The Best of Both Worlds: Name Change

Amy Pham, Co-Editor-In-Chief

What name do you go by?

JY: Julie (Yang). I think it’s easy. Simple, easy to memorize.
SN: I go by Sean (Nguyen). It sounds similar [to my legal name.] I like it, it’s easier for people to say.
AD: Anny (Dang). I thought it sounded nice, so I chose it. I was considering it for a while, so I was looking it up.
SO: Susan (Olayinka). It’s my English name. Nigerians usually have their traditional name, and they have an English name. I go by my English name, since it’s easier for people to pronounce.”

What is your real name?

JY: Yewon Yang
SN: Chuong. It’s too hard for people to say.
AD: Loan. A lot of people can’t pronounce my name.
SO: Adedoyin Olayinka.

Does it have a meaning?

JY: Ye means like beauty. Won, if it’s right, means intelligence. Something like that.
SN: [My first and middle name], Chuong Huy, means trophy in Vietnamese.
AD: It basically means phoenix, but a female phoenix.
SO: It means like, honey mixed with wealth. A kind of honey, something like that. Well, it’s just like, the first part “Ade” means royalty. The second part “Doyin” means honey. So, royal-honey, however that goes together.

When did you start using it?

JY: I just got here, to America [in seventh grade]. People can’t really pronounce Yewon. They can a little bit easier if I have an American name. So, I had a list of American names. We were going through and [my friends] were saying the names. They actually had “Amy,” on my list and they were like “Amy? It doesn’t fit you. Next.” They went alphabetically, then they were like “Julie, I guess it fits you.” So no grand story, it’s just like “be Julie.”
SN: Beginning of freshman year of high school.
AD: Second grade.
SO: I started using it since middle school. I used to use my name “Adedoyin” in elementary school, but it was always really hard for teachers to pronounce it, like first day of school, they’re always stuttering. So I was like, “You can just call me Susan, that’s my English name.” That’s when it kinda stuck.