Thursday, November 13, 2008

What's that Name?

Leonardo Alessandro Giulielmo Patritsio Armand Luigi... and then the last name.

That would be some mouthful for a little child to remember, to recite, to write down in Kindergarden, First Grade or Second Grade. Would he have to write the entire list of his given names every day on every school paper, or would the school pick two for him to use? There are many forms that have space for a first name and a middle initial, with no provision for those folks who have extra names to deal with. I suppose you could ask for an additional sheet of paper, write all those extra names on that, and staple or paper clip the extra paper to the original form. Hmm, what would the clerks and beaureaucrats do with all that extra name?

And what would you call him for short?

That's what Margret's Dad wanted to name her if she had, by chance, been born male. He wanted to honor a group of his uncles, and didn't want any of them to feel left out. Most people would be honored to have a child named after them. Most people would not feel particularly slighted if a newborn was NOT named after them. Margret's Dad didn't want to take any chances with the feelings of his uncles. They were, each and every one of them, his favorite uncle. Well, maybe Uncle Armand was a little more favorite than the rest at times, with all the favors he did for his nephew, but I'd be willing to keep that a secret.

I consider us all fortunate that I persuaded him that he could name the boy children, and he would let me name any female children we might have, because his first two choices for girl names were Kitchenchaira and Baldeagella.

Yes, dear, those names certainly would be unique. No, dear, I would not want to be the girl child bearing those names. *shudder* Who in their right mind** would name their daughter after a piece of furniture?

I can understand naming a child after a favorite bird, but wouldn't Bluebird, or Oriole, or Jay, or Robin, or even Wren or Sparrow be more fitting? I could almost live with Osprey. Twist my arm a little and I might agree to Kite. But, please, please, please not Baldeagella!

Then there she was, and I named her after my two best friends from college, Margret and Gail.

Ta DA! World meet Margret Gail!

When I was pregnant with our second child, I was fairly sure she was going to be a girl. Just so happens that I was right. Her Dad was so sure I was correct that he didn't pick out any boy names. (silly man) So what happens if I was wrong and we had a son? Dad said we'd call him Boy, and when he reached the age of 16 he could decide what he wanted to be called, and we would then change his name legally. Then B was born and I was very very relieved. She is named after my aunt, on whose birthday she was born, and also after the crafty aunt of she after whom Margret was named.

What was Dad going to name C had she, by chance, been born male? He would have honored the Italian anatomist Bartolomeo Eustachio, by giving that name to his offspring, in full. And he would have called that lad Bart for short. This was long before the Simpsons, but I wonder what effect that would have had. Can you imagine raising Bart Simpson? Nope. No way.

C was eventually born female, I gave a sigh of relief and named her after her Dad's favorite aunt, and gave her a variation of the name of a distant aunt on my Dad's side of the family for her middle name.

Their dad left the picture (he took off hitch hiking with another woman) while I was pregnant with the youngest, D. I didn't offer him the option of choosing a name for a boy. At that point I preferred not to talk to him at all. I chose her name all by myself. She bears as her first name the name of the mother of one of my best friends while growing up. I often wished this woman were my mother, instead of my own mom. She was smart, pretty, a good cook, industrious, calm and even handed. My mother was also smart, pretty, a good cook and industrious, but I wouldn't call her calm, and her capriciousness sometimes made me wish I could run away and join the circus. I also gave D the name of my favorite high school teacher, and my mother's first name.

My name? I was named after both grandmothers, Mom's mother first, and Dad's mother second. I didn't like my middle name until I learned that it had originally belonged to my delightful grandmother. Then I only liked the name because it belonged to her.

** I confess to moments when I wondered about that part, too.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

*lol @ Bart Simpson*

Love your story about the names :)