“A rose by any other name would still smell as sweet.” – William Shakespeare

I was talking to my colleague the other day, and he revealed to me that his so-called last name is not his family name. In fact, his last name “Julius” is derived from his birth month, and thus it’s different from his sister’s last name, and that of his parents… who don’t even use last names!

I pronounce my last name differently from my parents (I say “Pan” as in “Peter Pan”, whereas they say “Paahn” like “pun”). My dad in turn, spells it different from his siblings (it’s the same Chinese word, but they spell it Poon or Phoon instead).

Wifey keeps pointing out that I’m saying my name wrong because I should stick with the way my dad does it, but given the complete randomness and inconsistent nature of family names, who gives a crap, right?

Is his true name Thomas Anderson, or Neo?

A name is my own identity, and how I choose to identify myself, isn’t it? I don’t see why it should be dictated by anyone else.

I mean, I have a Chinese name that was bestowed upon me by my grandfather when I was born, but nobody ever calls me by that name and I never use it myself. Andrew/Drew is a name I legally adopted in my teens, and the one everyone refers to me by. Which is my true name then?

Family names are a bit weird. The Chinese put a huge amount of importance on birthing sons, because sons carry on the family name while daughters adopt another name (an outdated practice in my opinion, and one that my wifey similarly rejected).

Actually, the whole importance of carrying on a proud family name might eventually lead to a clan of inbred mutants… and nobody wants that!

The result of being too fussy about preserving your family name

Anyway, it’s Follow Friday so check out The Blog of Funny Names!


About Drew

I love videogames, movies, my wife and my dog (in no particular order).

8 responses »

  1. Tommy says:

    Have you heard of Holly Brook?
    She has written a hit song for Rihanna and Eminem.
    Performed with Diddy, Eminem and Dr. Dre.
    Rocked out with Fort minor.
    Collaborated with Lupe Fiasco

    The name still not ringing any bells? well it that might be due to the fact that she only changed her stage name recently

    Holly Brook is now known as Skylar Grey.
    I’m sure her talent has always been there but it just might have been her name that was holding her back. When i hear Holly Brook a stereotypical country girl comes to mind. Blonde hair and most probably with a southern accent. Holly Madison, Holly Valance

    Feng Shui and its ability of changing fortunes comes to mind but then again Skylar Grey sounds so much cooler than Holly Brook

  2. Patricea says:

    So I’ve been saying your family name wrongly! I pronounce it the way your father does.

    Looking at the alphabets of a name, it might probably not mean a thing. But if you study numerology or sounds, it is a different thing.

    There is a reason why my name is spelled differently – I had it changed after a numerology reading. Last year, I met someone who studied sound and does sound healing therapy. He said having the ‘e’ and ‘a’ sounds next to each other is good. Something about opening up to possibilities and magnifying whatever it is that I do. Right…

    And totally agree with Tommy about Skylar Grey vs Holly Brook.

    • Drew says:

      That sound healing thing sounds quite interesting. I’ve heard of people changing their names because of fengshui before, but not altering the spelling of names because of sound.

      I went from Andrew to Drew, mostly because there are a ton of Andrews out there. But Drew is also monosyllabic and definitely rolls off the tongue more easily.

  3. I don’t like my real name – April Grace. It’s too mainstream! But I’m really happy that my parents were thoughtful enough to give me a nickname – Apple! I prefer to be called Apple by everyone and I really tell that to people whenever I introduce myself.

    When I was in the sixth grade, I tried to spell my nickname as Apol but my mother corrected me saying that I should really use Apple. Oh well. My names really tell something about me life, doesn’t it? ;p

  4. […] writing this in response to a post by drewpan a few days ago about names. In his post he talked about the nature of names and how he chooses to pronounce his […]

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