Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Nicknames, pet names, apodos

Inspired by Carrie at Bilingual in the Boonies, (in the video below), our group reflected on nicknames. Please see the posts below.

Nicknames in Chinese

In Chinese, we call nicknames 綽號 (Chuo Hao). In my family my mom’s nick name is YUE (月) means moon. And my brother is JIAN (堅) which means strong. And one of my aunts is call LIU (六) which means six that is because she is the 6th sibling in the family. My other aunt is call FEI(肥) because she was chubby when she was born.

People give other people nicknames based on how they look or what they like, such as chubby baby is XIAO PANG ZI (小胖子), beautiful little girl is XIAO MEI REN (小美人), baby is BAO BAO (寶寶), tall guy GAO LAO (高佬).

When I was still in high school, one of my best friends liked to eat fish roll very much. At that time in a cartoon show, there was a lion dog (SHI ZI GOU) who like that fish roll, too. So we called my friend Shi Zi Gou (獅子狗). She wouldn't mind. Even now we still call her that funny name.

How about you? Do you have any funny nickname to share?

Nickname from Russia

My name is Elena. This name is found from old Greek "Helene" and means "sunlight" or "bright".

This name was very popular during the 1960s and 70s. This name has different variations: Elen, Helen, Gelena. In Russia there are variations: Al'ona, Ol'ona (short form L'ena, L'ol'a).

In Russia names have full (official) forms and nicknames. For example: Ekat'erina = Kat'a, Elizav'eta = Liza, Al'eksandr = Sasha, Ivan = Vania. But some names have only one form, for example: V'ra, Zoia, Igor', Ol'eg.

Moreover, Russian languae uses different forms of nicknames depending on the emotions, relationships: pet names and rude forms. For example, my nickname is L'ena, pet names are L'enochka, L'enus'a, L'enus'ka, L'enok. The rude form is L'enka. These formes are formed with suffix -k (Kat'ka, Lizka, Sashka, Van'ka). The pet names are formed with suffixes - ochk/ -echk, -on'k/-en'k (V'erochka, Vaniechka, Lizon'ka, Katien'ka).

Pakistani Nicknames

Nick names are very common in Pakistan. In almost every home in Pakistan people are called by their nick names.

Their are different reasons to nickname people in Pakistan. For example, older people are nicknamed for respect. Usually younger people don't call their older siblings and other relatives by their real names, so they call them by a nickname. Some very common nicknames for an older sister are 'Baji' and 'appa'. An older brother is usually called 'Bhai' or bhaijan'.

Younger people like children are nicked named, too. They have cute names which reflects their personalities. I call my youngest ' bul bul'. Bul bul is a bird with a sweet voice. I call him 'bul bul' because he tweets like a bird all the time.

In some parts of Pakistan, brides are given a nickname after they join their new family. I remember when I got married and joined my husband's family. All the youngsters of his family gathered round me and asked me what name would I like for them to call me. They suggested a few names, and I picked one. Now they call me by that, and I am so used to that name that it seems almost like my real name.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Cultural Nicknames

In Pakistan there are people of many kinds of ethnicity and languages, but one thing is common in that people of every aspect of life have different nicknames. I am from northern part of Pakistan, so I will write about my side of nicknames.

We have different kind of nicknames for older people, children, relatives, non relatives and of course for male and female. These nicknames are used as a sign of respect and love for the people. At the same time, some nicknames are used as a joke for just once and then it becomes the permanent name of the person.

I will give one example of a guy who lives close to my mother-in-law's house and whose nickname is Sut, which means neck, but his real name is Israr which means insist or who never gives up (but he gives up his name) . Every one knows him by this nickname because in his past days, probably in his childhood, he said some funny stuff about his neck and at that time of his friends starting to call him by that name. Now, as a 50-year-old, he is recognized by his nickname.

We call our father's side of uncles kaka gee and mother's side of uncles is mama gee. In same way, we call the wives of the respective uncles chachee and mamee.

In similar manner, some call their grandmother naney, aney bebey or amagee and for the grandfather babagee, dagee. Moms usually call kids or youngsters by the name of bachey (kiddos or baby), which is very popular for older people to call youngsters. Other nicknames that are very commonly used by parents or grandparents to their kids are qurban (beloved), laliya (sweetheart), da zra sra (piece of my heart) and so on.

If you are reading my post, I will be glad to see your comments and hear about your cultural nicknames.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

US citizenship

Becoming a US citizen is every immigrant's dream. There is no exception to me too.

I still remembered that day I went to the Oath ceremony. There were more than hundred immigrants who passed the interview and came to the Oath ceremony.

Everyone was very happy and excited because after the ceremony, we would all be US citizens. Some of them even brought the whole family to witness that important moment. But I was by myself because my husband was at home taking care of our kids.

After the Oath ceremony, I got my US citizenship naturalization certification. And I registered to vote. This is one of the US citizen's rights. Now I have right to vote for the senators and also the US president too. That makes me feel I'm really a part of America.

Questions about US citizens

I ask these questions, becouse I want to compare your opinion with mine. Moreover, these problems are interesting for me, because they are important in my old country too.

1. What traits of American people do you like?
2. What can you tell me about most important problems of American society or life?
3. Is higher education prestigous in USA?
4. Can you name three most prestigous professions in USA?