What’s in a name?

For archive (Updated on February 26, 2019)

I usually introduce myself to non-Burmese as follows.

My name is Hla Min.  Hla means “handsome” and Min means “king”.

It is interesting to note that my name has been misspelled and mispronounced in more than six ways. They include  HAL, HALAL, LA, LAH, MINH and MING.

  • HAL is an American name.
  • HAL is also the name of a rouge computer in science fiction.
    The letters precede those of IBM (International Business Machines) by a position.
  • HALAL is “clean food” for Muslims.
  • LA is a musical tone.
  • LAH is Singlish (Singaporean English)
  • MINH is a common name for Vietnamese.
  • MING is a Chinese name.It motivated me to give a series of speeches:
    • Meaning of names
    • Naming conventions
    • History of names

At Toastmasters meetings, I asked the attendees if they know the meaning of their names. A few tried to Google their names.

Some people do not seem to remember names. Can we help them?

One way to remember names is to register them preferably with an association.


  • Bedr is a variant of Peter, which means “the rock”.
  • Deep means light and implies wisdom.
  • San is a prefix for male saints. Santa is a prefix for female saints.

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