Before I get into the story, I would like to share with you the situation that occurred beforehand that prompted me to getting an English name.

As I was scrolling through new website templates online, I chanced upon a beautiful, minimalist template on pipdig. I really wanted to buy it because I've always been looking for one that is neat, professional, and user-friendly. Also because I don't understand coding very well and the free templates that I get online contain certain areas I desire that are difficult to encode.

Hence, I've decided to buy my first ever blog template because I loved the design so badly! It was also significant because 2015 is approaching and I would love to release the new template as the brand new year approaches, marking a fresh start on a brand new piece of platform. I like new beginnings.

That was when I started editing my new template and realised how badly I've always wanted to give myself an English name. Many people might not understand, because they've already had an English name since they were born. But I've always encountered many cases whereby...

1) People don't know how to pronounce my name.

Typical Scenario 1:

New girl: "Hi, nice meeting you!"
Me: "Hello, nice to meet you too!"
New girl: "What's your name?"
Me: "Cheow Yi!"
New girl: "Erm, sorry? I didn't catch that."
Me: "Cheow Yi :-)"
New girl: "Chio.. Yee?"


2) They don't know how to spell it either.

Typical Scenario 2:

Random PR Company 1: "Hi Yi Teng, we would like to invite you to..."
Random PR Company 2: "Hi Choew Yi, we would like to..."
Random Pr Company 3: "Hi Chew Yi, we would..."


3) And it never gets into their heads before they get used to it.

Typical Scenario 3:

New girl: "Hey! Erm erm erm..."
Me: "?"
New girl: "Erm... Erm sorry, forgot your name. Can you help me with something? It's urgent!"
Me: "It's Cheow Yi..."


It makes me reconsider the thought of adapting an English name because it will make things much more convenient when it comes to meeting more new people in the future.

Many people might think that the rest of us without English names are coming up with new names for themselves for the fun of it. Little do they realize the difficulties we encounter without one.

Hence, for the past few days, I was determined to give myself an English name. I felt that it would be the perfect timing to do so during the launch of my new blog template. Therefore, I asked some of my closer friends and family members what they thought about some names, or to give suggestions.

Many told me that I resembled a flower, and have a bright, colourful personality. (fun fact: my real name signifies colour and brightness!) We revolved around the names of Daisy, Jasmine, Violet. I also didn't want a name that any of my friends had, because it's just too weird, if you gave it a good thought.

That was when I reflected back on a conversation encountered a few months back.

During my recent job application, one of my colleagues asked for my name on my first day of work.

Colleague: "Hi! I'm XX. What's your name?"
Me: "Cheow Yi!"

*same old typical scenario happens again, but with a twist*

Colleague: "Sounds like Chelsea."
Friend: "Yeah, just call her that then!"
Colleague: "Chelsea? It's a nice name, right?"

To cut the story short, after given this a few days' of thought, I've decided to settle with this English name that's also closest to my current name.


To counter the reactions that I might get, let me just justify them below.

1) "Wait what? HAHAHAHA. Chelsea Teng? Wtf."

First of all, I want to make it clear how important a name is to me. It's the first thing people mention when they talk to me, mention about me, or remember me as. Whether it is a birth name or new name, the end decision still lies with me. I hope you respect my decision, especially if you're a good friend of mine. How would you like it if someone laughed at your name? How would you like it if someone laughed at your decisions? It seems like you don't have much empathy.

2) "But it doesn't suit your face."

So do you mean only slim people are called Jennifer? And the only people who can have the name Matthew are handsome? Or that guys called Joshua are all rebellious? If every single English name doesn't suit me, am I destined to not have one forever? I don't get you - are you stereotyping? Just because you know of ABC friend who's called Chloe, doesn't mean that I can't give myself a name like her because I like the name. There are millions and billions of people in the world. It's normal to have names overlapping everywhere you go, no matter how unique they are. And for common names, there is a higher occurrence. So why can't I have one if I'm human too?

3) "So... You're fond of the soccer team?"

Although I like watching soccer in general, I'm not extremely fond of the soccer team Chelsea, yet I don't hate them either. I just dislike Man U (hehe) and favour Liverpool. Other than that, I only chase World Cups / Euro and specific soccer players. If you asked me if the name I chose came from having a love for the Chelsea team, I'd say no. But it's definitely an added plus point. :-)

At the end of the day, everyone has differing opinions of you. Some might be supportive of your decision, some might try coming out with more suggestions in THEIR own opinions, and most of them might just ask you to stick to your original name. But why?


It's common sense, but many people mistake that as being unsuitable for all the names in the world. This is why I'm tired of that. I'm stepping out of my comfort zone and giving myself a new English name that's approved by my parents. That's the only approval I require. I don't need the approval of my friends because at the end of the day, you'll realize who the true supportive ones are, as well as know that the end decision, like I've said, still lies with yourself.

And to those who made a difference in my choice of name, thank you!!! I'm really thankful for your help =) I'm still in the process of getting used to it to, but you can definitely still call me by my birth name! However, with my new English name, it'll no doubt make my life easier from now on, especially for introducing myself to new people.

Last of all, I'd like to emphasize that having my new English name doesn't mean that I dislike my current birth name. I just want another one for convenience sake. So don't put words into my mouth because I'm absolutely fine with being called Cheow Yi, as long as you pronounce it correctly.

And finally, I really hope there will be minimal teasing or poking fun of my names.

Because if you have nothing nice to say, then you probably shouldn't. =)

P/S (I hope you guys love my new template, too!!)