Tia the Toothpick


Have you ever met a person who has a name for literally EVERYTHING? Like both normal (pets, friends, and …their car (?)) and, also, the ridiculous (pictures, figurines, coffee makers, and other inanimate objects which have no way of responding, etc).



I’m one of them…in fact, Michaela, Alex, and I went out just two days ago to fly a kite. We dubbed it “Spaz” due to its remarkably unpredictable pattern of actually flying for a moment before dramatically dropping dead out of the sky onto the field in front of us. Huh.

1st time kite flyer!  (yes, there is a kite attached to that string! :)

1st time kite flyer!
(yes, there is a kite attached to that string! 🙂

yah. Glad to have that on the table. lol.

Anyways! Of all the things on the planet, I think names are one of the most interesting. Really (Hence my odd obsession). Names can be really meaningful and descriptive of a person and describe the specialness of the person whom they are attached to. :). Or, at the very least, each person has a story behind their name–some very fun and colorful, others touching, and still others lamer than cold macaroni and cheese, but still a cool story.

My name, in particular, has very special meaning. I was raised by a single parent for the first few years of my life. My mom had many great women friends in her life who would often take care of me, thus becoming my “aunties.” “Tia” means “aunt” in Spanish (my mum was really good at Spanish) and thus I was named–after all those wonderful women who played a huge part in my early life :).

In years since, I have been fortunate to discover that “Tia” is also part of many words and also has many meanings in other languages. For instance, “tia” makes up  half of the word for friendship in Latin. I’ve also found that my name has meanings in Finnish and Swedish and kinda loose ties into Hebrew as a nickname meaning, “princess.” However, this realization is quickly balanced after discovering that “tia” is also the word for “road” and “ten” elsewhere. Lame.

Still, my biggest surprise was in chatting with my boss, George, the other day.

As humiliating as it is (and as you’ve probably already guessed by the title of this blog entry), my name in Chinese means “toothpick.”


…uh, awkward!

So, for the first time I’ve introduced myself to every single Chinese person met in the 4 months since being here,

I have told them,”Hi. Nice to meet you! My name is Toothpick. (Insert smile here. Extra large, of course, to show off my lovely pearly whites). What’s yours?”

"Hi. Nice to meet you. My name is Toothpick."

“Hi. Nice to meet you. My name is Toothpick.”

George said it was really funny talking to me for a little while there. No wonder!

Maybe I should adopt a Chinese name after all… haha


2 responses »

  1. Very cute…I am glad I didn’t know this until now. I would have used it somewhere in China for sure.

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