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Thursday, August 21, 2008

Confucius - the first Christian Name

Dad was joking today that Confucius has to be the first Christian name in the world. And that the West was good at putting down the very glue that made Chinese who they are by well, giving it such a confusing name.

Reckoning that Confucius's proper Chinese name was actually Kong Qiu Ni, how in the world did it ever become Confucius? He jokes that he should be called Johnny (First name - Qui Ni) Kong (Family Name), as opposed to Confucius. Kong Fu Zi (or Kong Zi) is his formal title of sorts, meaning Revered Teacher Kong.

Apparently it was so thanks to a Jesuit Matteo Ricci, who was the first to Latinise the name as "Confucius."

And broken down - it would make sense.

Con = Kong
Fu = Fu (Teacher) Zi

Just not quite sure how the 'CIUS' works.