Wednesday, June 21, 2006

On names.

"What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other word would smell as sweet."

Romeo and Juliet (II, ii, 1-2)


Well, let me tell you. from personal experience, that the name thing is actually pretty darn important. Any child who has borne the burden of having an unusual name can relate to that feeling of dread at the start of every school year. As the teacher stands at the head of the classroom, list in hand, ready for roll call ... the thought of once again, having your name butchered before a room full of kids is something no poor child should have to suffer through. Ever. I can still remember all the pathetic variations I was forced to endure when they got to my name. You could see the poor teacher pause, brows furrowed, as they tried to figure out how to pronounce the seemingly simple collection of letters before them.


WTF??? It wasn't bad enough that I was usually the only brown face in the classroom. I also had the weird ass name that no one could ever get right. Nothing like setting your kid up for a lifetime of grief and self doubt like slapping a bizarro name on her. And spare me the lecture on the joys of having an unusual name, a unique name, or the pride that comes with being "different" and "special." No kid growing up in upstate ny, amidst a sea of conformity wants to be friggin special. At least my name hasn't ended up on this list of "horrid" ones out there. Yet.

And the torture continues to this day. On the one hand though, I always know when it's a telemarketer calling because by now, people I know can pronounce my name.

Thus, when it came time to name my monkeys, I was pretty set on making it simple and sweet. It has to be pronounceable. It has to be easy to spell. It has to be something that won't land the kid on some terrorist watch list somewhere. I don't ask for much.

At the same time though, I still felt the urge to separate myself and my child from the herd of blandness out there. I revised my name criteria to something slightly different, but still pronounceable. Easy enough. And the nice thing about having a girl is that there seems to be a greater flexibility with names. There are just a lot more "good" names out there for girls, I think. Pretty names, creative names, names that allow for cute nickname variants.

So, for those of you asking, we have decided on a name for the monkey-on-the-way. She'll be named Samina Pearl Trimarchi.

Mina for short, which is a name I've always loved. And Pearl is actually the English translation of my name. Samina (or Sameena, as I've also seen it spelled) can be translated to mean beautiful or healthy (also plump!), depending on what baby name website you visit.

I hope she likes it. Or at the least, I hope she doesn't cringe every semester when roll call begins. And if she hates it, well...she can blog about it herself some day. Or complain to her therapist. I'm sure I can give her plenty to talk about.
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