Tuesday, April 05, 2016

What’s In a Name – The Next Installment (#5)

Picture by: Michelle Reynoso
Our name, we either love it or hate it; often questioning why we're named as we are, what was the thought process, what does it symbolize, why this name over all the others? We want to know, because it provides us connection and understanding. It means something. A name can be that very first defining label in your life, connecting you to family, culture, lineage, and history. That one string of letters summarizes how our parents see us when we first arrive. Last names withstanding, first names are a conscious choice by our parents to say who they want us to be. Yes, we can change names nowadays, but do we? Most times, we don't. We stick with what we've been given. 

We get attached to our names; we like the familiarity of it, the sound of it in someone's mouth, the immediacy of knowing that someone is talking to us. And we get offended if someone messes up our name. If you're introduced as Sarah when you're Sally, it can be annoying, because this person didn't think it important enough to remember you. You are Sarah, not Sally, not Tina, Jada, or Megan. Right? I was at the coffee bar the other day, and the barista wrote my name as Michael instead of Michelle on the side of my cup. Ok? Did he think I was a man? I joked about it online, but it made me wonder how someone could get such a common name so wrong. And yet, I'm horrible with names. Go figure! I'm guilty of the same thing.

As a parent, we agonize over finding the perfect name for our new bundle-of-joy. Do we want an inspiring name, a creative one, a union of both mom and dad's name, an homage to our ancestors; what are we trying to say, what point are we trying to get across as we name our children. In writing, it's the same struggle because these characters are like our children, and the right name can either complete them or ruin them, link them to turmoil, or liberate them to greatness. 


So, here are the newest inductees to the “What’s In a Name” list of quirky and unique names: 


  • Scott Wank
  • Richard Gross
  • Timothy Child
  • Tom Mascara
  • Greg Indelicato (last name is of Italian descent; meaning tactless, indelicate, indiscreet)
  • Nada Cavigliano (nada means nothingness or nothing in Spanish)


Here are links to my previous posts in the “What's In a Name” series:

(post #2)

(post #3)