Asian celebs you didn’t know had English first names

TAKE OUR QUIZ: Can you guess who are Wilson, Edmund, Matteo and María?

Edmund
Edmund
18 Jan 2018

Edmund

The name Edmund is on this local veteran actor’s identity card and most of his friends call him that, but the rest of us know him by something else entirely. Can you guess who it is?

Pictured: Tay Ping Hui, Zhu Hou Ren, Zheng Ge Ping

Zheng Ge Ping
Zheng Ge Ping
18 Jan 2018

Zheng Ge Ping

Say hello to “hunkle” Edmund Tay. He told us that he wasn’t born with the name, but he started using it in secondary school and included it in his NRIC sometime after his baptism in 1988. He chose the name because he liked how it doesn’t sound too “soft” (like Joey) or “hard” (like Rocky or Stallone).

When we asked why he didn’t opt to be known as Edmund Tay when he entered showbiz, he said that while he did consider it back then, it clashed with Edmund Chen. That’s about as far as their similarities go, though!

Ron
Ron
18 Jan 2018

Ron

During our conversation with Ge Ping, we learned that his children used to call this local veteran actor “Uncle Ron” when they were much younger. Can you guess who it is?

Pictured: Chen Tian Wen, Chen Han Wei, Chen Shu Cheng

Chen Han Wei, Chen Tian Wen
Chen Han Wei, Chen Tian Wen
18 Jan 2018

Chen Han Wei, Chen Tian Wen

Yes, there is – or was, to be more precise – two of them (the person Ge Ping was talking about is Han Wei)! In a statement shared through his manager, Han Wei explained that people used to tell him that he needed an English name and that he had a few previously that he didn’t really fancy. Then, one day, he was shooting with Tian Wen, who suggested that they be called “Ron” together (two Ron Chens in showbiz? Really?).

However, Han Wei eventually grew tired of that as well, and now he no longer has an English first name. We think “Han Wei” suits him just fine.

Rafael
Rafael
18 Jan 2018

Rafael

This local veteran actor gave himself the faith-filled name Rafael a few years ago. Can you guess who it is?

Pictured: Li Nan Xing, Chew Chor Meng, Lim Kay Tong

Chew Chor Meng
Chew Chor Meng
18 Jan 2018

Chew Chor Meng

A decade ago in 2008, Chor Meng was diagnosed with a muscular dystrophy disorder known as Kennedy’s disease, which affected his physical movements. Although the illness is said to be incurable, Chor Meng has carried on with life and his career like a trooper, and a few years ago, he christened himself Rafael, which means “God has healed”. “Because I believe and have faith that God has healed me,” he told us.

Well, you know what they say about faith and moving mountains.

Aiden
Aiden
18 Jan 2018

Aiden

This Super Junior member once introduced himself as “Aiden Lee” on a variety show. Can you guess who it is?

Pictured: Sungmin, Eunhyuk, Donghae

Super Junior’s Lee Donghae
Super Junior’s Lee Donghae
18 Jan 2018

Super Junior’s Lee Donghae

While fans have given every Super Junior member an English name, Donghae is the only one who has actually acknowledged his so far, which he did so on ancient reality series Super Junior Full House (can you believe that show is 12 years old?). We wonder if he has continued to call himself that since then.

Photos: TPG/CLICKPHOTOS

David Joseph
David Joseph
18 Jan 2018

David Joseph

This idol actor was given these biblical names by a preacher. Can you guess who it is?

Pictured: BTOB’s Yook Sungjae, Super Junior’s Choi Siwon, ZE:A’s Im Siwan

Super Junior’s Choi Siwon
Super Junior’s Choi Siwon
18 Jan 2018

Super Junior’s Choi Siwon

A few years ago, the famously religious star had the chance to meet his “[favourite] and highly respected pastor Henry Gruver”, who then gave him the English name of David Joseph Choi. However, the Instagram post with which he made the announcement has since mysteriously disappeared.

Photos: TPG/CLICKPHOTOS

Alexander
Alexander
18 Jan 2018

Alexander

According to this Taiwanese singer, nobody calls him by his English name Alexander except for customs officers at the airport (because it’s in his passport). Can you guess who it is?

Pictured: Mayday’s Ashin, Yen-J, Wang Leehom

Wang Leehom
Wang Leehom
18 Jan 2018

Wang Leehom

It may be his legal name, but Leehom claimed in an interview that he “never ever [uses] it”. He went on to explain that when he went to kindergarten, his parents asked him if he wanted to be known as “Alex” or “Leehom”. Before he could answer, they reminded him that there was a higher chance of having many other boys named Alex around, but he was probably going to be the only Leehom.

Someone clearly knew how to make a decision to be unique from a very young age.

​​​​​​​Photos: TPG/CLICKPHOTOS

Wayne
Wayne
18 Jan 2018

Wayne

Which Mandopop crooner is known as “Wayne” to his close friends and family members?

Pictured: Luhan, JJ Lin, Li Ronghao

JJ Lin
JJ Lin
18 Jan 2018

JJ Lin

Just to be sure, we dropped a personal pal of JJ’s a text to check on the legitimacy of what we found online, and she indeed confirmed the fact: “WAYNE LIM is his name, JJ LIN is stage name.” One ex-schoolmate from St. Andrews Junior College, however, was only aware of JJ being known as his Chinese name, “Jun Jie”, though.

Photos: TPG/CLICKPHOTOS

Branden
Branden
18 Jan 2018

Branden

Can you guess which of these three handsome Parks may have gone by the name Branden when he was a kid?

Pictured: Park Bo Gum, Park Hyung Sik, Park Seo Joon

Park Bo Gum
Park Bo Gum
18 Jan 2018

Park Bo Gum

There isn’t much proof pointing to the Hallyu heartthrob’s supposed English name aside from a grainy childhood photo of him wearing a giant nametag, but we’re highly amused by the discovery anyway. Doesn’t “Branden Park” sound like some cute Korean-American exchange student all the girls would be clamouring to go to class with?

Photos: TPG/CLICKPHOTOS

Matteo
Matteo
18 Jan 2018

Matteo

Which of EXO’s three main vocalists has made donations under his baptismal name Matteo?

Pictured: D.O., Baekhyun, Chen

EXO’s Chen
EXO’s Chen
18 Jan 2018

EXO’s Chen

In 2016, Chen was revealed to have made a generous contribution to his hometown’s programme for young entrepreneurs and was listed as “Kim Jong Dae (Matteo) – singer EXO’s Chen” (Kim Jong Dae is his real name). It’s likely he chose the name as it is a variation of Matthew – his birthday, September 21, is also St. Matthew’s feast day for Catholics.

Photos: EXO/Facebook

Richard
Richard
18 Jan 2018

Richard

Which of these K-pop group maknaes (youngest members) has an English name that, to be frank, would suit your friend’s refined, salt-and-pepper-haired doctor dad better than a hip young idol?

Pictured: BIGBANG’s Seungri, BTS’s Jungkook, SHINee’s Taemin

BIGBANG’s Seungri
BIGBANG’s Seungri
18 Jan 2018

BIGBANG’s Seungri

Seungri’s English name was “leaked” when he took part in a jiu-jitsu tournament in Japan a few months ago and the name “Richard Lee” was displayed on the scoreboard, an unearthing that caused a stir among the Hallyu community.

We can’t help but wonder: did he pick it because both “Seungri” and “Richard” have the “ri” in them? In any case, imagine how funny it would have been to have a swag-filled group with members G-Dragon, T.O.P, Taeyang, Daesung and... Richard. We’ll gladly stick with Seungri.

Photos: Seungri/Facebook, BTS/Facebook, SHINee/Facebook


María
María
18 Jan 2018

María

This sultry K-pop starlet has a very classic baptismal name that is permanently marked on her body. Can you guess who it is?

Pictured: MAMAMOO’s Hwasa, HyunA, AOA’s Seolhyun

MAMAMOO’s Hwasa
MAMAMOO’s Hwasa
18 Jan 2018

MAMAMOO’s Hwasa

Hwasa is said to have three small tattoos, one of which is of the name “María” at the back of her neck. She isn’t the only member of MAMAMOO with a baptismal name – her group mate Whee In is reportedly called Gabriella, only she doesn’t have it inked on her skin (at least, not that anyone seems to know of).

Photos: TPG/CLICKPHOTOS

Wilson
Wilson
18 Jan 2018

Wilson

This Taiwanese actor is credited as “Wilson” for several titles on his IMDb page. Can you guess who it is?

Pictured: Xiu Jie Kai, Chen Bolin, Chang Chen

Chen Bolin
Chen Bolin
18 Jan 2018

Chen Bolin

Wilson? Really? It’s something we can imagine seeing on the nametag of the IT guy coming to fix our wayward office laptop (or on a bloodied volleyball on a deserted island, for all you classic movie fans out there), but not a dreamy movie star. Then again, anything would look good on Bolin…

​​​​​​​Photos: TPG/CLICKPHOTOS

Tom
Tom
18 Jan 2018

Tom

This local host has an English name that’s known to the public, but as we found out over text, that’s not his legal name! Can you guess who it is?

Pictured: Lee Teng, Pornsak, Mark Lee

Lee Teng
Lee Teng
18 Jan 2018

Lee Teng

Imagine our surprise when Lee Teng responded to our WhatsApp message saying, “My passport name is actually TOM!” (Yes, in capital letters). The Taiwan-born artiste then shared that the unlikely moniker – seriously, who would have thought? – was bestowed unto him by his primary school teacher.

But wait, we hear you ask, what about the name Ethen that’s listed on his social media accounts? “It’s the name I used for one of my shows Ethen by the Babes under Michelle Chong’s YouTube channel, and since it sounds similar to my Chinese name, I decided to use it,” he explained. “But some of my close friends still call me Tom for fun though!”

Count us in: we’re calling him nothing but Tom from now on.

Kenneth
Kenneth
18 Jan 2018

Kenneth

This local DJ’s English name isn’t really a secret if you pay attention to the bios of his social media pages (specifically, his e-mail address). Can you guess who it is?

Pictured: DJ Qiu Sheng Yang, DJ Lu Lin Xuan, DJ Zhong Kunhua

DJ Zhong Kunhua
DJ Zhong Kunhua
18 Jan 2018

DJ Zhong Kunhua

Kunhua’s English name was given to him by his aunt and is in all his legal documents, but he tries not to introduce himself as Kenneth simply because there are too many other folks with the same name out there (there are three within his turf at Mediacorp Chinese Radio alone, including fellow DJ Kenneth Kong).

His parents and sister, however, call him Kenneth despite being more Chinese educated. “I guess it’s an easier name to call compared to Kunhua, which is more unique but difficult to pronounce,” he told us over e-mail.

Lorraine
Lorraine
18 Jan 2018

Lorraine

She’s one of South Korea’s most beloved and beautiful actresses, but she shares the same name with probably an entire generation of grandmothers. Can you guess who it is?

Pictured: Jun Ji Hyun, Song Hye Kyo, Kim Tae Hee

Song Hye Kyo
Song Hye Kyo
18 Jan 2018

Song Hye Kyo

According to profile pages such as DramaWiki and a few fan-run social media accounts, Mrs. Song Joong Ki’s English name is the refined yet somewhat old-fashioned “Lorraine”, although it’s difficult to verify the accuracy of the reports.

Fanny
Fanny
18 Jan 2018

Fanny

This Taiwanese beauty has “Fanny” listed as her English name on some websites, but like Hye Kyo/Lorraine, there doesn’t seem to be any official acknowledgement of it.

Pictured: Shu Qi, Yao Yao, Lin Chi Ling

Shu Qi
Shu Qi
18 Jan 2018

Shu Qi

Stephen Fung and Fanny Shu” has quite a nice ring to it for a couple, doesn’t it?

​​​​​​​Photos: TPG/CLICKPHOTOS

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