Friday, September 12, 2014

The Name Game

A rose by any other name would smell as sweet"
Cleomes are pretty and have a beautiful name but definitely do not smell sweet

20 year old Shanna, Queen of the Dune. Not a fan of her own name
First day of kindergarten: Late 50s. Teacher is taking roll

no reply
no reply
That's you! You're supposed to say 'here'.
That's not my name. I'm Suzie.

Later my mother confirmed that I was indeed Suzanne. No one ever told me before.

Some time in the early 70s. I am living in a co-op with 20 other women. We had a Sue, a Susan, a Suzie and a Suzanne. Which one was me?

Suzanne. I didn't get to vote. The "Sue" was there before me. If someones' name is Sue or some variation thereof, there is a 95+% chance, she was born within 5 years of me. The same with Patricia, Deborah or Nancy. I once was in a class with 5 Pattys. I have not heard of a Sue being born in the past 50 years. We also had plenty of Kathys, Marys and Elizabeths though those names stuck around for much longer periods. Katherines though became Katies, not Kathys during Shanna's era. During Naomi's time (she is 12 years younger), they became Kates or Caitlins.

Boys' names stick around much longer probably due to boys being named after their fathers. Lots of Roberts, Johns and Mikes my age though later when I was coaching boys soccer, I had 3 Michaels and 3 Matthews on my team.

I wanted to name Shanna Sarah. But Steve objected because he had an Aunt Sarah and it is not the Jewish custom to name children after living relatives. Besides he thought Sarah was an old lady name even though hopefully Shanna would spend more time as an old lady that a cute toddler. Shanna is actually Shoshanna, a name she really hates though her husband calls her that. She said she would stick to the top 50 names for her own children so they would not have to suffer as she did.

Oliver? That can't be in the top 100 names? It was in the top five in England and it is probably now in the US. So Oliver will be one of the oldest Olivers here.

Julie was going to give her daughter a name associated with an eighty year old woman (many names, especially women's name have distinct ages associated with them). Josh just hated the name. Fine, he was told, come up with ten better names and maybe she would reconsider. This is where I came in. I compiled lists and we had a fun few hours poring over them together and came up with what we thought were great names.It was fun. I have to admit. many of them are associated with babies born in the eighties. I guess I do have an ovine nature, going with the flow. What sounds good to me sounds good to my peers. In the end, none of the names were used nor was the old lady name. Allison seemed to come out of the blue.

Some funnies:

I love bad similes, my favorite being: He was as tall as a 6 foot two tree.
But I recently heard two new favorites: She was like magnet: attractive in the front and repulsive in the rear.
Their love burned like an untreated urinary tract infection.

And finally, from real life:Steve had e-fired our real estate agent yesterday who predictably did not take it well. He told Steve that at least he wasn't nearly as difficult to deal with as his wife. Sort of like saying You don't smell bad for a fat girl.


Elephant's Child said...

Oh yes. There were a lot of us at school. And Helens. I was very nearly Shoshanna, but got the much more common alternative.
It sounds as if that real-estate agent is MUCH better out of your life. His comment struck me as both petulant and unprofessional. And a sure fire guarantee of no further business.

Sue in Italia/In the Land Of Cancer said...

Yep, the agent sent Steve a long, whiny diatribe which succeeded in eliminating any guilt I had about dismissing him. Steve wanted to write him back but I suggested just letting the whole business go.

Helens are rare around here except for those 70 and above though a girl Naomi's age has the name. And Naomis used to be for the over 80 crowd but they are popping up again. Naomi was not alone in her peer group.


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