Lin is a boy’s name that is Chinese in origin. While it is primarily a surname, it can also be given as a personal name. Depending on the characters used, Lin has several meanings, including “fine jade,” and “gem.” The most common characters, 林, mean “forest.” This comes from an ancient story of King Zhou of Shang, the last emperor of the Shang dynasty, who lived in the 12th century BCE. Zhou was a cruel king, whose loyal advisor Bi Gan tried to persuade to change his ways. When Bi Gan was arrested for treason, his wife fled to the forest. There she gave birth to a son. After Zhou was deposed, the next king restored Bi Gan’s son to his rightful place and gave him the surname Lin to honor his birthplace. It is a name rich in meaning and history, and may even inspire baby with a lifelong love of nature.
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