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  • These are all my names.

    The older I get, the more names I seem to collect on the way.

    I was born into a TEO family in the south of Malaysia. TEO means ZHANG in Mandarin Chinese. TEO signifies my parents originate from the Fujian province, south of China. TEO and Zhang are both written as 张。

    During my first year at university in Taiwan, my American teacher asked us all to have an English name. I gave her my original name, TEO Geok Hoon. She couldn't pronounce it. She said it was too difficult. She didn't like it.

    She said, “No, an English name is like Mary, Lucy. I want an English name. Your name is not an ENGLISH name."

    Without thinking, I hastily created a name, Janet, which I much regretted. Many years later, I married a Williams.

    Now, I am a perfectly Chinese looking person, with the most authentic English/Welsh name.

    I tried keeping my maiden name in England. One day, however, I received a bill from BT, which addressed me as Miss TOE.

    Three English letters, which proved to be challenging.

    My Chinese name means Jade Cloud (玉云). Why Cloud? “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud”?

    I am the youngest of 9 children. 4 older sisters had already taken the best names from the dictionary. Their names, in order, mean, Jade Splendour, Jade Beauty, Jade Grace and Jade Wisdom.

    Someone has to be a Cloud.
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