The Woes Of Naming Your Kids

Monday, April 21, 2014

Dylan is coming to two years old and while I personally think that Dylan is a really nice name that we have chosen for him, he has already fallen prey to people who decide to make fun of his name and call him 敌人 (diren, enemy in Mandarin)

So you know, I was just talking to Nian and some of my friends on Facebook that it is really difficult to give your child a good name, especially in Singapore because you can basically translate a nice English name to anything that sounds weird and stupid.

Like I've been called Jiak-Cully (eat curry in Hokkien) for most of my childhood. Jacqualine is such a nice name, no?

I hate it that so many people are calling me Jack-ker-line instead of the correct J-eh-clean. Hate it. 

Then we talked about surnames. We also realized that Chinese surnames are particularly hard to pair with an English name.. like my husband's surname is Tan, the following names are totally out of our league:

1. Ben Tan (笨蛋, meaning stupid)

2. Nelson Tan (鸟生蛋, meaning birds laying eggs)

3. Lynn Tan (零蛋, meaning zero)

4. Jason Tan (贼生蛋, meaning thief lays eggs wtf)

5. Jane Tan (煎蛋, meaning to fry eggs)

If your husband's surname is Ho, you should probably avoid

1. Ash Ho (ok pretty self-explanatory here)

2. Amos Ho

Or Chng with the infamous Monica Chng, which translated to Chinese-Hokkien it basically means "touch your backside" lol or Carl Chng, which sounds like kar chng, which means buttocks in Hokkien lolol.


Apart from bad Chinese surname to English surname pairing, I also want to complain about our bad pronounciation in names.

Like my name as mentioned earlier.. and a couple more like:

- Hannah, which is a really sweet girl's name but in Singapore what will it become?

- Liam, which is also another name that I really like and may consider naming my next son (as if I'm gonna have so many sons lolol) but instead of Lee-am, it will most likely be pronounced as it is: Li-Uhm.

Simi sai.

Some other really funny names I've heard of are...

- Charles Sng (which translate to chow sng, which means "decay" or "spoiled" in Hokkien)

- Nina Gan, which sounds fine like that but imagine putting her last name first. It becomes Gan Nina.

So.. what names have you considered for your child, but decided to strike it off because it sounded too terrible? Or what other funny names have you heard of before?

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  1. i have seen and met a woman whose name is Gene Chio. LOL

    1. HAHAHA! Chio is a very unique surname though!

  2. I would like to add to your list:
    Fann Cheong (in cantonese fancheong)


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