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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Name Game

July 12, 2011: I see now that my heartfelt Blah-ugh! entries don't generate half the interest that my scathing rants do, so I'll revert (or evolve, depending on your point of view) back to addressing only those issues and topics that I feel can generate the most angst and venom, or humor -- whichever comes first ...

That said, I've pretty thoroughly criticized everyone based on looks, their ethnicity, their stupid religions, and even the way they walk (I'm talking to you, you duck walkers!), but I don't think I've ever taken the time to really gnaw on the silliness of people's names.

Names are interesting and intriguing, and can even tell a lot about an individual based on their epistomology (I think that's the word, or it might be "wordography," but I think you get my meaning.) Everyone knows MY name translates to "one with mighty spear," which of course says all that needs to be said about me. But what about the rest of you?

I turned to my daughter's name book to explore a few definitions, consider a few inconsistencies, and generally squeeze for material with which to make fun of others, which is, after all, at the heart of what I do.

Before I go any farther, can you believe that this version (called "100,000+ Baby Names") actually condones the name "Anfernee," calling it a version of Anthony. I've long known this was a name only an illiterate could generate, and despite the popularity of its' sole recipient (of basketball fame, of course), it's always been a weird reminder to me of how an eternally guilt-festered society will let some people get away with anything. That said, WHY NOT Anfernee, for where do new names come from anyway, if not illiterates? (Who the hell thought to turn "Ann" into "Anne" after all?) Why not Infernee? or Assfurry? It's a debate I want no part of, but I just want you to consider all the facts before you jump to conclusions ... E.J.!

Thumbing through this thorough volume, I'm delighted and repelled by the quaint variety and dashingly stupid selection. "Curipan" is a Mapuche name for a boy, meaning "stinging nettle." Now who the hell would name their child Curipan, or even Pan for that matter. (Ironically, Pan doesn't even show up in this book -- probably the only name in the known universe that doesn't, because they have "Panini," believe it or not, which doesn't actually mean "sandwich"!) Further, what or where is Mapuche, and should we recognize anything that comes out of what must certainly be a devilishly weird region, and probably a dangerous one!? ...

Turning to the girls, there are a wide variety of "Sha" names, which are all American in origin, if you can believe such a thing. "Shalisa" is (and I quote) "a combination of the prefix Sha + Lisa," while "Shalita" is "a combination of the prefix Sha + Lita. If we're going to use prefixes, perhaps we can get more creative -- or more traditional. Why not use "Pre" as a prefix, for, say, "Prelisa" ... or "Prementrual." Could we not call a girl "Antibellum" or Antilita," meaning someone who is against being Lita ... or Lacklita ... or Lackluster ... (Did I mention MY name means "one with an enormous and dangerously sharp spear"?)

Other names bring strange meanings directly to life, like "Brieanne" (sorry Brianne & Brianna!) which literally combines "a type of cheese" with "gracious," or to simplify it -- "gracious cheese!" "Ottah" means "thin baby," while "Oya" means "speaking of the jacksnipe," (and we all know how often we speak of jacksnipes, especially in the privacy of our homes).

Some names make perfect sense. For instance "Akbar" means "great," and we all know what a great comic Akbar & Jeff is. "Alacrino" means "alive & outgoing," and who's ever been to a party where the center of life didn't flow from all the Alacrinos there ...

And did I mention MY name, which means "ye with enormous and crafty spear"? ...

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