Tuesday, July 16, 2019

What's In A Name?

I believe in names.  I go by Elle.  It isn't a name that I gave myself.  I was named for my aunt, Elvia.  I looked up the name.  It means, "The color yellow" and "Elfin" or "Friend of Elves."  This is not the name my mother planned for me.  She wanted to name me Melissa.  It became my middle name.  Melissa means "Honey Bee."  I'm a yellow, Elvish, Honey Bee.  My husband started calling me Elle.  He even came up with the spelling.  He thought it was fancier to have it spelled like the French pronoun and the magazine.  In high school and in a few of my jobs, I was called Ellie.  Ms. Kelly, my 9th grade homeroom teacher couldn't say my given name and asked me if I had a nickname.  My cousin, Brenda would call me Ellie so I told Ms. Kelly to call me Ellie.  When I graduated from high school and they announced my full name, David Diaz, who was sitting next to me asked, "Who is she?

My husband's name was James and he didn't have a middle name.  His father called him, Jimmy.  His best friends called him James.  He always thought that he was Latino, even though he wasn't.  I started calling him Santiago which he didn't mind.  I shortened it to Santi.  He hated that name.  I didn't care.  I called him and introduced him as Santi everywhere I go.  I remember that he bought me a couple's necklace and it had Santi and Elle in the middle.  So romantic!!!

When it came to naming the children, we had trouble.  We were going to name him Harry.  Then Harry Potter came out and we had to change it.  It was going to be Harry James.  We had to come up with another name.  It was a struggle.  At the time we were listening to Fred Hammond.  He had this worship album with a song about David.  I asked Santi if he wanted to name our baby boy, David.  David Lorenzo.  You see, back in New York when my father was alive, his favorite movie was Lorenzo's Oil.  It was based on a true story.  When my best friend, Joanne had Justin, I would watch him.  My father would just change his name to Lorenzo.  I knew that I would have to incorporate this name into a son's name.  It just so happens that Santi's dad's name was Larry.  Lorenzo in Italian.  So my boy became David Lorenzo.  David means "beloved."  He was a King after God's own heart.

Janet's name was worst.  Janet Monin is named after both of our mothers.  Janet was Santi's mother's name and Monin was my mother's nick name.  Her name was Ramonita.  No one called her that.  They called her Monin with the accent over the i.  It is pronounced MO-neen.  We were going to call her Sophia Jane, Amelie Virginia or Viola.  I wanted to name her Kehlani or Kaya.  We argued more about Janet's name than David's.  I agreed for our baby girl to be named after her grandmothers.  I remember filling out the paperwork right away when she was born and I cried a few days over because I hated the name.  I liked Janelle but Santi didn't like that name.  The nurses in NICU thought that Janet Miller sounded like a movie star name.  We went with Janet because Monin can easily be pronounced wrong.  Go on ahead and take a minute to see if you can mispronounce my daughter's middle name like a verb.  It's awful.  So she stayed Janet, a form of John.  It means, God's grace.  I think it explains why she is so nice.

My kids have no nicknames but I love to give nicknames and change names.  I think it is because I named them that I don't have any need to change them to a nickname.  I do change my boyfriends' name's  The weirdest one was Monkey.  His name was Mauricio.  I have a friend that is insisting on calling me a name I don't like.  I'm marinating on an awful name to call her.  I'll let you know how it goes.

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