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Saturday, September 24, 2011

Whatz Yo' Mamma's Name?

In most cultures, you're not supposed to call your mother by her name. Obviously as a kid, you're still supposed to know what it is.  AJ and I had a little conversation before bedtime.

He calls me momma but it sounds like Grandma in Chinese so we both laugh. I correct him, and he says ah-MA-ah. Then he asks what's my name (I know he wants me to say, Deborah) but I answer -mother. He asks what it is in French, I answer "ma mere".

And it's not quite the answer he's looking for, so he clarifies. "What's your name like, TANG DO WA (that's his Chinese name which translates to, Tang Generation Jehovah).
Now I understand he wants to know my Chinese name, so I tell him it's NG KAY WING (translates to Ng Family Smart). He just has a big grin on his face when he asks, "Ng Kay Wing like chicken wing" I had to laugh along, even though it was already late and I don't want to laugh at my own name. More significantly, this shows he can make a multi-lingual joke

Anywayz I am very glad that my parents did not put that Chinese name into my official legal name. It's funny enough when I have to give my middle name for something official, and  I have to spell Kay as K-A-Y.  I probably wouldn't want to endure being called Chicken Wing.
On the topic of nicknames, here's a collection of one's I've been called from time to time. Growing up, I used  to go by Debbie and no one ever poked fun at me... Oddly, but in a good natured way, it was my close friends in my church youth group who came up with these.  In Chinese Debbie sounds an awful like "DI BAI" which means very large thighs.  Army-Barbie is not too bad, because I used to be in the army and I liked playing with Barbie dolls. In my bible tour trip to Egypt, Israel and Jordan.  I was the lone anglophone on a bus full of native Cantonese speakers from Canada and Netherlands; I do like the name they gave me which was Miss Canada.  That's a compliment.

Well I told my husband about the Chicken Wing conversation and he had a good laugh, and warned me he might starting calling me that.

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