Something special

Teen makes more than $63,000 helping Chinese families pick English baby names

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A 16-year-old British girl says that her website, Special Name, has been used to name more than 232,000 Chinese babies — garnering her over $63,000 in the process. Beau Jessup, a student at Cheltenham Ladies College, explained that the initial idea for the project came on a family trip to China.

“When I went to China I kept being asked to name babies for my parent’s friends. They explained an English name is vital because you can’t use a Chinese name on email or a university application to the U.K.,” Jessup recalled. “But I also heard lots of examples where people had chosen culturally inappropriate English names they’d heard from films or read online … I once heard of someone called Gandalf and another called Cinderella.”

So Jessup began what she said started as a “small project” to create a site that would provide families with a shortlist of more conventional sounding names generated from “individual preference and what they personally want their child to be.” Alongside the names, the site also provided examples of famous namesakes, such as Catherine Middleton, and information about the original meaning that the names once held.

The project has paid major dividends for Jessup, who says that she’s saving the income from the site in order to pay for her university education. “I never expected it to become more than just a small project,” Jesup admitted. “It is obviously a nice surprise, but it is definitely a surprise.”

Read the full story at The Telegraph.

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