Thursday, February 17, 2011

Call Me Princess!

I know in Christianity, fellow believers are considered the sons & daughters to the King of kings. So that make me a princess... a royalty. But I never knew my family name described me as one too!

This evening, as I was collecting a parcel (my craft stuff!) from my apartment's concierge, the african staff was looking at me eye wide and asked if OYE is my name. I told him yeah and I know it's a popular name for Africans. Oye is my family name... actually a spelling mistake to Ooi. The mistake dated back to my great grandfather's time, and that variation of family name has been passed down ever since. 

To my pleasant surprise, the staff told me Oye in African means 'crown' and it symbolizes that I am a royalty or something. Woah, what a fun discovery! I went on to google to find out more. Found two interesting results :
An African gave a description to Oye as  'a title of a higher being' while in Spanish it is an interjection that means 'listen'.

Now I am wondering how exactly do they pronounce that name in African. As for me and my Chinese family, we have been keeping it to the pronunciation of Ooi whenever we introduced ourselves with the family.  

Oh by the way, Ooi/Oye is a variation for the Chinese family name, , meaning 'yellow'. Some of the Chinese family names though translated differently for English, they are the same in the Chinese character. People from the different provinces of China (depending where our ancestors originated from) speak different dialects, resulting that the same family name sounding different. Therefore, those with Chinese family names like Huang, Hwang, Ong, Wong, Wang, Ung, Ooi, Wee and etc may be from once-upon-a-time the very same family tree.  Hmmm... I wonder if you understood what I meant. Here's how Wikipedia explains it :
"Transliteration of Chinese family names (see List of common Chinese surnames) into foreign languages poses a number of problems. Chinese surnames are shared by people speaking a number of dialects and languages which often have different pronunciations of their surnames. The Chinese diaspora into all parts of the world resulted in the Romanization of the surnames based on different languages. As a result, it is common for the same surname to be transliterated differently. In certain dialects, different surnames could be homonyms so it is common for family names to appear ambiguous when transliterated."

 According to Wikipedia, is currently ranked  7th among the most common Chinese family names.

Ah, we learn something new everyday. Okay, now back to my card making. I can't wait to get my hands on the craft stuff I received today. Stay tune for my next card ;) 


  1. Wah, wah Princess Oye! What a nice way to find out another meaning of your surname huh!

    I was supposed to be a Chan instead of a Chin but thanks to typo error, it's been that way since decades ago...

  2. Haha Yup, it made my day.

    Oh, you too. So are you the only one in your family with that surname? On a positive note, at least it still is a Chinese surname. I know many people thought my surname is pronounced as 'Oh-yeh'.