Thursday, June 11, 2009

.: What's In A Name? :.

Being Chinese, when I introduce myself, people would comment like "Interesting name. What does it mean in Chinese?" or I remember Mrs. Young's (a dear English lady who can speak Mandarin and Cantonese *shame on me*) "Oh, that's a lovely name. Does "Shan" means mountain?"

My Chinese name, Shan Lyn, means, and I quote "anything you want it to be as long as it has a nice meaning" as my Mom once told me when I asked her what it means.
You see, unlike most Chinese parents out there, who choose a Chinese name based on it's meaning and then only translate it's sound it back to English (I call that process Englishfying the Chinese name), my Mom choose my name from a baby magazine.

She was flipping some baby magazine while conceiving me, and saw this pic of a cute baby girl, referred to the name below, and in hope that I turn out to be as cute as the baby in the pic (too bad it doesn't work that way), it became my name. But according to my Mom, it should have been a double-N, as in Lynn, instead of a single N. Well, so now I know that my name does not mean anything special in Chinese.

So, after much research, and with nada knowledge of Chinese, yet alone the meaning of each character, I finally know how to write my name in Chinese (and with the correct strokes too *hehe*). But, its subject to change if you can find any Chinese character with nicer meaning. *laughs*

And that's the story behind my Chinese name.

For my English name…

Well, it was bout 5 years back, where I wanted to write articles for The Star. But I was really shy on using my Chinese name, which is more rare than the common - Mei Ling or Sue Ann. So I decided it was bout time I get myself an English name. Well, I went to a couple of popular babies name website, and with a combination of my love for the movie "You've Got Mail", I decided to settle with the name Kathlynn. At that time, I was deciding on a couple of variation, which includes Kathleen (the exact spelling of Meg Ryan's character i.e. Kathleen Kelly), Caitlin, Katelyn, etc. But I love how the way Kathlynn flows when I write it on paper. So, if you have old copies (and when I say old, I mean like 3-4 years back) and noticed articles signed off by Kathlynn, that’s me! :)

Oh and so you know, Kathlynn means pure in Irish. That's me! *cough*cough*

Pssstt, for the top 100 baby names for 2008, click here. Mine is at number 11! *wink*

And that's the story behind my English name.

As a kid growing up, nicknames are inevitable, especially in kindergarten and primary school. I have a couple of nicknames bestowed on me, including - the infamous : Char Siew Pau (which was also my bro's nickname - coz our surname is Siew), lil dumpling (coz I had this teacher in school who thinks I am cute like a dumpling - Ms Angeline her name if I am not mistaken)…. Come to think of it, that's all the nickname I had! :)

Among my highschool friends, I'm fondly known as Ah Shan.

Among my family members, I'm proud to claim the "Jie Jie" title, coz I am the eldest in my family as well as the eldest cousin, so all 8 cousins of mine calls me Jie. Even my uncle & aunt calls me that. And they are like 20 plus years my senior.

And that, my friends, is the stories behind my name!

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