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The Meaning Behind Hong Kong’s Name

The Meaning Behind Hong Kong’s Name 

There are plenty of things people attach to Hong Kong’s name such as skyscrapers, busy crowds, delicious dishes, and cultural diversity. But have you ever wondered about the hidden stories behind its name? 

In this article, we unravel the mystery behind Hong Kong’s name. Discover how it shapes our city’s global identity! 

What does Hong Kong’s name mean? 

In English, Hong Kong literally means fragrant harbour. 

How is Hong Kong written in Cantonese? 

In Cantonese, Hong Kong is written as 香港. 

How did Hong Kong get its name? 

There’s no sure reason as to how Hong Kong got its name. That said, several historians have an interesting theory about it: Hong Kong was previously a place where people conduct their trading especially for incense. They say the aroma that the incense emitted, particularly the agarwood, inspired the city’s name. 

From 1368 to 1912, what is now recognized as New Territories was famous for producing incense, most specially agarwood. Using junk boats from the Aberdeen Harbour, people would ship it to other parts of Asia and the world. 

Hence, this supposed origin story for our city’s name may have some truth to it!

How does Hong Kong’s name affect its global identity?

Hong Kong’s name affects its global identity by echoing its rich history. As mentioned, Hong Kong is translated as Fragrant Harbour in English because it used to be a main trading port. In a global sense, its name can be interpreted as Hong Kong being a vibrant and dynamic city that’s a hub for global business and finance.

What’s another nickname for Hong Kong? 

Aside from Fragrant Harbour, another nickname for Hong Kong is Asia’s World City. This is because of the mix of different cultures in Hong Kong and how it provides an opportunity for international connections. 

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