Saturday nights they sit around in bars wearing blinged-out fake diamond dollar-signs around their necks talking about Hummers and wrestling. Then they drive around in their low-rider Honda Accord blaring Justin Timberlake, stopping at betel nut stands and trying to pick up the betel nut girls. After countless rejections they rent a bunch of porn videos and go home together.

3) 203
Hands down, the most unique name in the list.

2) Flagellum
This word refers to the tail that sperm use to swim up the vaginal canal. What is this person trying to say?

1) Jesus Gun
This name kicks ass. Right now, somewhere, an avant-garde indie musician just read this and is now dreaming about album covers for his future band.

*Special thanks to Forumosa.com, the discussion threads of which supplied the vast majority of these names.

All the weird names that one Kindergarten teacher claims to have given to students:

* Arbloo
* Stuka
* Libo
* Zoot
* Carny
* Bleefstoop
* Kib
* Nailgun
* Hoorno
* Asp
* Deet
* Zingermeyer
* Oreo
* Messerschmitt
* Hole
* Lapper
* Tarpy

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13 Responses to The Top Twenty Bizarre English Names in Taiwan

  1. Cassandra December 27, 2008 at 5:39 am #

    Love it! I know some cool Taiwanese people with really funny English names: Well, Water, Wish, Battery, Sony, Fanny (female), Pussy (female), B.J.(female)….

  2. Simon Price April 16, 2009 at 10:26 am #

    I think this is a very interesting phenomenon and one that a few, though only a few, Taiwanese people are beginning to wake up to.

    For those who can read Chinese, there’s an interesting blog article, written by a Taiwanese woman, asking why it is that Taiwanese people feel the need to do it.

    It’s very interesting, as are the comments of here readers. You can find it here:

    http://www.wretch.cc/blog/Turvey/21065037

  3. Ray December 9, 2009 at 8:59 pm #

    Haha…Jesus Gun does kick ass

  4. QUOFTASTOFS December 11, 2009 at 3:54 pm #

    Great, I did not heard about this topic up to now. Thankz!

  5. marcus May 9, 2010 at 10:06 pm #

    some of the ones I’ve heard that are interesting:
    Negus
    Beer (guy ran a beer house)
    Jordan and Pippen (brothers that always caused a lot of trouble in class…of course, Jordan was always a little bit better)

    I have one name that I absolutely hate: APPLE
    I mean, come on. the first word you learn you are going to name yourself after? stop the madness

    anyone have easy or BJs phone number?

    • Matt Gibson May 11, 2010 at 10:22 am #

      Ah ha ha ha. Jordan and Pippen. That’s awesome. I think I’m going to name my kids that.

  6. David S. Wills May 9, 2010 at 11:38 pm #

    Good lord, that’s hilarious. I honestly was naive to think that I’d seen the worst of names in my own short time… but some of those are too brilliant for words. “Easy”? “Titty”? “Snatch”? Holy crap.

    I wrote a blog post on this same subject and it got picked up by a local magazine. They edited it down and ran it. Mostly it focused on the fact that no one in Korea (including the foreigners) can actually spell. Consequently, the names of many kids are “Rucy” (Lucy) “Risa” (Lisa) etc etc. Also, many of them are just made up.

    The only funny name I currently have on my list of students is “Mikhail Gorbachev.” That’s right… His mother named him and I begged her to reconsider. But you try arguing with a Korean woman…

    • Matt Gibson May 11, 2010 at 10:24 am #

      This was a great article to write. I just hit up all the bulletin boards around Taiwan asking people for names. I was bombarded! It was hilarious.

      But really, absolutely none of those names, except maybe for Jesus Gun, tops Michail Gorbachev. Just wait till he tries to immigrate the the US.

  7. Sean Cowan September 20, 2010 at 5:48 pm #

    HAHAH, sooo funny. The best ones i personally encountered were : Dinosaur and No. 1

  8. Fergus June 22, 2011 at 4:27 am #

    Heard of a Pubic Ha before. Seriously, surname Ha, firstname, Pubic.

  9. JS February 8, 2014 at 5:34 am #

    Hi~
    Can’t believe this name list is from Taiwan, but I know one called herself Ferrari…!

    Welcome to visit my article related your topic from a historical aspect!
    http://mintlemonhoney.blogspot.de/2014/02/language_8.html

    and a German freelance journalist based in Taipei, who also wrote about this from a social analysis view!
    http://taiwanreports.wordpress.com/articles-in-english-iv/the-taiwanese-and-their-english-names/

    Have a nice day!

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