The first time my grandfather laid eyes on Humnoy, my family’s first great-grandchild was endearingly referred to as “Theek Noy” because of a striking newborn resemblance.” If you’ve been following just recently then you know it literally means “Little Theek.” Also, if you you’ve been following since the very beginning then you’ll know Humnoy is a boy and I, myself, am not a boy. Growing up Lao, I was constantly referred to as some relation to another person. So Game of Thrones of us, right? If my Lao moniker was not used, it was always “Eldest Granddaughter of Khene” or “Eldest Daughter (That Made It To College) of Nang.” It always traced back to an original person that connected the subject of conversation to a link somewhere in the generation. Much like all the sets of parents before me, I am that start of the next generation as it freaking should be. You’ll need to understand pregnancy pain and an annoying spouse to see why.
The kids are still called “Humnoy” and “Lanoy” by close family members but sometimes that is not common knowledge to everyone who hasn’t met them so it’s just easier to call them something entirely technical and less personal. For my -noys, they are called Leuk (Ee) Theek which literally means “Child(ren) of (The Girl) Theek.” The same goes for the other important person tied into all of this: GH. How hilarious would it be if the Lao people called him Gym Hottie like y’all do? lulz. The word for “husband” in Lao is puah and since he’s clearly not Lao, he definitely has his own made-up name. A few have been a little racist albeit still technically correct. Buk Kow literally means “White Boy.” I mean, like I said, accurate.
This has been done for as long as I can remember so let’s see all the names I’ve donned over the years:
Theek Noy Bébé Theek
Leuk Mek Daughter of Mek
Leuk Gkoke (like “coke?” I think) Eldest Child
Mae Buk Hum Mother to Hum
Mae Lanoy Mother to Lanoy
As a Lao parent now, I see it. I see how and why it’s been done this way. I see how it makes much more sense to connect a couple generations in a single conversation. What better and more honorable way to pay tribute to your parents than be forever known as their child? If you’d like to be associated with them, that is. I really feel Westerosian though now that I’ve sat and explained this because I had never ever sat and explained this. I am mama to my babies and my babies are from to their mama. Here are my Theek Noys:
*POP QUIZ* What would GH’s title be as my husband?