Imagine you are teaching your first English class in China, and someone has helpfully made you a list of all the students with their English names. You scan the list: "Vera, Vivian, Happy, Circle, Roony, Sunny, Snow White, Cinderella, Emily, Sarah, Echo, Adaline Undumbara."
"Is this normal?" you ask yourself. Yes. And then you find out Sunny is a boy.
Some Chinese students pick pretty normal English names, but there are many more who are drawn to old-fashioned names (Edna, Eunice, Beryl) or names that are -- how shall we say this? -- not names.
Moon 2 (a boy who had a brother with the English name Moon)
Shmily (short for "see how much I love you")
Arble (Seven and Arble are both in my Christmas decorating post below)
The English name phenomenon is a never-ending source of amusement among ex-pat teachers. Everyone has their stories of the nutty names they've encountered. I usually try to gently advise a name change, but if the name isn't too outrageous, sometimes I allow it. So I still teach Clover, Roony, Cinty, and Lisara, and I'd be lying if I said I didn't love it.
*Note: All names in this post are students I have known or my teammates have taught.