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Alexander.  Henceforth, Tim's and my son — Gaow — will be called (unofficially) Chatarin Alexander Jochim.  I say unofficially because his birth father hasn't yet released permission to relinquish his surname but Tim promises this won't be a problem.  I had narrowed my list of preferred names to around five and read them off to my wife one by one.  Alexander was actually the second one I said but I knew from the look on her face that it would be his new name.  I do think, however, that we'll probably use the short forms "Al" or "Alex" more often than the full version.

I prefer having a "real" name attached to our son as opposed to a nickname (Gaow is the number nine in Thai).  Also, adding a new middle name (which most Thai people don't have) helps serve the same purpose as assigning the original nickname did at birth — so that evil spirits are confused and don't know who they are so they can't get to them (Thais are VERY superstitious).  Speaking of Thai nicknames, I just read a humorous explanation which adds some information to my previous blog entry on the subject:

"....In international hotels, banks and official places, everyone will wear a name badge with their true name, but in informal situations, people often prefer their nicknames — it's how their friends know them.  These may cause some amusement to westerners.  Names like Lek (small) and Mai (erm...New?  Wood?  Burn?...depends on the tone) and Yim (smile), are no problem.  Gop (frog), Poo (crab), Pear, Apple, Bird, Moo (pig/pork) or Noo (mouse or rat) may tempt a slight giggle.  But what of Boom, Aey (eh?) and God.  Now, I don't know the meaning of that last one, but imagine yourself in my profession as a teacher — "You got it wrong again, didn't you, God.  Why can't you get it right just once in a while?" or, "How many times have I told you, God...?" or just, "God...don't do that."  Such phrases do actually give a degree of satisfaction, knowing that you have a worthy defence against the incoming thunderbolt.

These names are not to be laughed at, however.  They are not awarded in the supposed way of some native Americans, decided by the first thing seen by the father after the birth:  White Cloud, Silver Fox, Grey Wolf, Running Bear... and you'll remember the old joke about the young brave asking his father why he was called 'Two Dogs Enjoying Carnal Knowledge' — or words to that effect.  They are part of a serious belief in the danger posed by evil spirits.  What westerners may call mere superstition is part of the rich fabric of Thai culture and permeates every level of society.  Our Thai friends and family are always pressing my Thai wife and me about our baby daughter's nickname, which we have actually neglected to assign in the Thai way (her first name is Arissa — which some Thais recognise as Thai, and is actually a derivation of Alice).  But she does have a middle name (which Thais don't — in fact even family names are comparatively recent), so 'Nikki' tends to satisfy the western predilection for a middle name and the Thai predilection for a nickname.  Everybody ends up happy, and that's of paramount importance here."

from "Phoot Thai Keng, Krup" by Gray Rogers in Blending In: Farang Reflections on Living in Thai Culture edited by Gray Rogers — Bangkok: Isan Books, 2005 (pp. 39-40)
After we chose Alexander as our son's new middle name, my wife surprised me by saying there was a good king by that name (referring, no doubt, to Alexander the Great of Greece) and mentioning the movie as well!  Looking up the name on Wikipedia, I was surprised at how many kings, emperors, and popes have held the name through the ages.  Coming from Latin and Greek derivations, it is roughly translated as "protector of man."  It's a good strong name; I just hope we can raise the boy well enough to be worthy of such a powerful name...