The scene is Starbucks.

There is a green tea latte for "Pussy". A mocha for "Dong". And "Madonna's" caramel macchiato is ready. Do baristas ever get names right, you may be thinking. Yes. This is Starbucks in Beijing.

Many China mainlanders select English names as it makes life easier when dealing with foreigners. But lack of familiarity with Western culture means some Chinese choose oddly. So much so that guidance has been published, via state TV channel CCTV.

First, it cautions against old-fashioned names from period TV shows. Is a girl from Guangzhou ever really a believable Mildred? Then there are names that are "fancy" or "conservative". Such as Catherine. Or Elizabeth. An aristo no-no for the People's Republic?

The warnings then turn to famous names. Nothing too obvious. Harry from Harry Potter is okay. But other characters? Well, I've personally never met a Dumbledore but the advice specifies being a Dumbledore is a Dumbledon't, so you've got to assume there are some out there. At least until they read these tips and dumb down to something less adorned.

It also steers citizens away from names based on religion or mythology. Like Vampire. Not, they say, a good name to make your resume stand out to an overseas firm. (Though, putting on a recruiter's hat, you'd be fairly impressed by the potential for working late into the night).

Certainly, this issue did make for awkward moments on the mainland. One of my gym instructors in Beijing introduced himself as Merlin, and ignored hints as muscular as his torso that this TV character name was not a proper English choice.

Then there was my hairdresser, who said: "Call me Dick".

"Do I have to?" I replied.

We then had me practise his Chinese name, which sounded like a sneeze. Ai Chu or similar. I never sneezed to his satisfaction and for two years I made appointments with Dick.

But there is also an element of enjoyable riddle-solving. One colleague said her English name was Ariel. Had she just watched the 80s film Footloose, or was she a fan of the in-house magazine at the BBC? My boss was called Flora. A margarine fan? Or comrade and Jacobite?

This week - stick with me - Xiaomi, the successful smartphone maker in China, announced an expansion to internet TV content.

Whereupon I saw an opportunity to smuggle in some Scottish culture. Export our Fionas and Callums and Islas. Don't have an English name, have a Scottish name. Be different, but don't be Dumbledore.

Xiaomi, you see, are renowned for cut-price phone hardware, so budget content is inevitable. To fill up schedules, how about River City? Sold and dubbed into Mandarin. This might encourage newly nameless Vampires or Dumbledores to try life as Aileen or Sandra or Malcolm.

Throw in some BBC Scotland back catalogue and we could have a few Hamishes and Macbeths here.

When I meet a Torquil, not only will my work be done, but the Chinese national answering to these syllables may feel as comfortable as with their given Mandarin name. It's equally hard to say.