04 December, 2012

Eccentric Names - Lost in Translation ??

(Picture courtesy : blogs.babycenter.com via Google)
People in HK (more specifically, the local Chinese populace) seems to have a thing for weird / odd English names.  They give the term “Lost in Translation” a whole new meaning, they take that phrase to a whole new plane altogether.
The main reason for this oddity that is so common among the local Chinese in HK is, I’m told by rather learned sources, that their parents just translate Chinese names to English names, without giving a second thought to the meanings and the resultant hilarity.   Imagine a child named Raccoon !!!  I’m pretty much sure that child (if he grows up to know what a raccoon is) is going to do one of two things – either make sure he changes his name to something more weird or make sure he has dark circles under his eyes all the time.  Although how he’s going to manage growing and maintaining a bushy tail is quite beyond me at this time of the morning.  Inspiration may strike later.  I just hope it does not happen when I’m in the midst of one of my classes.  Many of the kids I teach are pretty much sure that I’m a bit cuckoo in the head and I don’t quite want to convince them on that front !!!
I’ve always come across weird names in HK and I thought that was about it.  The fun began once I started teaching.  The beginning of the school year is quite hilarious in more ways than one.  There is a whole list of weird names that one comes across and over the years, I’m sure the teachers in HK (atleast the expat ones) have begun to give Lady GaGa’s song “Poker Face” a whole new meaning. 
When I used to teach on a freelance basis, I vividly remember having an Apple, an Orange, a Mango, couple of Cherries and a Kiwi – all in the same class.  I do remember thinking to myself as I looked at the attendance sheet “ If only I had a Custard as well in that class, it would have kind of made things complete”.
Once, in a clothing store Bossini, I’d come across a sales assistant named Milk and her name tag was rather appropriately positioned.  In the same clothing store (in some of their other branches though), I remember having seen a Diphtheria and a Malaria.  What next ?  Dengue ??
There’s this little girl whose name is Moovie – yes with two o’s in her name.  Needless to say, it is indeed a natural human tendency to exaggerate the MOO whilst calling out to her.  Movie would have been weird enough – I mean “Hi !  This is Movie !!  How about going for a movie today ?” Get the drift ?  But going Mooooovvviieee – now that’s really really stretching things a bit too far.
There’s apparently another little guy in another school in HK whose name is Dick Fuk.  Dear Sweet Lord in Heaven !!!  What exactly were his parents thinking ?  I don’t think they were.  I dread imagining what would happen to this kid in secondary school if he does not wisen up somewhere along the way and insist that his name be changed. 
There have been many such names I’ve come across – ones that range from thoroughly inventive to downright bizarre.  There used to be a Boogie (thank God it was not a booger).  I’ve come across twins called Naughty and Horny which, if they were to introduce themselves to people in social situations would go something like one twin piping up with a happy smile saying “Hi there !  I’m Naughty !” and while one is just wondering what she means, the other twin pipes up with an equally bright smile and says “Hi there !  She’s Naughty and I’m Horny !”.  Hallelujah !!!
I thought I was past the stage when I would be shocked by the eccentric, unconventional and peculiar names that people in HongKong dish up at intermittent intervals, I was hugely mistaken.  Today morning, in the bus there was this secondary school student sitting in the seat opposite to mine and she was obviously doing some school work on what I presume was indeed her book.  The name on the book read “Clitoris”!!!!!
You can well imagine my plight – I was laughing like a madwoman and people all around me (except for that girl) were giving me downright peculiar looks, which just made things worse in that it just made me crack up even more.  I would have been found rolling on the floor of the bus, tears pouring down my face but for the fact that the floor of the bus was way too dirty.
When I looked at the name “Clitoris” on the book, the situation that instantly sprang to my mind was where this girl meets / comes across a boy whose name happens to be Dick !!!!!
A dose of hysterics and hilarity early in the morning never ever hurts, does it ?

3 voice(s) said so:

Life Begins said...

OMG I am dead and rolling on floor with unconrtrollable laughter and tears now... the laughter is beyond sounds now..its that silent one with almost choking throat. Thats all i can say.
I can imagine the plight of such kids to a very little extent only.

Amit said...

Hahaha. I'd so not want any of them to work with me. It will be so difficult to be politically correct all the time!

Rhea Mitra Dalal said...

LOL! You must hear some of the Bengali names.. fortunately we Bongs limit the weird and silly monikers only to the 'pet' names.. Pocha (rotten), Poka (insect), Makor (spider), Potol (pointed gourd), Khendi (one with a flat nose).. the list is endless!