09 April 2014

Inconsistent Names

Do you have a name that has been given to you but it is inconsistent with your current sense of identity?

When I lived and worked in London, I had a friend whose parents were originally from India.  My friend was even more English than me in her attitudes, speech and manners.  She had lived in the south of England all her life.  She had never been to India.  All her friends and work colleagues were of Anglo-Saxon origin.  All the activities and events we shared were very English indeed.

I now have an Italian surname.  I am not Italian.  My husband is not Italian.  He has been an Australian all his life.  Both his parents were born in Australia.  Our culture is mainly that of educated, socially aware, environmentally conscious, well-travelled, reasonably well-informed, English-speaking people.

If your name is inconsistent with your social identity, you may feel as if you are a blue rose even though everyone says you are a pink one!

25 January 2014

Identity Through Nicknames

Part of my identity derives from a name given to me by a neighbour when we were both four years of age.  She had a speech impediment causing her to say my name in a way my parents had never intended. The name has stuck - though I have long lost track of that little girl.  She moved away from where we lived sometime around the age of seven.

Odd pronunciations of names, as well as nicknames and diminutive terms of affection can linger long after our personal sense of identity has gone through many changes. How many aspects of your life are the same now as they were when you were four years old?

09 December 2013

In the Name of History

Does your name have a special place in history?

Has your name had a different spelling over the centuries, or in different places?

Do you have the same name as one of your great grandparents?

Were you named after someone of historical importance? 

Why do people often have a preference for particular names in one location and those names are less popular elsewhere?

Why were some names popular in the past but are no longer so?

Why do some names come back into fashion?