Redirected from Courtesy name
The relation between the zi and given name is evident in the case of Mao Zedong, but not all. One character from each of Mao's given name and zi is related to water (as evident by the characters' common radical 氵 that signifies "water") and beneficence: Ze (澤 ze2) of the given name Zedong means "beneficence" and "marsh", and Run (润 run4) of the zi Runzhi means "benefit" and "moisten".
A stranger would refer to the person by his/her Zi rather than given name. For the same reason, Zi is used in writing instead of given name. Zi did not include the family name.
See also: Chinese name.