“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?
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amount of importance on birthing sons, because sons carry on the family name while daughters adopt another name (an outdated practice in my opinion, and one that my wifey similarly rejected).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!
Anyway, it’s Follow Friday so check out The Blog of Funny Names!