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A Fan Letter to All the Ians

Have fun branding your name

By Ian FanPublished 2 years ago 3 min read
A Fan Letter to All the Ians
Photo by Pablo Gentile on Unsplash

Let me introduce myself, “Hi, my name is Ian Fan.”

Hi, my first name is Ian

When I was younger, I asked my parents, "Why did you name me Ian?" Back then, and still is today; if you threw a stone, you'll hit a John or Jonathan.

So, they went with Ian.

Have you looked up your name on Wikipedia before? Out of curiosity, I Wikipedia-ed the name Ian and discovered that it is another name for John.

Ian from Wikipedia. Photo by author

I pride myself on carrying a name that is of Scottish Gaelic and Hebrew origin.

Uncommon name

The name Ian is a rare (first) name; even for an English first name. The more common English first names for guys are Eugene, Jonathan, Sean, Kevin, Jason, Bryan, etc.

Even though rare, the name Ian is also popular. Whenever I hear the name Ian Fleming, I feel all is not lost for the rare name of Ian, as he authored the popular James Bond series.

Then, coming from the Chinese community, to even pronounce Ian is a challenge. This is due to the movement of the tongue and the linguistic nature of Chinese pronunciation.

My name has been mispronounced countless times.

I’ve been called:

  • Iron
  • Ion
  • Yen
  • I-yen
  • Ean

Don’t get me started on Sean, Shawn, and Shaun.

Photo from 9GAG's Twitter

Hi, my last name is Fan

In the English language, the word fan literally means any of the below:

Photo by Ronan Furuta on Unsplash
Photo by Daniel Apodaca on Unsplash
Photo by Ronny Sison on Unsplash

Which fan did you identify with?

In Cantonese, the word fan has a whole different meaning.

Photo by Pille-Rinn Priske on Unsplash
Photo by Noah Buscher on Unsplash

Depending on the pronunciation of the word, it can mean either a bowl of rice or a troublesome and inconvenient feeling.

Are you feeling hungry or uneasy?

Change the pitch of the word fan (in Cantonese) and you’ll get the word fun in English.

Are you feeling hungry, uneasy, or fun?

My last name Fan can also connote a wind-giving object with a troublesome and hungry supporter holding a bowl of rice.

Fan family

My last name, surname, or family name is Fan. We pronounce it as fun.

Similar to Ian, the name Fan is also an uncommon family name in the Chinese community.

Common Chinese family names are Lee, Tan, Wong, Ong, and the list goes on.

So, when people have to call me by my surname, it's hard to miss.

Branding Ian Fan

When I was younger, I disliked my name Ian Fan. It is not a common first name and surname.

Also, given the fact that countless people mispronounced my name countless times, some even made fun of my name!

Furthermore, for someone to shout my name in anger, it just takes 2 syllables. Ian Fan! Unless your name is this long below.

In recent years, I came to realize the significance of my name, Ian Fan.

The word Ian is used to create national identities. We’ve Malaysian, Australian, Indian, Italian, and Russian.

I’ve gone on to create my own brand names, utilizing letters of my name and my family name to their full potential.

Photo by Author
Photo by Author

There is meaning in your name

I have a friend who’s name was Edith. He and his friends had a challenge pronouncing his name.

When he came of age, he legally changed his name to Eddie.

Like Eddie and me previously, you may not be satisfied with your name. I’m sure we’ve been called names.

Don’t we all wish we have a better (sounding) name?

Some of us have uncommon names that we either feel proud as it’s one in a million or lonely because it is the only one in a million.

Some of us have common names that it’s tiresome and burdensome to differentiate every time. If your name is John and someone calls out for John. You are probably wondering, “Did he mean this John, that John, or him?”

Sometimes, we even have to rank ourselves by John senior and John junior. Or John 1, 2, and 3 by age.

Of course, there are reasons why you were given your name. Your name gives you an identity, branding, and business opportunity.

These companies founded their business empires on their names:

  • 20th Century Fox was founded by William Fox,
  • Abercrombie & Fitch by David T. Abercrombie and Ezra Fitch,
  • Baskin-Robbins by Burt Baskin and Irv Robbins,
  • Calvin Klein by Calvin Klein himself,
  • Disney by Walt Disney, and
  • the list goes on.

In conclusion, to all the Ians out there, I’m your fan in food and property.


About the Creator

Ian Fan

Going by the handles @foodyfans and @ipropfans, Ian shares about real estate, investing, finance, travel, food, and personal growth.

Follow Ian Fan on YouTube, Instagram (food), Instagram (property), X, Facebook, Blog, and Medium.

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