As an alien whose first language is not English, I sometimes am in a very strange situation, is it suitable to use my native language name, Dong? I by chance know Dong has a little bit negative meaning in English. Though I could choose an English name, such as Tom, to use, but I still prefer to use my native name. Any recommendation? Thanks.

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    In what English speaking country? – DavePhD Apr 11 '16 at 19:10
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    "Dong" isn't exactly negative - just a silly word for the male member. Chances are that when you introduce yourself, most English-speakers would hear "Don" - which is a common shortening of the (fairly common) English name "Donald". – Oldbag Apr 11 '16 at 19:17
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    Your question is not about the English language as such, it's really asking for advice. People will have different opinions on this subject and consequently offer very little linguistic support. So... here's my 2 cents, your name is your identity and you should not feel compelled to swap it for an English one. Dong is an easy name to remember and pronounce, and if people like you they'll forget its secondary meaning. But it's also true that the world will always have idiots, and no doubt someone will tease you, but the majority (I hope) will respect you and your name. – Mari-Lou A Apr 11 '16 at 19:23
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    Many native English names are euphemistic. For example, the name Richard is often abbreviated to Dick - it's not unheard of to meet a Dick Head. My thesis supervisor's surname was Willey, pronounced identically to willy, which means the same as Dong. A name such as yours will fit right in :) – Charon Apr 11 '16 at 19:39
  • I have encountered people named "Dong" once or twice, and, given that they had the appearance and accent of someone from Southeast Asia, I did not regard the name as particularly "odd" or comical, nor did it seem salacious. Of course, I can't speak for everyone -- there are some idiots who will make fun of anything, especially if it seems foreign to them. – Hot Licks Apr 11 '16 at 20:06

Speaking for the USA only, both the names "Dick" and "Dong" are also slang words for penis. Nonetheless, many people such as former vice president Dick Cheney go by the name "Dick". "Dong" on the other hand is a rare name here. There is a professor Dong Liu at University of Houston, professor Dong Lai at Cornell, and other professors with "Dong" as their first or last name.

Unfortunately as Kat Chow discusses in her article What's So 'Cringeworthy' About Long Duk Dong in 'Sixteen Candles'?, there is a negative stereotype of Chinese immigrants and visitors established by the Dong character in this famous movie.

The movie is rather old now, but still worth being aware of.

Overall, I would just stick with your real name.

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