I love Sabahan names. People tend to be very creative in naming their children, for example. And they don’t worry about whether they mix up languages one with another – and they have quite a few local tongues to call on, as well as English.
I’ve come across the following as personal names: Macdonald, Jacklon, Hedges, Liberia, Rhodes, Y-Physter, Rainy, Krist, Onnin, Joliwon, Bassilous, Jayrose, Yute, Pit, Folasia, Ramba, Romieo, Verlina, Malo, Faranica, Charles II, Erce, Fredoline – and so on. Want names for your fantasy novel? Check the electoral roles here!
And then there’s place names.
“Jalan” means “street” or “road”, comes before the name, and is abbreviated as Jln. And sometimes the name is in English, as in Jalan Coastal, Jalan Bank, Jalan Centre Point. Or this one in the picture, Jln Low Cost Housing in a place called Kuala Menggatal. Menggatal has several meanings, including the name of a tree, but the place name can also be translated as Itchy Rivermouth. Or in fact, itchy in the sense of horny, if you have that kind of mind. Lots of imaginative thinking went into that one.
But doesn’t anyone give a thought to how people must feel living in a street called Low Cost Housing Road in a place called Horny Rivermouth?