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Nicholas Moey Research Paper

Nicholas Moey. Ashley Scott Moey. Nicole Moey. These were all possibilities that never made the cut. Still a blob in my mother’s belly, they didn’t know yet whether I was a boy or a girl. My mother had this book filled with baby names and would randomly flip through until she found one that sounded “right” to her. The name “Nicholas” seemed to roll off her tongue just fine.

A quick trip to the doctor’s office to find out the sex of the baby revealed that I was a girl pretty early on. Nicholas Moey was out of the question. My mother soon came to love the name “Ashley Scott”. “Ashley” for its feminine connotation and “Scott” for its masculine connotation. It was the right balance for a well-rounded individual. But that idea was soon scrapped when my father tried to pronounce “Ashley” and it came out as “Asli”.

Not necessarily a name Cantonese-speakers can enunciate. My father then proposed the name “Nicole” because it was easy to pronounce, and well, he just liked how it sounded. My mother thought it sounded okay but felt that something was missing. At that time, she knew several coworkers named Lauren and found that what they had in common was that they were strong, independent women. As all the females on my mother’s side are exactly that, the name “Lauren” seemed to fit in with her expectations of me. To also include my father’s input of my name, Nicole became my middle name. On August 23, 1999, I was born as Lauren Nicole Moey.

While my English name doesn’t seem to have a whole lot of significant meaning behind it, my Chinese name does. The fun thing about being Chinese is that I have two Chinese names, a Cantonese one and a Mandarin one. They are the same name, just said two different ways. Chosen by my maternal grandmother, my Chinese name is 梅雅雯. In Cantonese it is pronounced as mui4 ngaa5 man4, and it is pronounced as mei2 ya3 wen2 in Mandarin (the numbers represent the tones). 梅 (mui4/mei2) is my surname “Moey”, meaning plum.

Other surnames that share the same character are Moy, Mui, Mei, Mai and Mae. The spelling indicates where your family is from such as how Moy and Mui are from Hong Kong and other Cantonese-speaking regions, Mei from Mandarin-speaking regions, Mai from Vietnam, and Mae from Korea. In my case, “Moey” is pronounced as “Moy” but spelled so uniquely because my father is from Malaysia. 雅 (ngaa5/ya3) means elegant and 雯 (man4/wen2) means sophisticated. My grandmother chose this name because she wanted me to grow up into a graceful and ladylike woman.

Seventeen years later I believe that I have lived up to both my English and Chinese names. Countless experiences in a new environment have taught me that I have the abilities to be independent, which is a wonderful thing to have as I move out-of-state for college. I have also been praised for being well-mannered, a trait that is highly appraised in Asian cultures because it represents not only the type of person you are, but also your parents. I have never had an issue with disliking my names. In fact I like having a middle name as it’s uncommon in Chinese cultures, and the unique spelling of my last name just makes my name more unusual.

Because none of my father’s siblings have had any sons and I am the youngest, I am considered the last Moey. I have yet to find others outside of my family who share the same surname spelling, so I am determined to keep my last name when I get married. I would also never name my child Lauren seeing as I know six other Laurens in the same grade as me. A less common name would be preferred. Formal names are pretty cool but nicknames are where it’s at. To me, having someone give you a nickname and vice versa means that our relationship with each other is close.

My grandparents will usually call me 雯雯 (man4 man4) or 阿雯 (aa3 man4) as a shorthand for my Chinese name. Because I was also the youngest grandchild for some time, they used to call me 妹妹 (mui6*4 mui6*2) which literally translates to younger sister. My mother would also sometimes call me “Mama Jr.” because I sometimes look out more for the family than she does. I believe I acquired this maternal instinct after realizing at a young age that my mom doesn’t cope with stress well and tends to overthink situations. But nicknames aren’t only reserved for family members. I am fortunate enough to have several friends who call me by endearing nicknames.

Back in elementary school, one of my best friends Miao would call me Laur, Laur Laur, or Laurie, all variations of Lauren. They just came to be when she would call me by my first name, but failed to get my attention so she would keep bombarding me with various versions of my name. That was actually how my username “lauriesomebody” came about and I have been using that username for countless accounts since then. I also had a friend named Dennis who called me “Moe Moe” because he liked how my last name was spelled. In return I called him “Liang Zai” which was a play on word of his last name meaning “a good-looking boy”.

When eighth grade came around, I met a seventh grade boy named Conal who was so small and adorable that I nicknamed him “baby sevie”. Fast forward four years later and he is now at least a whole foot taller than me so he now calls me “baby senior”. My favorite nickname of all though, would have to be “MOYE” (pronounced as moe-yeh). It was given to me my sophomore year by two of my senior friends, Alana and James, who made it up when they initially messed up the spelling of my name. I liked it because it sounded unique and sounded a heck of a lot better than what my teachers would call me when they mispronounced my last name as “Mo-ey” (like Joey).

All in all, I am happy that both my Chinese names and English names have a touch of uniqueness to it and am grateful for all of the thought that was put into naming me by my mother, father, and grandmother. I am also fortunate to have so many friends that call me by various nicknames because it’s so personal. A nickname is what differentiates you from others and I’m glad that they still continue to call me by them after all of these years. Lauren Nicole Moey. 梅雅雯. MOYE. This is me.

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