Baby? No, it's Beibei as mascots inspire names

A postcard bearing the image of the "Fuwas", official mascots of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, and the National Stadium, also known as the "Bird's Nest", is displayed for sale in Beijing August 5, 2008. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi

BEIJING (Reuters) - New-born babies in China are paying the penalty for their parents’ patriotic fervor, with thousands named after the five mascots of the Beijing Olympics.

Figures from the Ministry of Public Securities, published on Chinese website, show nearly 5,000 babies have been named after the five good luck dolls known collectively as Fuwa since they were unveiled as the Games’ mascots in November 2005.

So far 1,240 babies have been named Jingjing after the black mascot that resembles a panda and represents the traditional element of wood.

The second most popular name is Huanhuan with 1,063 babies named after the red, flame-headed mascot which symbolizes the Olympic flame and the passion of sport.

Next off the rank is Beibei with 880 babies named after the blue Fuwa that represents water as a fish, then green Nini with 642 baby followers and yellow Yingying with 624 babies.

“Thousands of people are sharing the names of the Fuwa,” said a statement on which specializes in Chinese identity numbers.

Combined the five Fuwa names translate as “Beijing Welcomes You.”

Additional reporting by Jim Bai; editing by Miles Evans