What’s in a name?

For day 7 of #blogjune

The other day @flexnib let me know about a great blog post by @VaVeros about her name, No one rips the ass out of Vassiliki, and it got me thinking.

Our library had a visitor from Israel yesterday and I checked the pronunciation of his name with him because I wasn’t sure, and I was going to be introducing him and it would have been terrible for him to hear me mispronouncing his name to everyone. It must get annoying though, even when people are well meaning.

My official first name is Anthony but all through my childhood I hated it and as soon as I got to university I took it as an opportunity for a clean break and became Tony. I quite like Anthony now, but it’s too late to go back, although it’s still my official name so I usually use it for appointments with doctors and dentists — things can get awkward when the name on the dentist’s invoice doesn’t match the name on your health insurance policy.

So I made my appointment as Anthony with the optometrist last week, who was also named Anthony, and along the way we started calling each other Tony, but when we went to look at frames he started calling me “Tone” which I thought was maybe a little too familiar for someone I’d barely met (I wouldn’t mind it from a friend though.)

daviesMy mother was always annoyed that people in Australia would mispronounce our name Davies (as day-veez) because it should be pronounced like Davis. I believe that Davis is the anglicized spelling of the Welsh name, but then I wondered if even Davies must be an earlier anglicized form because there’s no letter V in Welsh. I think I must pronounce my surname somewhere between the two because people often write down my name as Davis and if I’m on the phone I always spell it out, otherwise they look up Davis and can’t find me.

You know, I probably would have hated a Welsh first name growing up, but now I think it would be great. Everyone will think immediately of Dafydd from Little Britain, but I do think it’s a great name. If you are fans of Dafydd you’ll probably think of another Welsh name Myfanwy which was my great grandmother’s name. I have an old photo of me as a tiny baby in her arms. My father’s name was Alan and I think I think it might have been nice to have his name, but I’d prefer the Welsh spelling Alun.

And then there’s my mother’s name, but that’s a #blogjune post for tomorrow.


5 responses to “What’s in a name?

  1. Names and how they change over a lifetime — and who calls you what — are so interesting. I was never “Steve” until I started my current job. I’ve grown to like it. And my father was known variously as Durward, Sonny, or Woody, depending on who he was interacting with.

    • One of my brothers is Stephen, the other two brothers have always been known by their middle names which has always been a bit confusing for them! Your father’s names are all great!

      ps: feel free to sign up for the #blogjune challenge, if not this year then maybe next? It’s an informal group of librarians from Australia and NZ but I believe we have someone from South Africa this year!

  2. Pingback: What’s in my name | There she goes

  3. Pingback: Ideas incubutor | Ideas come from everything

  4. libstitchnbitch

    I mispronounced Con and Michael’s name at VALA Wee-brands and I am still devastated by that! People I hardly know call me Kimmy and Kimbo very familiar and taking a liberty I believe. I just don’t see you as a Tones.
    My name is pronounced Kum :o)

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