Posts filed under ‘Behind the Name’

So, why “Elilai Petals”?

The title of this blog pays direct homage to my birthplace – the absolutely gorgeous Palau. When I came into the world on this Micronesian island, my parents were offered a native name for their baby. Choosing not to pass up this unique honour (for foreigners), they chose to name me Elilai (pronounced “el-lee-lie” {last syllable rhymes with bye}).

Now the Palauan language is a beautifully tricky thing. The name Elilai means the plumeria/frangipani flower. (In case you’ve never seen this flower before, some pictures are included at the bottom.) However, that particular spelling refers only to the name of a person. When pertaining to the flower itself, the name is spelled Chelilai. But here’s where the trickiness comes in: The ch is silent, so it’s pronounced the same way.

So my title is a play on words. Elilai is me, the blog entries are the petals, and the petals are pieces of Elilai.

Pink Chelilai

White Chelilai

Pink Chelilai (with long, thin petals)

Photo Sources

Blog header: http://i246.photobucket.com/albums/gg109/bluemoon107/flowers/TropicalPlumeriaFlower.jpg

Pink Chelilai: http://www.tradewindsfruit.com/plumeria.jpg

White Chelilai: http://www.plantoftheweek.org/image/plumeria.jpg

Pink Chelilai with thin petals: http://www.jungleseeds.com/images/PlumeriaPinkOrange.jpg

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February 7, 2010 at 4:09 pm 3 comments


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