Friday, July 6, 2007

What's in a name?

Names are a very personal subject. Ask any expectant couple and you can expect to hear all about their name list, to a family history of a given name choice, to a mums the word we will not tell. H and I gladly shared our names with people. Sometimes you get a crazy look or the ever polite, "Oh, that is a nice name."

Some people have very firm opinions about certain names. In fact this is a funny story.

H's cousin passed away and I took my MIL and the children to the calling hours. I had not met his Aunt and Uncle before so it was interesting all ways around. My MIL and Tante L were seated on the couch and E and I sat in front of them playing on the floor. L was running around with some other youngsters. Now it is important to note that I speak German really well. Well enough to follow their conversation.

So Tante L starts out asking my MIL "Was Fuer ein Name ist E?" (What kind of name is E...)

My MIL hedges and says that well they liked that name.

Tante L pushes on.

My MIL hedges some more.

Finally I turn around and said, "Mein Kind, Mein Wahl." (My child, my choice.)

Well that stopped her. She had assumed I could not follow the conversation. I would also like to note that none of her 4 kids have German names really. So what her deal was is beyond me.

L has a small zoo of stuffed animals. Each one has a name and she knows them all. She never changes their names. She has her own way of naming things. She has "Big Bear" and "Big Big Bear." A bunny named EG. A little bear named Kohlrabi. (after the veggie)

E has his best friend, a little bear, who I had started out calling Bear, Bear, but at a certain point it shifted to Stinky. The bear has a aroma all its own - so L and I referred to it as stinky. E calls him "Tinky" and it has stuck.

When I am writing, I find it easy to pick a character's name and they stick. I am loathe to change them. I am not sure why, but I cannot build up the character traits, if I do not have a solid name.

Which brings me to my name. I like my name. It suits me I think, but for writing, I wanted to pick something else - not only because I thought it sounded better, but it also to keep my real life a bit separate from my professional life. Not that I am convinced I will be famous - but one never knows and I think one should start off as one wants to go..... so I have renamed myself - - and I might tell you it if you post a comment. Some of you know it already.


IHateToast said...

just don't tell me it's apple!

Susan said...

Well I had thought about Pear - but H talked me out of it. (Just kidding....)