Sunday, July 1, 2007

Baby Names
During one of the yumcha sessions with my neighbours, we asked a fellow neighbour, Ricster, if he has given some thoughts of naming his baby (his wife is pregnant at the time of this post). he replied that he hasn't given it any thought, plus they didn't know the sex of the baby yet.

"Just think of both boy and girl names lor. Just for the heck of it" says another neighbour.

"Aiya, think names oso veli hard lor. Have to think of the pronunciation in Cantonese lar, Mandarin lar, Hokkien lar, Teochew lar...! Some names hor, may sound nice in Mandarin budden in other dialect might sound weird!!!" Ricster exclaimed.

No doubt about it. When it comes to naming your kid, we chinese have a whole lot to think about. Many families have this book of names as a guide to follow. In this book, each generation actually has a "middle" name in which to follow already. For example: You're the 7th generation, and according to the book, the 7th generation is to carry the middle name 'CHI'. So if your surname is 'TAN', then your name would be something like 'TAN CHI KONG'.

Some books even differentiate the names of boys and girls. Which means if you're a boy, your middle name is different from that of your sisters and girl cousins. Pretty complex, huh?

Let's not forget the pronunciation part. A name is something you shouldn't get wrong at all, cos the name is stuck with the person for life. Imagine naming your kid 'TAN OI CHI' ---> pronounce 'OI CHI' in Cantonese, and you actually get 'OI ZHEE' which means AIDS! XD It's especially crucial the the child to have a nice sounding name, because sometimes (especially young children, adults even) like to tease each other. So if you have a funny sounding name which can lead to all sorts of other "alternative" names, you're in for a ride!

Quite a headache trying to name your child hor? In order to get a good name for the child, we have to really think of so many factors. To a chinese, a person's name is kinda like a reflection to the person's future and character. So we have to get it right the first time.

Some parents will also give their children English names, like Raymond or Julie. Being in the 21st century, it's not uncommon to have an English names, which also sometimes makes corresponding a lot easier (especially if the chinese name is difficult to pronounce). Many also give themselves English names just because they want one!

My colleague had actually did me a favour and named my future child. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! This is what he gave my kid(s)...

Andromeda Sedna Tan, if it's a girl. Icarus Hermes Tan, if it's a boy. Fancy hor? Kakakakakakakakaka!!!

Anyway, I think I've leave the chinese name part to my FIL to help out, since I don't know chinese. And I'll probably give an English name to my kid to go along with the chinese name. I really don't want my kid pick names lik 'PAJERO' or 'MONDAY' or 'ORANGE'...!