Why I Changed My Blog URL | Explanation for My Names

Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Hello hello :) After pondering about this for a long time, I finally decided to change my blog URL (from nicolenotebook to nanadandere). So I wanted to write this post explaining to you guys how I came to this decision. Let's get right into it~

In order for you to understand why I changed my blog url, you'll have to understand where my names came from ^^

About Names in Thailand
You may have noticed that I go by two names - Nana and Nicole. They are both my nicknames, not my first name. In Thailand, parents give their child(ren) a first name AND a nickname when they're born.

First names are only used in official documents and occasions. Whereas nicknames are used in everyday life i.e. what friends and family call them, facebook name, etc.

What are the first name and nickname my parents gave me and why?
My first name is Arrada and my nickname is Nana. I forgot what Arrada means haha oops. As for "Nana".. my mom gave that name to me because:
1. Her favourite number is 7 and "nana" means 7 in Japanese.
2. It's one of her favourite manga character's names.

Then where did "Nicole" come from?
I gave this nickname to myself before I went to university last year. My mom helped me choose it too. After I was born and started school, it wasn't long until I found out that "nana" also means Grandma in English and few other languages. Since then, I got a little embarrassed telling my name to people, mostly English-speaking people. They would give me a quick "whah?" look..

Soo after years of low key embarrassment, I wanted a new name before I entered university in UK. After googling names starting with "N", my mom and I settled with Nicole. I made this blog towards the end of my first year in uni, so that's why my url was "nicolenotebook" (not "nananotebook").

In general - People I met before I went to university call me Nana. People I met after starting uni call me Nicole or Nic.

How come I changed back to "nanadandere" for the new URL?
After blogging for a month or so, I've got many comments from you beautiful people saying you like the name "Nana" more than "Nicole". I thought people would prefer Nicole or laugh at the name "nana" 'cause it means grandma.. But I guess that's not the case! This really took me by surprise and I'm actually quite pleased to hear that haha.

I decided I want to be known as Nana, not Nicole, in the internet world. So I put it as part of my new URL. Gotta be proud of the name that my parents gave me right?

What does "dandere" mean?
Dandere is one of the character archetypes you see in Japanese anime, manga, games etc.

"The “dan” in dandere comes from the Japanese word “danmari” (黙り) meaning silence. Thus a dandere is a quiet and often antisocial character.
Danderes often want to be sociable but are too scared or too embarrassed to talk. They tend to fear that saying the wrong thing might get them into trouble—or some other socially awkward situation—so they say nothing to be on the safe side.
Of course, once danderes are befriended, they tend to lose their social inhibitions and become rather cute and happy—especially with the ones they love." - source

I identify with this type of character, hence I include it in my new URL. "nanadandere" was my old instagram username too haha. (Now it's arrada.jpg)

If you want to learn more about different Japanese character types, read this or this! Let me know which one you identify with :P

Why the blog title "Nana's Notebook"?
As mentioned in my about page, I created this blog as a journal. I want to record all the events that happen in my everyday life and everything in between. That is still true till today so I simply changed Nicole's to Nana's ^^

Keep in mind, you can still call me Nana or Nicole - whichever one you like :)

Woo, that was a long post haha. I hope you enjoyed learning a lil' bit more about me and some Thai culture! Yehh I know this would all be unnecessary if I hadn't changed my nickname to Nicole in uni, but oh well haha. The me one year ago was too insecure about what people would think about my name in uni I guess XD

By the way, the photo in my thumbnail is a sneak peek of my family trip to beautiful beaches and awesome places in Southern Thailand hehe :D This photo was taken in a 3D Art Gallery. It was soo cool, I got so many photos to show you~ Keep your eyes out for my travel diaries that are coming soon!

What does your name mean? Why did your parents give you that name? Feel free to share your story in the comments :)

With love,


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  1. This is similar to me! My blog is called Color Me Kiki because my family and many of my friends call me Kiki as a nickname, but my full name is actually Katherine, and none of my college friends know that! They all call me Kiki haha, so I definitely understand where you're coming from with naming your blog.
    xo Kiki

    1. Mhmm that's interesting~ thanks for sharing :D

  2. Ahh I wish I have an interesting story, albeit a personal one, about the name of my domain but there's not much to it. Haha.

    I'm just glad you are using the name Nana more. Feels more freeing now, no? Like you have more freedom than before to express yourself and your thoughts?

    I did know about the grandma thing but I wouldn't have made a big deal out of it in such a way that I'd tease you for it. It's a cute name in my book and it's also 2015.. Some things we used to know, people see it differently in this day and age. :) So, you're all good!

    Yeah my real name is a bit unique.. This is just my screename because I'm cautious of being looked up to online hehehe. But this name is not too far from my real name.

    Thanks for sharing to us the naming culture in Thailand. Makes sense to me now why some of the Thais I know have an Eng and separate Thai names. Very personal as well as an informative post. :)

    1. Yess it feels more free. I've been a little frustrated about my old URL the past few weeks and I'm glad I finally changed it ^^ Aww you're soo kind. In fact, you're one of the main reasons I changed my URL hehe. Thank you for giving me the confidence boost!

      Annaa~ I really appreciate your comment, I can tell you put some thought into it. Thank you so much ;u; <3

  3. This is such a cute story! :) My parents can speak Thai and my dad lived for a while in Thailand as well. I really love the tradition with the nicknames haha. I wish my parents could have given me a nice nickname xD My first name is Vietnamese and it's really difficult to pronounce for non-viets. My middle name is Jenny and is kinda my American nickname. I find Jenny okay, but not as cool as other names.

    Anyway, your name 'Nana' is such a pretty one and I love it :) It's nice that you go back to your roots! :) Plus, the mix with dandere is perfect! It gives a really warm and personal feel.

    Jenny <3

    1. Jenny is a cute and sweet name. It really suits you! May I ask what's your Vietnamese name?

      Awh thank you so much :')

  4. Oh this story is so interesting! I had no idea about this naming culture! Thanks for sharing! :)

    Love from Estonia,

  5. Amazing! nana is a cute name

  6. I like the name Nana, it's very cute. I think it's not that strange in Asian culture. Besides, I like the anime Nana as well! It's very interesting to know about Thai culture!
    In Taiwan, parents only give children their Mandarin name. And, after the children go to school, the English teacher will give them an English name. Or, they can pick one themselves. But, the English nickname is not official, it can be changed easily. And, not very body uses their English nickname.

    Vanessa│Meili Journey

    1. Thank you cx Ah yeah, I have/had a few Chinese friends and they told me the same thing. I think it's so cool how you get to choose your own English name XD May I ask if your teacher gave you the name Vanessa, or you chose it yourself?

  7. I think NANA is a beautiful name. Nicole is very common so I'm glad you changed your blog url. Anyways, I noticed most thai people have nicknames far from their real name. Also some of them are quite funny. They just take an english word then use it as a name (in my school, most thais have weird nickname). Nana is not weird name, its unique :)

    Dice, '96 Wild Heart

    1. Thank youu Dice :) Gosh I know right?! Thai people have the craziest, funniest nicknames ahahah XD (I once saw a guy on TV named 'golf club' in Thai LOOL)

  8. Now I know why is it called nanadandere. Nana suits you more I think cuz it's more you and you identify with it since you were really young. And dandere, I like the definition of this word.

    1. Thanks Alissa! ^^ Yeah I agree.. I've been called Nana since I was born anyways.. > <

  9. It's funny because I actually plan to change my url name too hahaha :p
    I love your nickname Nana, it is so lovely! And actually it has always made me think 1. of the number seven in japanese, and 2. of the manga characters! So that's another reason why I like it haha :) Oh, and I can tell you that in French, nana is slang for "girl" :3
    I also have a nickname since when I was born, which is Didi :) In real life, I actually never get called by my first name, except by teachers and for formal occasions haha >_<


    1. Naww thank you Andrea! <3 Omg Nana means girl in French? Wow that's awesome hehe. Guess I have one more reason to like the name too :D

      Aw Didi is such a cute name, can I call you that too? :3

  10. I think Nana is a wonderful name ^__^ Plus I use my nickname online as well. I have mainly 3 names lol. My english name is Linh (pronounce as Lynn), Chinese name: Ling-Lang, Nickname: Linnie Thanks for sharing

    Linxnee-Beauty, Fashion, Lifestyle

    1. Thankyu Linnie :)) I love all your names!

  11. Thank you for this, it is helpful for when I decide to do my own xx Check out my latest blog post at http://xbeyoutifulx.blogspot.co.uk !! Xx followers are desperately needed xxxxx

  12. awwww Nana you're soooo cute! I love how I kinda felt weird calling you that for the first time cos I've only just gotten used to calling you Nicole hehe, but nonetheless NANA is a pretty name, I'll just shift from nicole and nana also if you don't mind :D <3 AND I swear I can relate to being a dandere- cos I'm kinda antisocial but want to know people if you getz.. then kinda goes crazy when really know someone XD <3

    Lauren xx | laurlauu . beauty . fashion . life . blog

    1. Hehe you can call me whichever one you like dw :) Ayy -high five!- same heree XD Danderes unite!

  13. I must agree with Anna, I wish I also have an interesting story to tell behind my blog name! I really like how you gave so much thought on all aspects of your blog, making sure that this represents who you are. Looking forward to more of your posts, Nana! :)

    Jhanz | www.jhanzey.net

    1. Aw thank you Jhanz, and thanks for stopping by <3

  14. Haha I have a loooong story on how I got my blog name, but anyway let's not get into that. I love the name Nana best! Sometimes I wish it was mine instead of Mimi, haha. It actually reminds me of After School's (a KPop group) Nana. :)

    Also, I'm more of a tsundere (a lot of my anime-loving friends have identified me with that since high school. Turns out they were actually right). :D

    Mimi Gonzales | The Foxy Heroine

    1. If you don't mind, I'd love to hear about your story! :3 Oh yeahh.. I forgot that Nana is a member in After School. She's so pretty omg. I guess it's cool to have the same name as her~ Thanks for reminding me hehe :D

      Oohh, tsunderes are so cool cx

  15. Nana is waaay cuter than Nicole to be honest! I forgot what my name actually means and it was so hard to think of a blog name with Janine or Ella so I decided not to include it instead. I wish I had a simpler name! Hahaha


    1. Awh thanks Janine :) I lovee your blog name, it makes me happy whenever I see it haha :3

  16. Wow I love your blog! Would you like to connect on GFC? <3