Giovanni Stary’s A Dictionary of Manchu Names (Harrassowitz, 2000), based on the Jakūn gūsai Manjusai mukūn hala be uheri ejehe bithe (八旗滿洲氏族通譜, “Comprehensive Genealogies of the Manchu Clans and the Families of the Eight Banners,” prefaces dated 1736 and 1745), is an impressive and handy inventory of Manchu names, but also a list frozen in time. The compilation date of the Genealogies itself makes it clear: it covers, in Stary’s own words, “from Manchu prehistory to the first decades of the 18th century, comprising in some cases up to twelve generations” (p. ix). This chronological span necessarily enables a fair good typology of Manchu personal names (as opposed to hala or mukūn names) up to the Qianlong period: animals, plants, things, birth order, topographical features, “strange and amusing,” parental inspiration, colors, ethnonyms, numbers, etc. (p. xi f.). Another study of the Genealogies by Yingsheng 瀛生 of the Aisin Gioro clan (《談談滿族人的姓名》，滿族研究 1985.2) gives a more basic, morphological typology (p. 59):
- Names that end with the Mongolian commitative marker -tai or -tu (e.g. Bayantu).
- Names that end with the Manchu nominalizer -ngga/-ngge/-nggo (e.g. Bayangga).
- Names that end with the Manchu causative marker -bu (e.g. Tatabu).
- Manchu nouns or adjectives.
Studies of later Manchu names, however, are somewhat more difficult, not least because both translingual practices and normative regimes come into play. In an article titled 《满族姓名历史演变初探》 by Ma Jingyu 馬競淤 (滿語研究 2011.1) we find the genealogy of the Hitara clan compiled in Guangxu 23 (1897), in particular the names of people in the 11th through 18th generations.
- 第十一世 ：德伯讷、官保 、拐图、麻色、归古里、宁武里 、图力根 、巴哈(章京)、沙哈
- 第十二世 ：永常、永平 、木特布
- 第十六世 ：阿唐阿、海保 、海凌 、海泉、连庆、富隆阿、恩喜 、连喜 、连德、硕成、硕泰、纯庆
- 第十七世 ：广禄 、广祥 、广喜、光珍 、奎珍 、庆珍、富隆布、恒顺、恒龄、恒庆 、恒富、恒庆
- 第十八世 ：宝元 、庆德 、庆余、庆林 、庆贵、庆琛、庆有
From this the author concludes: 1) in the 11th generation all names were in Manchu, and Chinese names begin appearing in the 12th generation; 2) even in the 16th generation bisyllabic names are common, traditional Manchu name endings such as -boo, -tai, -ngga can still be found; and 3) the 17th and 18th generations, which corresponds to the Guangxu reign (r. 1875–1908), show strong features of Chinese names, even adapting a zibei 字輩 system wherein every generation shares a same character in its name, taken sequentially from a poem, which in this case is “宝德毓英魁 ，永成盛世书，隆文多富贵 ，福寿庆双余” (p. 35).
The problem here is that, as always when we deal with Manchu strategies of existing, the line between “Chinese” and “Manchu” is difficult to draw–so difficult, in fact, that they force us to ask instead if drawing such a line is meaningful in the first place. It is often mentioned that the Qianlong Emperor (r. 1735–1796), unsurprisingly, had strong opinions about what a “proper” Manchu name should look like: no trisyllabic personal names because they look Chinese, no trisyllabic names that include a surname (even a Manchu one), and no bisyllabic personal names whose first character is a Chinese surname (ibid). That’s asking for a lot: it’s not enough that a Manchu does not adopt a Chinese name, but that their personal name, when written down in Sinographs, cannot look like a Chinese name–even when you squint. I mean, do the Chinese even have trisyllabic personal names? And since when did transliteration of non-Sinitic names into Chinese not have a tendency to use semantically significant graphs (cf. my previous post on naming)?
These are harsh standards befitting an emperor set to regulate every aspect of Manchu cultural life with an eye toward a “pure” Manchuness that’s supposedly lost, but there is no good reason for modern scholars to follow it to the letter when trying to make sense of Manchu personal names. On the contrary, the relation between Manchu naming practices and Sinography can best be gleaned between the two scripts (instead of focusing only on one or the other as more original or more real), in translingual moments of writing. I draw my examples, again, from the Manchu Rare Book Collection at the University of Chicago Library, where a large number of books contain author, translator, or editor information in both languages, in the interlinear hebi 合璧 format.
A simple way of telling Manchu and Chinese names apart in early Qing books is that, regardless of the Chinese character used or their number, Chinese names have a strong tendency to be transliterated monosyllabically. Take the three postscripts of the Han-i araha sain be huwekiyebure oyonggo gisun (御製勸善要言, preface dated Shunzhi 12 or 1655, M1681/3243), written by three different officials.
Here are the three names: Dang Cung Ya 黨崇雅, Tuhai 圖海, and Fu I Jiyan 傅以漸. It is quite clear, from just looking at the transliteration in Manchu, whose name is supposed to be Chinese and whose is not.
This pattern continues into the many court publications of the Kangxi reign (1661–1722), which tends to include very elaborate list of those involved in each publication’s production (a feature sadly dropped in many Qianlong-era publications). Here is the list of copyists of the Chinese text (Nikan bithe be gingguleme arahangge 謄録漢文:) of the Beye dailame, wargi amargi babe necihiyeme toktobuha bodogon-i bithe (親征平定朔漠方略, preface dated Kangxi 48 or 1710, M2785/3133M):
Li Heng Joo 李恒烑, Dung Je 董哲, Wang Doo Hing 王道烆, Gin Pu 金璞, Wang Fung Sun 王鳳孫, Yan Yung 閻詠, Gu Dzun 顧燇, Ni Pan 倪璠, Jiyoo Šoo Dzu 焦紹祖, Geng Guwe Han 耿國翰, Gin Ki 金𤦺, Li Jen 李湞, Dung Šoo Mei 董紹美, Ju Ting Fung 朱廷鳳, Fang Ceng Yuwan 方承源, Yuwan Poo 袁袍, Hūwang Ting Ioi 黃廷鈺, Jiyang Yan 蔣琰, Wang Hiyo Siyūn 王學㢲, Ju Ts Fang 朱嗣芳, Lin Ši Giyūn 林世俊, Tang Bing I 唐秉彛, Yuwan Guwang Ioi, 袁廣譽 Wei Hūng Doo 魏宏道, Ju Moo Hi 朱懋熹, Wang Guwe Dung 王國棟, Ciowan Ju Jy 全朱芝, Li Kung Hiya 李孔嘉, Ioi Ši Moo 俞時懋, Ioi Pei 于沛, Gu Cūn 顧焞, Gu Bing 顧炳.
Here, on the other hand, are those of the Manchu text (Manju bithe be gingguleme arahangge 謄錄滿文):
Ciši 齊世, Yatu 雅圖, Tungtai 佟泰, Fuhai 福海, Sambooju 三保住, Dunggalai 董阿頼, Cangge 常額, Bešeo 栢壽, Canwen 禪文, Badeboo 巴德保, Cangju 常住, Sucengge 蘇成, Tuktan 圖克坦.
Note, here, that a number of names can be suspicious if you only look at the first character of the Chinese transliteration, for example 董阿頼, 常額, and 蘇成 which all begin with a common Chinese surname. And while it is hard to imagine a Chinese literati would be named 阿頼, a name like 蘇成 could very well be a Chinese name–until you look at the Manchu transliteration, Sucengge. It is intuitive, of course, that copyists of the Chinese text would have distinctively Chinese names and likewise for Manchu, and the list of names become less homogeneous when we turn to other roles, for example the translators (Ubaliyambuhangge 繙譯):
Masai 馬賽, Ajintai 阿金泰, Ulcihai 呉爾齊海, Marsai 馬爾賽, Cangling 常凌, Ciši 齊實, G’u Ioi Lin 郭毓麟.
Again, no shortage of trisyllabic names here, nor transliterations of Manchu names that could easily “pass” as Chinese; but there is little ambiguity if and when both scripts are taken into account. Although I must confess that names such as Cangling 常凌 are so convincing as Chinese ones that I almost suspected the bisyllabic transliteration to be a case of “Manjurification”–of a bilingual Chinese adopting a Manchu manner of transliteration–although this does not seem to be the case. At least for this name. But it is not out of the picture that Manchu naming and transliteration practices have co-evolved, so to speak, so that Manchu names that can yield transliterations that look like more elegant Chinese names enjoyed a slight preference. But they remained Manchu names nonetheless.
Although it is more difficult in later periods of the Qing to find an extensive list of contributors to a publication like this, there is no reason to believe that this distinction was ever changed, at a fundamental level, during the entirety of the dynasty. Instead of more High Qing examples, I will simply give the list of contributors of the Ubaliyambbuha amba tacin-i jurgan be badarambuha bithe (繙譯大學衍義, edict for retranslation dated Xianfeng 6 or 1856, M895/4322M):
Uheri tuwahangge 總校: Wenking 文慶, Muyen 穆蔭, Hilin 熙麟
Kimcime acabuhangge 挍正: Meng Boo 孟保
Narhūšame acabuhangge 詳校: Wenšeng 文盛, Beling 柏齡, Jungcang 中常, Sungliyan 嵩連
Bargiyame asarahangge 收掌: Meng De Fang 孟德芳
Gingguleme arahangge 恭錄: Cungheo 崇厚, Canging 長英, Boogan 寶安, Cengšan 成山.
And here we see the preference for Manchu names that transliterate sophisticatedly into Chinese in full swing. In fact, it is quite likely that some of these names are simply “Chinese names” phonetically transliterated into Manchu (I find no “Wenšeng” in the Genealogies, for example), but they are not transliterated the same way the name of an actual Chinese person would be. In other words, whether the person is Manchu or Chinese remains entirely unambiguous for those who read between the lines, so to speak.
Now, all of this serves as background for a peculiar form of Manchu literati names that can be found in 19th century. Consider the list of contributors to the famous translation of the Strange Tales from a Chinese Studio into Manchu by Jakdan, in particular that written in vol. 1 (since the list can vary from volume to volume) of the 1907 Eryou zhai 二酉齋 edition (prefaces dated Daoguang 28 or 1949, M5748/4242M):
gulu fulgiyan-i manju gūsai Jakdan Sio Fung ubaliyambuha 正紅旗滿洲扎克丹秀峯翻譯
kubuhe šanyan-i manju gūsai Salin Žun Tang acabuha 鑲白旗滿洲薩霖潤塘校正
šandung-ni peng lai hiyan-i Mucihiyan Ioi Fan dasame acabuha 山東蓬萊穆齊賢禹範覆校
gulu fulgiyan-i manju gūsai Deyetai Wei I 正紅旗滿洲德音泰唯一
kubuhe fulgiyan-i manju gūsai Kingsi Hi Cen kimcime toktobuha 鑲紅旗滿洲慶錫熙臣恭訂
gulu fulgiyan-i manju gūsai Canghing Siyang Pu 正紅旗滿洲長興祥圃
The names, quite clearly, follow a more complex pattern. Manchu names no longer appear unadorned, but are accompanied by the style names of the literati. It is quite clear that which part of the compound names are “Manchu” in the sense I have just described–having multisyllabic transliterations–and which parts are “Chinese.” In general, personal names are “Manchu” and style names are “Chinese.” Jakdan himself would be the one to tell us, for example, that 禹範 is the style name of Mucihiyan in his biographical sketch of his friend; but in doing so, he also shows idiosyncratic ways of using Manchu-Chinese hybrid names of this kind. Here is the first sentence of his biography of Mucihiyan:
Mr. Mu is from Penglai in the Deng commandery. His personal name is Qixian, his style name Yufan, and his art name Youlian.
So we have a culturally-specific, if not script-specific, way of using Manchu names. The first syllable of the Sinographic transliteration of Micihiyan is used essentially like a Chinese surname, to create a biographical introduction legible in the Chinese monolingual context despite the character 穆 having little to nothing to do with any hala name Mucihiyan might have. (Mucihiyan returns the favor, of course, and refers to Jakdan as 扎翁 or Elder Zha in his own preface to the translation.)
In another preface (the Manchu Strange Tales has many prefaces, to put it lightly) Jakdan goes further in this way of using Manchu names:
余嘗與穆禹範，長祥圃，德唯一為友[. . .]
I was friends with Mu Yufan, Chang Xianpu, and De Weiyi [. . .]
(Don’t be fooled: Deyetai and Kingsi were Jakdan’s students, but the old master is just very humble.) Now not only is Jakdan taking the first character of the Sinographic transliteration of Manchu names as a de facto surname, he is using it to further make the surname+style name form typical for referring to Chinese literati: think of 李太白 or 胡適之, for example. And indeed, while he prefers to sign his own prefaces (yes, he wrote multiple ones) with his art name 五費居士, he occasionally uses 扎秀峰 as well.
It is often noted that the clan name, or hala, of Manchus were not conventionally used on an everyday basis. Thus the compound name Bujilgen Jakdan, while correct, is a somewhat anachronic expression. It is therefore not hard to imagine why Manchu literati such as Jakdan and Mucihiyan would create these complex forms of names that simultaneously preserve aspects of Manchu naming (i.e. multisyllabic in Manchu script) and afford the full range of pseudonymic display enjoyed by their Chinese counterparts.
And those Manchu names can get quite creative. Let me conclude this post by giving the list of editors (uheri acabuha 仝校) of a Guangxu-era retranslation of the Qianlong Four Books (M856/6156B), with the preface by Siyangheng 祥亨 dated Guanxu 16 (1890):
仁菴金壽 Žin An Giašeo，介堂寶俊 Giyai Tang Boogiyūn，秀濤良續 Sio Too Liyangsioi，鶴門寶壽 He Men Boošeo，馴卿蘇芳阿 Siyūn King Sufangga，文軒盛昌 Wen Hiyan Šengcang，如山有壽 Žu Šan Iošeo, 虛如扎魯布 Hioi Žu Jalubu, 禮臣多貴 Lii Cen Dogui, 筱波德海 Siyoo Bo Dehai, 敷臣志寬 Fu Cen Jikuwan, 容齋培寬 Žung Jai Peikuwan.
Here, the style names are moved up and the personal names, which not only are transliterated multisyllabically but also follow “traditional” Manchu naming conventions surprisingly closely, appear in the second position. The style names can be very self-consciously sophisticated or literary (鶴門, 虛如, and 筱波 are such examples) or appear almost to be official titles (e.g. 馴卿 and 禮臣). 仁菴, 介堂, 文軒, 容齋, and such are, instead, more art name-like, since those conventionally refer to the literatus’ abode. This rather elaborate display of names, interestingly enough, was not followed by the two Chinese patrons of the translation, Žui Boo Cen 瑞寶臣 and De Jing Ting 德靜亭, nor by the team of proofreaders (gingguleme araha 繕正) with only ordinary Manchu names:
榮海 Žonghai, 寶明 Booming, 德培 Depei, 額爾德穆 Erdemu, 文明 Wenming, 富勒鑑 Fulgiyan, 恩芳 Enfang, 海林 Hailin.
It is somewhat unclear why this is the case. There may be a difference in status than trumps personal preference. But regardless, these Manchu-Chinese hybrid names for literati is a fascinating phenomenon worthy of a closer look.
Appendix Jul. 13:
As it often happens, I learn of something that benefits the argument of my blogpost the moment I finish writing it. Today I processed an interesting Manchu grammatical work titled Dasame foloho manju gisun-i untehun hergen-i temgetu jorin bithe (重刻清文虛字指南編, Guide to Manchu “Empty Characters,” The Revised Edition). It was originally published by a Mongol named Heo Tiyan Wanfu 厚田萬福 (preface dated 1884) and was revised and republished by his student Fungšan 鳳山 (preface dated 1894), of the Hanjun Eight Banners (ujen cooha).
When the ethnicity of the names are uncertain, one is left to make conjectures; that was how it was with many names in my original post. It is no longer the case here: we see that a Mongolian literatus taking up the naming convention typical of 19th century Manchu literati, and also a Han Chinese bannerman transliterating his name into Manchu letters in the Manchu fashion. Further confirmation, I think, that instead of substantialist distinctions between “Manchu” versus “Chinese” names as a locus of identity differentiation, we are better off thinking in terms of Manjurisms and Siniticisms in naming practices that are often co-present, and mix-and-match through negotiations and improvisations, and tells us a different kind of story of how bannermen of different ethnicities dealt with the difficulty of names.