Look at this picture of the Chinese Olympic mascots, bearing in mind that their names are supposed to spell out 北京欢迎你 Běijīng huānyíng nǐ “Beijing welcomes you”.  What leaps out at you?

Why, that the names don’t match!  What nefarious message do they have for us?

贝贝 Bèibèi uses the character ‘shells, valuables’.  Interestingly, the tone doesn’t match Běijīng.

晶晶 Jīngjīng is ‘bright, shining’.

欢欢 Huānhuān is ‘cheerful’; this one does match huānyíng.

迎迎 Yíngyíng ‘welcome, meet’ is OK too.

妮妮 Nīnī is ‘girl’; again a tone mismatch.

OK, there isn’t actually a subversive message; I guess names like “You-you” and “North-north” just didn’t sound cute enough.

福娃 fúwá is ‘happy’ + ‘baby’, not to be confused with Japanese futa.

Advertisements