What’s in a Name?

My name is Tess@ M@ria Lee Tessi@. I dont know if I should be telling that to you but this story will not be complete if I didnt. Mummy told me that ever since she was 16 years old, she had planned her whole life ahead – yes, including what she was going to call her 1st daughter which I turned out to be.

Talisa. No matter who my future father was and no matter how silly Talisa sounded against my future father’s surname. Even if it was Talisa Tan, Talisa Saw or Talisa Ta. Thank goodness for my Ama’s intervention, I am now called Tessa, which I so aptly fit. When Ama heard that I was to be called Talisa, she went up in arms and gave her reasons:-

1. You cant have a Chinese name with 3 syllables (this was to be my Christian name so what’s the problem?)
2. Talisa, the name translated into Chinese doesnt have good feng shui (Mummy had no experience nor the energy during pregnancy to look into this)
3. Kong Kong’s ex-girlfriend was called Lisa and ‘they’ didnt like her (this I suspect was the real reason)

So out of the window Talisa went. Mummy and Daddy spent the next few weeks tearing hairs over my future name. Tessa came and went many times too but suddenly Mummy decided that she liked the name Tess, of which she only knew one other person with the same name in the whole of KL. And when Ama returned with a name (Mummy’s condition to her was that it started with the letter ‘T’ to have some preservation over her buried childhood dream), she returned with Tessia, meaning ‘spectacular sunset’ in Mandarin and signified that I would have many beautiful dreams.

Next came the middle name. Mummy figured that since her grandma is called Maria and since her Mother’s middle name is Maria, that the name be carried down generationally. Not a name I like, personally, but hey, just as you cant choose your parents, you cant choose your given birth name.

Ama also had a condition that my Chinese name, Tessia, be spelt as one word, following modern China names.

So there you go.

More than a year later, one of Mummy’s old school friends asked if she named me Tessa because it was Asset spelt backwards.

TESSA = ASSET Isnt that so cool?

Mummy hadn’t thought of it when she named me but she now believes that God had something to do with making me her precious little asset.

I love my name now. And so does Mummy…….

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One Comment

  1. This is so interesting!! i was going to wait till i finished reading all your posts before commenting but i couldn’t. i’ve always been so curious about your family! Justin is of little help as he always doesn’t know… more like too lazy to explain!

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