I introduce myself to non-Burmese as follows:
My name is Hla Min. Hla means “handsome” and Min means “king”.
My name has only six letters, but it 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 means “scripture-compliant” for Muslims
e.g. Halal meat “clean food”
- LA is a musical tone as in DO-RE-ME-FA-SO-LA-TI
- LAH is a Singlish word (Singaporean English)
- MINH is a Vietnamese name (e.g. HO CHI MINH)
- MING is a Chinese name (e.g. MING Dynasty)
It motivated me to give a series of speeches at Toastmasters International:
- Meaning of names
- Naming conventions
- Names of people
- Names of Theravada monks
- Names of places
- Names of companies
- Names of products
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.
- Stein means a stone.
Einstein means “one stone”.
- Peter means “the rock [of faith]”
The first Pope is Peter.
Variations : Bedr, Peta and Pedro.
- To Indians, Deep means light and implies wisdom.
Deepavali (or Diwali) is the Festival of Lights.
- San is a prefix for male saints.
San Francisco is the Spanish name for St. Francis.
- Santa is a prefix for female saints.
Examples : Santa Ana, Santa Barbara and Santa Clara
- Note : Santa Cruz means the Holy Cross.