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Elvis Presley : The Cat King?

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Elvis Aaron Presley


Elvis down memory lane

Oh no, not another article on Elvis Presley again!

Don’t worry I am not that silly to write about the life of Elvis Presley when there are tons of other better write-ups in the internet. I will be wasting my time and yours too. I am sharing with you my nostalgic “encounter” with Elvis Presley. Not exactly the real physical encounter for I live half the world away from Tennessee.

I was just an ignorant Asian boy during those days living in Asia, Penang to be exact. But Elvis Presley was so famous that even I knew his fame. Then one morning my two elder sisters took me to a morning matinee show. I am not sure whether you know what a “morning matinee show” is. In fact we called it “cheap matinee”. You see during those days, on week-end mornings, the cinemas would show re-runs in the morning for “peanut” price. That was way back in the good old days of the 60s.

The show we went to was called “Love Me Tender”. Frankly I didn’t know what show I was going to watch; too young to query at that time. That is why this “Elvis Presley encounter” of my life was a very special episode in my life. I think this was the only film show that I could vividly remember seeing it, remember the title, and the main actor, the place and time of the day I saw it. The opening introduction with the words : “Introducing Elvis Presley” forever etched in my mind. And my initial thought response after reading those words stuck in my mind even today!

By the way, the film “Love Me Tender” was produced in 1956 and released on November 21 that year. The film was originally titled “The Reno Brothers”. In order to capitalize on the latest success of Elvis’s song “Love Me Tender” the film was changed to that name.

Nicknames of Elvis Presley

I am sure you know the many nicknames of Elvis Presley. Elvis has been given more than 20 nicknames over the years. These are some of them:

The Cat

The King

The Hillbilly Cat

The Country Cat

The King of Rock n Roll

The Bopping Hillbilly

The Hillbilly Bopper

Big E

Big EL


The Chief


Elvis Pretzel

Elvis the Pelvis

The King of Swoon

The King of Western Bop

Memphis Flash

Million-dollar Actor

Mr. Dynamite

Mr. Rhythm

Mr. Wiggle and Shake

Sir Swivel Hips

The World’s Greatest Entertainer

Tiger Man

Wiggle Hips

Of all the most frequently used nicknames are The King, Elvis the Pelvis, and The Hillbilly Cat. The latter name was his official title in the 50s when Elvis signed up with Sun Records.

Elvis Presley : The Cat King

So that’s nothing new that you don’t know about Elvis Presley. What about this? Do you know the name of Elvis Presley in Chinese? Not nickname, but the official Chinese name of Elvis Presley known to all the Chinese communities around the world.

The normal exercise to translate a Caucasian name into Chinese is to choose words that very closely sound like the original name. But in the case of Elvis Presley it went against the norm. There is nothing close to his original name at all in Chinese. His Chinese name was 猫王 (mao wang) literally translated as "Cat King". And since the Chinese have hundreds of different dialects, each community will pronounce Mao Wang in different ways!

Why Mao Wang or Cat King? Even many Chinese till today do not know why Elvis Presley was given this strange name of “Cat King”. They would still be figuring out why. Maybe he sang like a cat or looked like one, or more probably gyrated like a cat on heat!!

No, quite honestly. Now, take a look at the first two nicknames of Elvis above. There, you get the answer!

Elvis impersonators


Elvis impersonators

I have finished what I wanted to share. Maybe a little digression will do no harm. I think Elvis Presley was the most impersonated personality in the world. Impersonators of Elvis Presley cut across cultures, nationalities, and race to become one and the same. How nice the whole world will just concentrate on this and stop fighting one another. Even in my small island paradise of Penang, we are not short of Elvis impersonators.

An added bonus is that most of these Elvis impersonators are professional entertainers cashing in on Elvis’s personality. And they do it with style and showmanship. And of course their names? Elvis Choo, Elvis Nathan, Elvis Josef, Elvis Abdullah, Elvis Thamasat, Elvis Kamimoto, Elvis Sri Alwis, Elvis Yanz, Elvis Propolopolis, Elvis Gobarchev, Elvis Slovascic, Elvis etc, etc, etc!!!

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Love Me Tender by Cat King himself


Roy Yu on July 06, 2016:

Official translation in China is :

埃尔维斯•普莱斯利 - ai er wei si • pu lai si li .

But almost no one calls him by that name in China, Caucasian names are considered long and very hard to remember in China, and Chinese people think that Elvis can move like a cat(dance moves), smart good-looking and charming. That is why Elvis is remembered as 'Cat King', Cat is from some Elvis' songs, and Chinese call some artists 'King' only when they have extraordinary achievement ,ofc out of respect .

I am a 28 years old Chinese guy, and even my mother know 'The Cat King', even though in old China, a handsome guy and some 'almost naked' girls dancing together is considered as pornography. And Elvis is the reason that people now in China can actually embrace the western culture. 'Wise man say, only fools rush in' - favorite song of my mom's.

Google 猫王 (Cat King), then you will know what I am talking about.

Robert Wyatt on June 18, 2014:

"The normal exercise to translate a Caucasian name into Chinese is to choose words that very closely sound like the original name."

Actually Elvis Presley is "translated" in this way. 埃尔维斯•皮礼士利 (āi ěr wéi sī - pí lǐ shì lì)

猫王 māo wáng (King Cat) is a nickname, just as some westerners call him "The King" etvc.

Justin Choo (author) from Malaysia on January 29, 2014:

Good afternoon Shyron E Shenko,

You are welcome. Be happy.

Shyron E Shenko from Texas on January 29, 2014:

Elvis was and is (his records) one of my favorite singers. Thanks for the fun read.

I like how you posted you HP url on Bubblews. I learned a lot of things from you today.

Tim from Los Angeles, CA on August 25, 2013:

Interesting read! Thanks for posting. Elvis is a very fascinating subject to me.

Victor Mavedzenge from Oakland, California on September 18, 2012:

A fun read. I always find Elvis to be an interesting,controversial subject,I think Cat King is more fitting that the King of Rock and Roll!

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