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Names…Ever Actually Thought About Them?

Names names names. Have you ever actually sat down and thought about them–apart from the times when you put your beer on the table, wonder what you will call your future kids, then pick your beer back up and thank your lucky stars you’re not at that point yet?

I never think about my own name. Usually I’ll just respond to it. “Cassidy, will you take the dog out?” “Hey Cass, do you want to grab a drink?” Or if you’re at that obnoxious level: “Your name’s Cassidy? I’ll just call you ‘Cass’ or ‘Cassie’ to shorten it.” Um, no you will not. But sometimes, such as now, I’ll actually ponder over the identitying characteristics ‘Cassidy’ gives me.

What do you think of your own name, and what it does for you? Or maybe other names? When I hear ‘Harry’ my mind automatically flits to Harry Potter, a small smile subtly dawning over me as I experience feel-good memories of nostalgia about all the times I’ve read that series…and there were a lot of times. When someone mentions ‘Helene,’ I think, “How unique,” before remembering it’s my mom’s name, that she has a name other than ‘mom.’ When a person tells me their name is Adolf, well, I just feel bad for that person.

I’ve always looooooved names that start with the letter ‘J.’ I attest it to the sturdy smoothness as its bottom curves out, balanced by the strong horizontal line on the top that forms an almost umbrella of protection. Granted, that’s how I write my ‘J’s. Don’t pay attention to these typed ones–they’re deceiving you.

Jill. Jesse. Joooooooel. Jenna. Jasper. Even the weaker-sounding Jimmy. That beginning letter promises such suave confidence–except for Joe, although I believe such a prejudice stems from the memory of some girl in the 1st grade devouring a cafeteria Sloppy Joe sandwich and getting it all over her face. Ughhhhhhh.

I’ve always wondered what people think when they hear my name for the first time, or if they’ve never met me but know they will. It’s probably like being on a blind date.

‘I’m meeting Carl for a drink. Carl. Car-rl. Caaaaaaaaa-rlllll. His face will be round and open, with big, blueberry baby eyes , wide, wide like the Caaaaaaa in Caaaaaaaarrrrrl. But then his nose will be hooked and slightly scrunched, in mimicry of the rl, and based upon pre-existing events of my next-door-neighbor, the very same who ran over my pet hamster and laughed, he will, more than likely, be the definition of douchebag, before turning into Rick Grimes, yelling Coooooooooooral, and shooting up some zombies.’

Or:

‘Oooooh ahh. They call her Lily, short for Lillian. I met her on the Internet, a site so mundane for one titled after such a flower of the fairy forest. Her smile will spread like a waking blossom, but her limbs will dance as though a delicate stem. Skin of pure-white, she’ll glide as lightly as petals falling, and I’ll sigh in sheer, serene bliss when the way my tongue gently touches the top of my mouth breathes those two syllables: Li-ly.’

And then she turns out to be a 500lb 13 year-old boy who had nothing better to do than troll you.

Despite being a writer and English major, I’m not one of those people who over-analyze names when I meet a person–I’m usually too busy forgetting them after two seconds of shaking hands–but sometimes I’ll wonder who somebody might be like upon seeing a name:

Checks future classmates on roster. “Hmm, Alice? Probably tripping out in Wonderland somewhere. Charlie, sounds like s coke head. I think I’ll sit next to Faith every time I take a test. Adolf? Well, I just feel bad for that person.”

…Just kidding. I’m not that judgmental, although it is interesting to see what effects names have on you? Let me know if you have any thoughts! 🙂

Also, here’s a picture of Snoopy

image

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11 thoughts on “Names…Ever Actually Thought About Them?”

  1. I laughed at “Your name’s Cassidy? I’ll just call you Cass or Cassie to shorten it.” Um, no you will not.” Story of my life… Oh, your name’s Johnzelle? I’ll call you John, Johnny, Johnzie, etc. To me, Johnzelle is unique (to others, borderline ghetto). Though I don’t its uniqueness go to my head, it is a reminder that there’s something about all of us that sets us apart. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I actually think quite a bit about names (even what I name my characters) even though, like you I forget them easily when it comes to one on one personal relationships. I don’t necessarily over think them but I do believe something my mother taught me: “Names are just words you speak repeatedly over people.” Since I believe that words do have power I do believe they help shape who a person is even is it’s not obvious.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I definitely agree with you. I’d look at myself differently if I was named Samantha or Kimberly or something else. And the only time I really, really think about names is, as you mentioned, coming up with characters.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Exactly. I dislike my name, it’s terribly common, I always wondered where my ‘fiery’ streak came from…come to find out my middle name “Louise” means “Warrior Maid.” Go figure.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Right off the bat, the ball flew, was caught by a fan in the stand, whom shall remain nameless. In other words, truly enjoyed this post. Very thought provoking. That is important

    Like

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