Changing your Name for Good Luck

Nong Grace

Nong Grace watering the flowers outside the Paknam Web offices

Last weekend, Nong Grace went to take her entrance exam for Kindergarten. She was cross-examined on a number of topics in order for the teacher to judge her suitability to be a student at their school. She did very well for most of the questions, however she stumbled on one question which most people would think was the easiest: “What is your name?” From birth, every Thai child is given a nickname which sticks with them for the rest of their life. In fact, they use this name more than their real one. It is quite possible for you to know someone very well, but have no idea what their real name is.

For Nong Grace, we spent a long time coaching her to say the real names of her mother and father. Both of them had changed their name within the last year. However, we forgot all about Nong Grace. When she was born, a monk carefully chose the name Chanakarn for her as he said it would bring her the most amount of luck. However, a few years later, her aunt’s astrologer predicted that something bad would happen between Nong Grace and her father. He insisted that she should change her name at once to Juthasorn. Hence, poor Nong Grace’s hesitation when the teacher asked for her real name.

This kind of thing is not isolated. A lot of people I know have changed their names. They do this either to break away from a string of bad luck, or because an astrologer or monk had advised them that the letters in their name will will cause a catastrophe in their lives. Now it is happening again to thousands of people around the country. Some districts in Nakhon Ratchasima and Ubon Ratchathani are reporting that they are running short of the Chor 3 forms which are needed to change your name. Apparently, astrologists have warned that people who were born in the Year of the Pig  should immediately change their first names if they start with the letters “sor sua” or “por pla”. If they didn’t, their lives would soon turn into a disaster with tragic consequences. According to the Thai newspapers, hundreds of people have been turning up at their local district offices with requests to change their names. Most of them had the offending letters in their names. However, others weren’t taking any chances and wanted to change their name just in case. Even people who weren’t born in the Year of the Pig.

I am not sure if it will really alter your fortune or not if you change your name. Some people have reported that their luck has changed for the better since they selected a new and more auspicious name. For myself, I haven’t yet chosen a Thai name. I don’t feel the time is right to do this. However, once I do this, I won’t be choosing a name at random. I will be consulting a monk or astrologer in order to find the most auspicious name for myself according to the day and time I was born.

Related blogs: How to Choose a Thai Name

5 responses to “Changing your Name for Good Luck

  1. Why would you need Thai name when most of Thai people are using western names more and more these days (“Grace”, for example)? My father was ahead of his (and my) time because he named me after a famous American actress, Elizabeth Taylor, some fifty years ago! It’s a right move for I ended up living in the US most of my life, anyway.

  2. Grace is not her legal name. It is her nickname. The name was chosen by visitors to during a competition a few years back. Her father picked Grace because he liked to watch the American sitcom “Will and Grace”. However, Thai people cannot pronounce her name correctly and will say something that sounds like “great”.

    I have students in my class with English nicknames such as June, May and Jane. Others have English words as their nicknames such as Bank, Benz, Fifa, Eye, Earth and Donut. It is just a fashion. I haven’t met any Thai person whose real name is “English” sounding. However, some of them do have an English name – like writers and entertainers which they then only use abroad.

  3. And if you can believe it, my sister’s name is “Marisa” and he (my dad) named her after a French actress (Marisa Pavan or something like that). My sister is still living in Thailand so that’s another Thai name with English sounding.

    I enjoy your blogs. I haven’t been back to Thailand since 1987 so I learned a lot about what’s going on in Thailand from your blogs. Thanks!

  4. Sir,I’m KiranKumar(14/10/1976) kindly suggest me Luck by Changing my Name Details r e KiranKumar.ParavatReddy help …

  5. mike williams

    Please help,my wife of 7 years has just changed her name on the advise of a fortune teller and I am totally angry about this and now feel that we are not married.
    Am I over reacting?