Yan came from a childhood nickname, “Ayan“.
That’s a nick that obviously came out from my given name, Cristian.
Here is the interesting part. The nick of my name is written “Ian” (ê-yan) but I’m being called “Ayan” (â-yan) phonetically. If you are Filipino or familiar with a Filipino accent, then, you’ll understand why. And probably, after reading here, you did not notice that my given name does not have ‘h’ in it.
Here is another interesting part of my name. My surname is “Mayo“.
Hindi Abril, hindi Hunyo, pero Mayo (Not April, not June, but May). My friends often joke around about my surname and in college days, I was even called “May” with a prefix of “Kuya” (Elder Brother) by my juniors. In the end, it became my nickname in college days and even now I am being called that way. Unfortunately, it is also partially my fault as I did not correct them and now I am suffering the consequence. Coincidentally, my birth month is May.
My surname also has a different translation. I pursued college in Daet, Camarines Norte and in there, two Filipino native languages are used – Tagalog and Bikol. The Tagalog “Mayo” means “Wala” (None/Nothing) when translated from Bikol. Imagine my experience during college admission when I was asked what is my surname. When I said my surname, the clerk thinks I was joking around and looking at my face with a serious look. I was afraid to be sent back at the end of the line so I have no choice but pull my bag, pick my Postal ID, and show it to her.
Over these years, I’ve been called by so many nicknames like usual “Ian“, “May“, “Cris“. Those nicks are very common in the Philippines and my surname “Mayo” even becomes a nick with the suffix “-naise” so that it will be unique, so they said, and me making face. In High School, I was also called by unusual nicks like “Tyano” (Tian-o) or “Kamagong” by my teachers.
In my professional journey, I arrived at some point where I wanted a unique identity. Not for formal but for casual, since it is now becoming a trend of first-name-basis and casual name calling during meeting calls or face-to-face meeting.
As such, I settled on “Yan” and eventually became fond of it. Most likely because it’s very close to my childhood nickname and being called as such, make me feel comfortable and casual as if we have known each other since in childhood.
In the future, I will definitely and still use “Yan” as my nick.
Hence, feel free to call me that way anytime. 😊