Possessing a novel name is a phenomenon that is observed most frequently amongst Hong Kong Chinese, whereas it is relatively less common to spot a novel name amongst mainland Chinese, Singapore Chinese and Taiwanese. What is it about the psyche of Hong Kong Chinese that compels them to create and retain odd-sounding novel names?
From my understanding, when a population or society is unaware (or ignorant) of name rules or memes then, depending on how the relevant society regards the values of "creativity" and "conformity", there will be individuals who will adopt rare, uncommon names (e.g. Adolf) and perhaps even create their own novel names (e.g. Alnwick). Dare I ask whether expressions of creativity and free thought are relatively more common in Hong Kong?
There are other possible reasons (e.g. mainland Chinese are latecomers in adopting English first names, Singaporeans have a relatively better grasp of traditional English, etc), and I'd be interested to hear people's thoughts on this (e.g. Elmer'sLifeinHK). In the meantime, I hope this blog's "Novel Name of the Day" feature will bring some enjoyment and perhaps curiosity to readers.
0324 HKSAR Name of the Day (see comments, which are insightful)
Picking and Choosing Names: Korea
Other people's thoughts on novel names:
What's in a name?
Mun Yin Liu: Why are Hong Kong names so weird? (CNN Travel)
What Are the Weird English Names of Chinese People?
Funny English Names by Hong Kong People
10 Weird Things About Hong Kong that FREAK OUT Foreigners
Hilarious English Names Chinese People Choose