Joz is a regular QINGDAO(nese) contributor and a graphic designer from Qingdao now studying in Australia. Read about how she got her name and how people respond to it.

Am I the only Joz in the world?

People’s names are usually decided by their parents or grandparents. However, if you want to have a foreign name, you probably need to choose it by yourself or be named by a foreign language teacher. Some people have tons of foreign names, such as a Chinese name, an English name, a Japanese name, a Korean name, a French name, a Russian name, an Indian name, an indigenous name…. well, you get the idea.

I even can’t remember how many English names I’ve had in the past. My parents gave me a good English name, Mary. Yes, the one who had a lamb. But in contemporary society, it’s not quite popular to have a lamb as a pet, isn’t it? So then, when I was in primary school, I thought I needed a cool name like Christina, Jennifer, or Angelina. Have you found the common point among them? That’s right! At least 8 letters. Hoho. At that time, there was a foreign English teacher from the US teaching in my primary school. I asked her to think of a good English name for me. She looked at me for a while, just like the professors looked at Harry Potter in his school. Then she said brightly, “you are Eva”. Goodness. That was only 3 letters, and I thought it may have some relation to ET… so I never used this name. Likewise, I’ve been delighted to never see this teacher anymore.
After that I thought maybe I should just forget about having an English name, as it wasn’t really a necessity.

But then, when I was in high school, I began to be keen on finding an English name for myself again.

Chris! I liked it very much. But a lot of my friends said it felt like an androgynous name. April! Someone said it’s Spring and it’s the time of estrus. Ruby! That doesn’t sound like my name…

Then one of my best friends got her English name, Boz, from the pronunciation of her Chinese name, Bo. I thought, hmmm, it’s quite interesting that Boz sounds like steamed bun (Bao Zi). Therefore I chose to name myself dumpling (Jiao Zi). That’s where Joz comes from:)

But later my friend told me Joz couldn’t be an English name. It doesn’t exist, he said. I didn’t care, ’cause I liked it. When I first came to Australia, I told them my name was Joz. They asked, “pardon?”

– “Joz”
– “Josh?”
– “Joz”
– “Jazz?”
– “Joz”
– “Joyce”
– “Yes, that’s it! I’m Joyce. Nice to meet you…”

From that day, I publicly announced that my name is Joyce. This name was subsequently insulted several times unintentionally by different people. One said Joyce was his aunt’s name. One said it’s an honest name. The latest comment was from an Aussie guy who works for a delivery service. ‘Oh, It’s a bit old-fashioned. Hum, is the fashion coming back again?’ The last part sounds more like a comfort for me. Anyway. Personally, I would love to be recognised as Joz:)

Choosing a foreign name is really an academic task. It reminds me of one of my old classmates. Her English name was Baby. But the English teacher refused to call her name, because it’s quite an strange for a male to call an unfamiliar female ‘baby’ all the time. Another example is a Westerner who made a Chinese name for himself, 散步, meaning ‘Walk’. I couldn’t figure out how he got this name. But I think it is probably a name which is unprecedented, with none ever after among Chinese local people.

This is my first diary entry here. Nice to let you guys get to know me from my name. And maybe you will be interested in making international names from now on.

Good luck with that!

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