Today is a historic occassion, the first ever guest blog. We had read the very effervescent Hajah Yati writing a very long comment on the topic of Brunei's Time Line, I thought I will give her the opportunity to write her own blog. Here it is, presenting Hajah Yati's first ever blog and the first ever guest blog on this blogsite. Enjoy. (And I look forward to receiving more from readers out there - just remember one simple rule - the writings must be about Brunei.)
When I said that I have so much to share about the nicknames in my family, I never imagined that I would actually be writing about that topic in here, as offered by The Daily Brunei Resources. Momentarily, I was lost for words. I am but just one of his many hundreds of daily readers. All I ever did was post my comments here. I don’t own a blog. Unthinkable I can hear you say.
With that said, *grins*, let me try put to words what I have jumbled up here in my head. The following are the nicknames of my siblings and my cousins, and their origins. Most of these names were given by my late step grandpa. Some are really unique, I think.
My eldest cousin, Dai was born when the Australians came to Brunei. Dai is derived from the greeting “Good Day” or “G’ day”, as the Australians say it (day pronounced as dye).
Hehe. My sister, the famous Tomas. As a child, my sister was prone to having damam panas or high fever. My grandpa associated panas or hot with the thermos flask. So thermos after being “bruneianised” or “melayu-ed” became Tomas.
Some babies are born with significant features. My cousin T* a.k.a. Bakul had bulging eyes not dissimilar to ikan bakul-bakul or mudskippers.
Waktu pemberuntakan, my grandpa and grandma fled to the forest for safety, bringing with them the entire family. My poor Uwa Bini had to give birth in the forest. And for that, the baby boy was nicknamed Utan. Yes, you’re absolutely right. Utan comes from the word hutan or forest.
Dayang Senandong, one of the many classic P.Ramlee films, is about a malay girl who was cursed with really dark skin. In a black-and-white film, she looked really, well, black. I think the colour of Dayang Senandong’s skin was exaggerated. Later in the story, the spell was broken, and her skin colour became fair and radiant. I am told that my cousin was born really dark, thus earning her name Nandong. Interestingly, just like in the story, Nandong’s skin had naturally, gradually became fairer.
It was the buah tampoi season. A round as a buah tampoi baby girl was born, Presto! Baby named Tampoi.
I thought this had to do with S.Jibeng, one of the neighboring country’s famous pop ye ye stars. I was wrong. J* was a tomboy. That’s all the explanation I got. I don’t see the connection.
At first, I thought this was her “title” in the family. Wrong again. When my cousin N* was born, she had to be put in a special bed, and she was totally telanjang or naked. That’s how she got the name Anjang, from the word telanjang.
The following names were given by their own parents, and not our grandpa.
No, he didn’t look like buah pinang or anything. His mum loved to chew on buah pinang when she was pregnant with him.
This is too easy. Alus got her name for she was such a tiny baby at birth, very halus. In case you’re wondering, to this day, Alus’s figure stays true to her name. Lucky her.
Can you guess? She was born on the first day of Syawal, the first day of Hari Raya Aidilfitri.
I’m sure some of you may have stories of your own about nicknames, even actual names. My firend A*, who is a Dusun, told me her grandfather too gave nicknames to her and other members of her family. Theirs were names of birds and animals, in the Dusun dialect of course. Don’t worry. This is the last paragraph. Promise. Tata~.
Hajah Yati HMA