Thursday, January 10, 2008


Names are always fascinating. Why is someone name as such? Can a person’s name reflect his personality? Can a person’s name describe him? Can a name break or make a person? Such questions arise about names.

There are a lot of funny things and inconveniences regarding names. Like name-calling and teasing, where a person gets hurt when being branded with insults and insulting names. Or when your name got misspelled in your birth certificate; either you adopt the misspelled name in the certificate, or use the name you supposed to have by having a lengthy and costly legal procedure.

It’s fun and interesting sometimes to find the meaning of your name, or why you are given such name (there was a book in our high school library that has the meanings of some modern-name names, and we planned to steal it but never did. Actually, it was the only book in the library that got our clique [CCC] got interested in). Like those guys in the Bible, who’s names’ meaning were really appropriate with whom they are as persons. Parents named their children because of a combination of their names, or named their children after a favorite celebrity or other idols (I know of kids who were named Sidney Sheldon, Agatha Christie… and someone who was named after the Queen of Pop). Or like the Negro slaves after being emancipated were given the privilege to choose their own surnames.

Our stat prof told us about a former student who had Becile as surname, and a middle initial of M, and therefore goes, M. Becile. There was also another former student of his with the surname Moron, and the name of Alexander. Alex was an excellent varsity runner, and he was nicknamed "Alexander the Great" after the famous Macedonian conqueror of the past. But my prof, ever playful, told Alex, "You may be a great runner. But to me, you are still Alexander The Great Moron." I also have a schoolmate of mine, my junior, in high school, whose surname was being joked about in our clique like "She probably despises her father", or "I bet she’ll marry soon to get rid of her surname." It is because her surname was "Penis".

My father has a namesake who is a convicted rapist – to our family’s amusement. If you search engined my father’s name in the Internet, you’ll find in the results, among his blogs and articles, a court article about someone who has the same name and was convicted of rape. Another story like this was of some teacher of mine in the past who was refused by the NBI in giving a clearance because she has a namesake who was a wanted smuggle and thought that she and the smuggler was one. Talk about inconvenience.

Some people hate their names that they rechristened themselves with nicknames. Like Nancy Drew’s friend Georgia Fayne who does not like her given name but prefers to be called George instead, and gets mad if you call her by “Georgia”, her given name. for my part, I like to be called “Bernel” instead of “Frenson”. Only my mother, two high school professors, and a stubborn friend and batchmate survived after calling me “Frenson.”. To friends and relatives, I am “Nel” and “Bernz” (my real nickname is “Nel”… some classmates [or was it churchmates?] started “Bernz”). But I like “Nel” better.

Nicknames are as fun as names. William is a Bill, Robert is a Bob, Richard is a Dick, and John is a Jack… and I don’t know why. Some nicks are made because of someone’s character or reflects or summarize him as a person like “The Great” (Napoleon, Catherine, Alexander, etc.) or “Iron Lady” (Margaret Thatcher); or animal references like Pig (greedy), Fox (cunning), Snake (treachery) or Sloth (laziness); or because simply it was a shortening of the name like Tim for Timothy and Jess for Jessica.

But even is a nickname or name makes or break you, defined or discredits you, has goodwill or notoriety, lovely to hear or funny or offending, a name is just a name without the person. The person himself is the one important; since it is the one give justice or injustice to the name given or attached to him.

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