Generally, the Cantonese majority employ one or another romanization of Cantonese. However, non-Cantonese immigrants may retain their hometown spelling in English. For example, use of Shanghainese romanization in names is more common in Hong Kong English than in official use in Shanghai where pinyin is used.
Chinese names and sometimes Chinese surnames in Hong Kong may be supplemented by or replaced by an English name when using English. As with the unrelated actors Tony Leung Chiu-Wai and Tony Leung Ka-fai, Hong Kong names may follow an English personal name + Cantonese family name + Cantonese personal name format. The use of English names in Hong Kong is not well researched or documented. English names in Hong Kong can include names that are not often found in the Western world, with some examples being Rimsky Yuen, York Chow, and Moses Chan. Inspiration for English names in Hong Kong can come from the names of months, sports brands, and luxury labels. More conventional English names can undergo distortion by the adding, substitution, or deletion of letters (e.g. Sonija, Garbie, Kith), as well using suffixes like -son (e.g. Rayson). They also sometimes come from mimicking the sounds of the Chinese name, like Hacken Lee from Lee Hak-kan (李克勤). These categories (addition, substitution, phonetic-based, etc) are the fundamental ways of generating creative Hong Kong names.
Hong Kongers may also append a middle name. For example, the 4th Chief Executive of Hong Kong, Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet Ngor, Yuet Ngor is her given name, Cheng being her maiden name, Lam being the surname of her spouse.
- Caroline Courtauld, May Holdsworth, Simon Vickers The Hong Kong story -1997 Page xi "A Note on the Romanization of Chinese Names The majority of Chinese personal names in Hong Kong are romanized according to their Cantonese pronunciation; a small number are rendered differently. In all cases we have retained the ..."
- Social policy reform in Hong Kong and Shanghai: a tale of two cities - Page xii Linda Wong, Lynn T. White, III, shi xun Gui - 2004 "Such well-known Hong Kong names as Shaw in the movie industry, Pao and Tung in shipping, Woo and Tang in textiles all demonstrate the leading roles played by Shanghai business emigres in the Hong Kong economic success story ... "
- Meeting Handbook - Page 75 Linguistic Society of America - 2000 "Bjorn H. Jernudd (Hong Kong Baptist University) (Session 34) 'English' personal names in Hong Kong Little if anything is systematically known about names other than Chinese-language names among Chinese-speaking populations."
- Man, Joyce (2012-10-01). "Hong Kong Loves Weird English Names". The Atlantic. Retrieved 2013-05-23.
- "NOTABLE NAMES (Brilliant Funny Weird Monikers)". hksarblog.blogspot.com. Retrieved 2018-11-07.