Category Archives: Random notes

Quirky names revealed ….

 In my lifetime, I’ve encountered several people who have ………. shall we say, interesting names. Was having dinner with a friend back from overseas & she proclaimed that she was now a grand aunt. Her grand nephew’s name is Damien Achilles K*****. How quirky is that?

The first name, Damien, is already invoking scenes of havoc & destruction in my mind. After all this is the first name sported by the sinister child of the devil in the 1976 horror classic, The Omen  (There’s a remake but its not worth mentioning).   Sadly, but not surprisingly, Damien Achilles’ mum has had to bear the brunt of tasteless & cruel jokes about whether her son was born on the 6th of June 2006 (666 – being the number of the devil incarnate) – Scary!

 FYI, the name bears the meaning of ‘to tame, to subdue’. Yikes……… even scarier! ……………..Hmm..  any regrets, mum? 

Talk about double jeopardy. The child’s second name is Achilles – Remember, the expression ‘Achilles’ Heel’. It has come to represent someone’s weakness. In Greek mythology, Achilles’ mum dipped him into the magical River Styx to make him invincible. She held him by the ankles so that the river water could run over his body. However, the heel area where his mother held him was not touched by the water. This part of the anatomy has since been referred to a weak point as Achilles was killed by a poisoned arrow shot into his heel. Interesting though the story may be, I wonder how a Malaysian child would be able to relate to being named after a Greek warrior (with a vulnerable heel…to add to that!). And, we haven’t even started exploring the possibility of people mispronouncing his name i.e. massacring  Achilles – with a ch’ sound as in chin instead of a k sound. (Check out this link, if you’re not sure of the pronunciation)

I really don’t know how parents can think up of such quirky names. Is it for the amusement of it? Is it to try to be different from everyone else? Is it for the meaning behind the name? 

I’ve read that some parents like to name their children after their favorite cars i.e. Mercedez, Porsche, or favorite football players like Beckham even. Perhaps, parents secretly harbour hopes that their children’s lives will mimic the success or popularity of personages or objects that they’re named after. OK!  I understand if you want to name your child after a favorite person, but an object?!! Gosh – it is turning out to be a branding exercise instead of a naming exercise. Dunno.    

I’m sure all parents mean well when naming their children. Unfortunately,  it really is the children who will suffer at the end of the day. They end up  being the butt of people’s jokes, being victims of mispronunciation to their names, etc. Sigh….. the consolation is that the kid can always have an ALIAS when he or she grows up I suppose …..

Before I end, there’re 2 more people I’ve met with quirky names…. they are Darling & Moonlake. I kid you not.

  • Darling T*% – She was a University mate of mine. It always cracked us up when her boyfriend called after her in the lecture hall…  “Hey, Darling (pun intended, of course) – I’ve managed to book us a seat here……….”
  • Moonlake L** – Moonlake was a Hong Kong based colleague of mine in the stockbroking firm that I was working in, years ago. One thing I notice about the Honkeys, they tend to come up with English names that share similar meanings to their Chinese names hence, the quirkiness.

I’m sure everyone has encountered someone or other with a quirky name at least once in their lifetime. One thing is for sure – those with ‘unique’ names will always be deeply entrenched in our minds….  and forever remembered!

p.s. Maybe that’s what the parents are looking for………… 


In response to Pink Jeans’ comment regarding quirky celebrity offspring names…. Yes, she is indeed correct in saying that they ‘take the biscuit’ in being the most quirky … check them out here.



…….. of brandless shuttles and short line nets ….


The last time I held a badminton racket was almost 25 years ago ….  

Well, I picked it up again last Sunday evening …. That was when I managed to drag a reluctant Fat Dragon out of the house for a game of badminton….  The night was cool after the rain. The playground, which housed the badminton court 500 meters away from our house, was deserted …. Perfect. Nobody to witness our badminton bloopers. No one to laugh at our attempts to coax unused muscles to perform moves  dug out from the deep recesses of our memory vault…….. Hope it will not be a case of the mind being willing, but the body, not.

Well, the work out lasted 2 hours. Not bad for a pair of Roaring Fortiers. Fat Dragon’s T-shirt looked as if it came out of a washing machine minus the spin dry function. I looked equally wet and dishevelled …. But heck, it was FUN! We executed fine smashes, we played a volley of cross court shots & drop shots, we aced some serves, FUYOH – just like the pros (OK – perhaps I’m exaggerating)……… BUT you know why we managed all these fancy moves? It was all made possible thanks to the absence of a net, the use of some brandless, slow-in-flight, Made in China shuttle cocks & minus the rules, of course …. ahahahahaha ….

Well, there’s a story behind the absentee net & El Cheapo shuttle cocks. We bought all this badminton gear recently for our trip to Cameron Highlands earlier this month. So I thought, hey, how often do we play badminton right? OK, let’s not waste money of professional quality stuff. So I got a badminton net for RM12 and a dozen brandless shuttles for RM8.90. Cheap and good.

Well, we sure paid a heavy price for being cheap. The net came with a string that was hardly long enough to stretch across the court, hence it could not be tied to the poles. The shuttles were equally unimpressive – the feathers looked like they were plucked from malnourished poultry animals. Not that we were complaining, the speed was handicapped – no wonder we were able to receive each other’s smashing shots so easily! Hey, it sure fueled the EGO …… Beware of aching limbs though! If you use such shuttle cocks, you have to hit them harder to compensate for the lack of flight……. (To prove this theory, I have a body that is still aching in totality two days later as a result of this exertion)….

There is a brand new tube of Wilson coaching quality shuttle cocks lying in wait currently. There is also a net strung with a new long line.  No doubt we’ve came out of last Sunday’s stint with aching limbs and stretched muscles but the pain is making me feel ALIVE and raring to go. Can’t wait for the next invasion of the resident badminton court …. ???? I wonder how we will fare the next time we hit the court – the game will be faster, no doubt with the Wilson shuttle cocks …. Oooh, lets hope we don’t end up picking shuttles that get caught in the NET all night long  …….

Hmmm …. perhaps I shouldn’t throw away the slow-in-flight malnutritioned feather shuttle cocks so soon after all … just in case we need an ego boost …..