My name is Wonderful

A special lesson sent to InterestEng. by a special teacher in Australia.

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Photo courtesy the Simmonds family

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A name is a very special thing, whether it is the name a child gives to a new pet, or the name parents give to their child. But when many people move to a new country they are sadly forced to change their beautiful names because people in their new country cannot pronounce them. Here, Lisa, a teacher of English in Perth, Australia shows us how she helps her students explain the beauty and meaning of their names.  At first you will read Lisa’s example “name story” and then you will read her students’ stories. Thank you, Lisa and welcome Sangduan and Hitomi!

What does your name mean? 

     My nickname is Lil.  [Nickname: a fun, and sometimes funny, name given to someone in addition to his or her real name.] My oldest sister thought I was a very thin child.  She said I had a big head and a skinny [very thin] little body.  She thought I looked like a pin.  So she named me after a packet of pins called “Aunty Lil’s pins”.

Who does it remind you of? 

     My nickname reminds me of my oldest sister, Michelle.

How do you feel about your name and why?

     When I was a child, I didn’t like it.  When I got older I changed my mind.  I lived in a house with another woman called Lisa and my housemates said to me, “Do you have a nickname?” and I told them “Lil”.  Now I like it because it is unusual and sounds friendly.  Sometimes on the internet I use the name “Lilly Pilly”.  A lilly pilly is the name of an Australian rain forest plant.


   face7a * STUDENT STORIES *


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My name is Nid

Nid’s native language is Thai. Nid now lives in Australia but is originally from Thailand. 

What does your name mean?

     I have two names.  My first name is Sangduan and my nickname is Nid.  They have different meanings.  My parents call me Nid. It means something little because I have small eyes, the same as my father.  My first name, Sangduan, means moonlight.  My father gave it to me.

Who does your name remind you of?

     My nickname reminds me of my father and that I look like him.

How do you feel about your name and why?

     My nickname is common and many Thai people have it, so it is not special. But my first name is impressive as I was born in the year that Miss Thailand’s name was Sangduan. My father gave me the same name.  Sangduan was the most beautiful lady in Thailand in 1972.  This was the year I was born.


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Photo courtesy Susan Stark

My name is Hitomi

Hitomi’s native language is Japanese. Hitomi now lives in Australia but is originally from Japan. 

What does your name mean?

     My name is Hitomi and when I write it in Japanese  it's 仁美 . We give meaning to each letter.

means kindness and belief, and means beauty. When we name babies, we think of the meanings of letters and sounds. When we named my daughter, we thought of meanings and also sounds which would be easy for foreigners to say when they said her name.

Who does your name remind you of?

     My name reminds me of my grandmother, because she named me. My mother wanted to name me another name.

How do you feel about your name and why?

     I like my name, because it has a nice ring. But it is a little bit difficult for foreigners to pronounce it, so I regret that a little bit.

 ©InterestEng. July 2013  §  The stories in the magazine portion of the site are written by English language learners. Stories are corrected by a native English speaker.  § Photos are staff or used with permission.  §  To contact us:  go.gently.on@gmail.com