When Your Kids’ Azn Grandma Messes Up Their Laotian Names

When we decided to wait for birth day to find out the gender of our second child, it also meant both the Bébé’s real (first) name and the Laotian nickname would wait too. With Humnoy, his nickname was chosen by my mom when we found out we were expecting a boy. When his little sister was born, we asked my mom what would be the new baby’s nickname. She was given the Laotian nickname for “little girl.”


Fair enough, I think. It’s sweet and would look good on paper. I then ask my mom how she would spell the nickname and she said “L-a-n-o-i.” Okay, so off I go revealing and spelling my kid’s name as I (thought) had heard it. Well, apparently my mom changed her mind.



I find the mistake as a mini blessing in disguise. While it’s not a dire identity crisis because it is just her nickname, I still feel strongly that it is connected to me and her. I am very active on my social media (e.g., hashtag #here, hashtag #there) because that’s where I have my ‘tribe’ of mommy friends vs real life ones that are few and far between. It is so meaningful when my community interactions engage in conversation about my children. This post is just clearing some confusion coming up because I will now use the second spelling of her name. I really prefer the -“noy” ending because it matches her big brother, Hum’s, nickname and what are two Laotian siblings if they don’t share a part of a (nick-) name or two.

How did you name your child(ren)?

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3 thoughts on “When Your Kids’ Azn Grandma Messes Up Their Laotian Names

  1. Love that their nicknames match!! Hahaha since I have an Asian mom, too, both my kids have nicknames. My oldest, a boy, is PongPong – a bundle of joy. My little girl is PingPing, short for guaping – little pretty.

  2. I have a friend named Heng. His family name is Sangsavang. Any idea what they mean? Also, his niece is nicknamed “LingLing” What does it mean? Thanks!

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