The Name Game

I grew up in a small rural town in central Pennsylvania where almost every citizen and cow (or so it seemed) had a nickname. My dad's gang of friends included Big Red, Chief and Whitey. Most of his stories start with, "Well his name was Mike but everyone called him..." I never heard of a place that had more people with aliases...until I met Mo.

Jamaica takes the nickname to a new level. Most people have more than one and some have so many that their legal given name seems lost to all eternity. Specky, Crab, Wizbert, Busha, Dick-o, Short Don, Boss Man, King, Bamboo are just some that I've come to meet. It is the usual custom to be bestowed with the name from your crew of friends. Rarely does the bearer choose their own. And normally the name is a reflection of some character trait.

When it comes to given names, they can be just as creative. In fact, the radio station I listen to every morning has a name segment where they speak to a caller about how their unique name came to be. People have called in with names such as Luxembourg Salmon, Ronnique, Fennek, Picard, Dan-I and Tallamari.

In the spirit of our new home (and to protect the privacy of the children) I have used nicknames for all of us in this blog. However, I write this because of all the raised eyebrows I have gotten over Song's real name. It's really not that unusual and given some of the names I just listed above...pretty simple...two syllables...four letters...and it sounds like a song when you say it. Regardless of the raised eyebrows, I think it is a beautiful name for a beautiful baby and I hope she doesn't trade it in for another...


Heather said…
You know I'm laughing, right?

I think it's the perfect name...and you're a wonderful mother. Don't let anyone judge you for a name. The same thing happened to us when we adopted Jack. No one liked what his name really is either.

Hope you're OK from the hurricane too...thinking of you and sending lots of love!
Elissa said…
Are you kidding me?!?!? I LOVE Song's name -- it's super beautiful, and it truly does have a sing-song quality to it. I get raised eyebrows with Maeve's name, too -- comments like "WHAT is her name?", "Say that one more time?", My favorite, "HOW it that spelled?" , "How interesting...", and don't forget the blank stare... where I feel like I have to explain that her name is an ancient celtic name of a warrior queen. Ugh. But these names fit these children like a glove. I can't imagine Maeve or Song being named anything else!
Rae said…
thank you ladies. i'm keeping my sense of humor over it especially given so many of the wild names i've encountered down here. i did get one compliment on her name when we went to the halloween party at the cultural center. i feel like if we were in brooklyn it would start a new trend. and shine actually had a friend named maeve in brooklyn and we knew a few other maeves in the neighborhood too. i think it's a great name!! again, thanks for your love :)