Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Names

I've always been really interested in the meanings of names, ever since I was a little kid. I would look up the names of my friends and family, and then see how closely the meanings of their names matched up to their personalities. Yeah, I was a bit of a strange kid.

But I found some interesting things. For one, my family all has rather biblical names, which I find strange since none of are religious at all. For example, my brother's name is Peter, which is obviously biblical (Saint Peter, "On this rock I will build my church", etc). My sister's name is Rachel, which typically means 'ewe', but Rachel was also in the Old Testament and is a Hebrew name. My mother's name is Maureen, which is the Irish version of Mary (no explanation needed here), and also means 'great'. My father's name is Giuseppe, which is the Italian version of Joseph, and also needs no explanation.

My own name? Lisa. And of all things, it means "consecrated to God." In case you don't know, consecrated pretty much means sacred, so it all comes down to my name meaning "sacred to God" which is... pretty much the most ironic thing ever. When I was first searching for the meaning of my name, I was really, really hoping that it would be something cool to counter the plainness of my name. I mean, being sacred to God is kind of cool, I suppose, but less cool when you're an atheist.

...Okay, I'm not going to lie, it does make me feel kind of special. But it's still a little dumb.

The biggest pet peeve I have about my name, though, is when people shorten it to Lis. Like, literally why. You're shaving off one letter just to save yourself a syllable? Lisa only has two syllables anyway, you lazy asses. I don't mind so much when it's people that I'm friends with, or family, but when you're some schmuck who thinks it's a bright idea to call me Lis, you're going to be slightly boned because this will actually effect my judgment of you. Don't look at me like I'm crazy. I know lot's of people don't like it when people shorten their names. This is a legitimate thing to be crazy about.

Meanwhile, I've got some heard different things about my middle name. I've read things that say Maria means "sea of bitterness" which is awesome, but then I've found more entries that tell me Maria means "the perfect one" which is still interesting, but less so than "sea of bitterness". On the other hand, my last name, Recchia, means big ears or something in Italian. Hoo-fuckin-ray.

Others around me are more blessed with their names. Max means "great one", Tanis is an ancient Egyptian city (but I've also found another entry saying that it is the "Spanish abbreviation of the Slavic Estanislao 'make famous' from the name borne by several Slavic kings and three saints."), Amanda means "beloved", Carolina means "joy" and "song of happiness", Amina means "Peace and security", Alma means "soul", Travis means "from the crossroads", Chiara means "famous, light"... Yes. Yes, I have far too much free time.

I've always tried to figure out what I would change my name to if I could choose something new. Lately I've been becoming fond of the idea of just being called 'Lee'. The ambiguity of it appeals to me, unisex and open-ended. I've always liked girls with boy names, because it makes them sound tougher. Whenever I try it on in my head, I imagine myself grinning and shaking hands with someone in introduction. "I'm Lee" is short and to the point. I don't like the way people would assume it was spelled, as in Leah, because you just know everyone would pronounce it as "Lee-AH" and that's basically just Lisa without and S.

Tell me, what does your names mean? Do you like it? Does it fit you? And if you could change your name, what would you change it to? Something simpler, or more extravagant? Talk to me, people, let me know that you're still alive out there.

PS. You know you're in trouble when you're typing and typing away, and suddenly you look up and notice that it's dawn and day is breaking. Well, fook.

2 comments:

  1. I would tell you what my name means, but you told me, lol. I didn't know that, hopefully it fits me, I'd like to be famous...
    I never liked my name when I was younger, I wished I had a girlier and more common name, like Bridgitte or Kimberly (neither of which I really like now) or Emily or Sarah. It still kind of bugs me that my name is never available for personalised merchandise like keychains and mugs and things, but at least it's a name that most people can remember because the likelihood is that if they know any at all, they know only one or two other Tanis', so I like that. It's got a good ring to it, I guess, at least one that I'm so used to that it's weird to think about having any other name.
    I like the idea of the name Lee, it'd be hard to get used to, but I know what you mean about it sounding tougher. Lisa is a beautiful name but it isn't exactly unique

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  2. My full name, Sharareh, is something about passionate fire and it's some Persian poetic word. My brother's is Sahand and it means strength; it's the name of a mountain in Iran. I get really annoyed with people about shortening my name too. I've been using Sharra for the last five years and people STILL try to "Shar" me. I give them this look, "wtf is SHAR" Seriously, I already took off a syllable for your goddamn fumble-tongue whites and you still can't raise your tongue a little to make an ah? RAGE. Excuse my racism, I'm not as bad as I sound =P My point was, I understand where you're coming from on that x_x;

    As for my full name, I like it, but it's kind of weird to think that my boyfriend/husband/children will never be able to say it properly (hell, I can barely say it properly anymore ==).

    My last note: I love androgyny =)

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