Naming Taboo

In China, the naming taboo is a cultural taboo against speaking or writing the given names of exalted persons. In the past, the taboo especially discouraged the use of the emperor’s given name and those of his ancestors. For example, during the Qin dynasty, Qin Shi Huang’s given name Zheng was avoided, and the first month of the year, “Zheng Yue,” was renamed “Duan Yue.” In 1777, lexicographer Wang Xihou wrote the full name of the Qianlong emperor in his dictionary. What was his punishment? Discuss


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