View Full Version : Your opinion/preference, please

08-23-2005, 02:35 PM
Here's the situation:

One of the main characters in my novel is a courtesan (ok, high-status prostitute) in turn-of-the-century Shanghai. She's attractive, witty -- but a bit of a *****. She can turn the charm on, but she's famous for making witty comments that put others down.

I've chosen the Chinese name for this character -- I'm naming her after my boss (ahem). What I would like for you to weigh in on is how to translate her name into English. I'm looking for the name/translation that a Western reader would find attractive ... intriguing ... fitting.

The most accurate, but much too long, translation of the name would be: Scarlet Legendary-Beauty-Who-Ascended-to-the-Moon.

Which do you prefer, then, for the courtesan: "Scarlet Beauty" or "Scarlet Moon"?

(p.s. the word for 'scarlet' can also be translated as 'crimson' or 'red' -- let me know if you don't think 'scarlet' sounds the best)

08-23-2005, 04:28 PM
Scarlett Moon

I think Scarlett is an apt name. . . you know. . .reference to a scarlet woman.

Not sure, but I think Scarlett is usually spelled with two t's when used as a name here.

08-23-2005, 05:12 PM
Definitely Scarlet Moon.
I lived in Singapore for 3 years and found the habit of double naming the children with an English name and a Chinese one very interesting, especially when you discover how they tie together all the members of the family through either the meaning or the characters representing their name. And they are always very poetic.

08-23-2005, 07:45 PM
Just an odd note... the moon is inherintly feminine, and Scarlet Moon would imply a deep connection to the female psyche and physical body. It works as great symbolism when using it in references to sex for power, and even attitude as it slants into the "Moon Time" for a woman when she can be cutting and mean. (for laymens that is during her 'time of the month', lol) The name definitly has layers of depth and power.

08-24-2005, 03:19 AM
Thanks, you folks, for replying -- it looks like the consensus (including my own opinion) is ... Scarlet Moon.