Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Chinese parents and boys' names

I am really trying hard not to come across as stereotyping. So, I'll just say I have noticed a trend, if you will, of Chinese parents picking really offbeat names for sons. Am I the only who wonders about this? It's like they are worried about the ramifications of saddling their baby boys with ethnic, hard-to-pronounce names. So, they go and choose what they think are "American" names but they're names I've never heard of before that instance. Some examples:

-When I was 5, I had to go to Chinese dance class every Saturday. There were three boys in the teen class: Tedman, Wyman (they were brothers) and Waymond. Nothing against these guys. In fact, Waymond went on to become a doctor and was a big help a few years ago when I had an eyebrow waxing gone terribly, terribly wrong.

-When I was 10, I went to a Fourth of July bbq at my aunt's house. I met these 16-year-old twin boys. One was named Evers. I'd never heard of that name. Still you can't really go wrong or right there. I don't think anything goes that well with the last name Ding.

-Michelle Kwan's personal physician: Leisure Yu

-UC Berkeley law professor I once saw being interviewed on the news: Goodwin Liu

-A well-renowned ASU professor in real estate: Crocker Liu

-Johnson. Need I say more?

-When I moved out here to Phoenix, I met a bunch of distant third cousins including my cousin, Manton.

-The most recent example: Last week, I got someone else's mail in my mail box. Yesterday, when I got home, I saw the postal woman, who happened to be Asian. I saw an opportunity to get rid of this misplaced letter. This is how our conversation went after I handed it to her:

"Excuse me, this isn't mine."
"This isn't yours?"
"My box is 219. This says #321."
"But you are the only one here with the last name Tang."
"Well, that isn't mine."
"Are you sure it's not yours?"
"My name is not Roosevelt!"

I should have pointed out that my name is the name that's on the five other pieces of mail she stuck in my box the last few days.

Well, I suppose what's important is names don't matter to the guys themselves. Would a Crocker or a Leisure by any other name get pestered less to clean his rice bowl and find a good wife?

3 comments:

jenazelma said...

oh ho, I laughed myself silly with this entry! haha. Esp. since I remember a lot of these unfortunately named guys!

Suzanne said...

ooh, ooh, let me add: Weyland, Leland, Minton, Cleveland, Winston, Dickson (I know 2 of them!), and Malek.

Hypercube said...

...and Hanson.