Friday, 20 February 2009

What's In A Name

The boys have this Chinese character for their middle name:

It is pronounced as "Zi".

From the Chinese dictionary* there are many meanings to the sound "Zi", like son, wisdom and quite a few I can't remember. Obviously I am not one who can read Chinese. But of the many meaning, the one I chose, is actually the name of a kind of a tree. It is described as a strong tree that can be good for making furniture and such.

Well, a strong tree sounds good. But I really chose it because I like the symbol of a tree.
To me, it signifies

life and growth

(of course I also felt it had a bit more of an artistic bent to it, something of nature and inspirational).

So this "Zi" turns out to be a tree called Catalpa.
My good brother-in-law, the one in Singapore, managed to help me locate what the tree looks like, thanks to Wikipedia.

So, my sons,

grow well,
grow strong.
Be useful in many ways, and
Be inspiring to those around you.

* My former colleague who was leading the Chinese Ministry looked up a dictionary and showed me the whole list. Of course, me with no photographic memory can't recall all on the list except what has struck me.


I Talk - You Do said...


My girls have this Chinese character for their middle name.


Moomykin said...


Thank you for dropping by.

I wish I know how to read Chinese.

Maybe you could share a bit more, like what's the meaning of that character.

milochel said...


Have you tot of what middle name to use if ur next next one is a girl ??

Mine is "jing" 晶 which is the "shui jing" - crystal punya itu jing..

im sure ur boys are gonna be strong men.. who knows one day they may be the ones giving me a piggy back ride when kaiye is too old for that.. wait.. i might be too old for that too XD haha

Uncle Lee said...

Every mother hopes that her daughter will marry a better man than she did, and is convinced that her son will never find a wife as good as his father did. Ha ha.
Have fun, Mommy, Lee.

Jess said...

Opp... now i notice I log in with my hubby's ID in my earlier post


mean "Cool"

we give them the name, to remind them to stay cool on what ever critical situation they face.

Frustration is the source of failure or crisis.

From Jess

Angeline said...

if you have a 'tree' in your name, the wishes is also that the person will give shelter and be of comfort to others in times of need. Someone who can be depended on in times of trouble...
good word to be put in a name!

InfanT said...

very meaningful!Good choice.

little prince's mummy said...

Nice 1~

Moomykin said...


I remembered your mom telling me about your name.
:) Good one too.

Well, i can't imagine if my boys would ever nee to give you a piggy-back ride, but should the need arise I hope they'll be there.

Moomykin said...

Uncle Lee,

Well, just I hope my sons will marry good wives who will help them to be better men. I would not know how to compare if better or not as we are all good at different thing.

But my hubby and I are kinda hoping to get to take care of our grandkids, if we are allowed and still able.

Moomykin said...


Wah, so you've got "cool" kids, eh?

Moomykin said...


Thank you.

Yes, a tree is also needed for shelter and comfort.
Good point made.
Point taken.

Moomykin said...


Little prince's mummy,

Thank you.

Ann said...

Even God considers names of importance....and kids sometimes do 'live up' to the names given to them. "Zi" is a really meaningful name for your sons. Was it due to family lineage? Or own creativity?

Some depend on numerology though more than the meaning of if he fits the child at all.

And at the end of the day, a name also must be easy to pronounce by the grand(s).

Moomykin said...


I chose the name.
Actually I asked a church friend about it, and she gave me with the meaning of "son", but my colleague said it was not suitable with the family name. Hence she showed me the list from the dictionary and I chose the "tree".

The inspiration of course is also from the Bible that said we are like trees planted by the Lord - you know the old hymn of "He gave me beauty for ashes"? It's from the Psalms.