Friday, 28 January 2011

What's In a name?

I'm sat here on my respite from the poorliness that has descended Inside the Wendy House.  The two youngest are struck down by this nasty bug that sets up home in the ears and throat rendering them into husky, grumpy and moany versions of themselves.  Bless them.   :(  Sleep has not been forthcoming for the last 48 hours and I am at that slightly spaced out stage of sleep deprivation where I feel certain that Tyler Durden will appear at any moment and try to sell me hand made soap made from the by-product of liposuction ( a little Fight Club reference case you're not a fan and think I've actually gone completely mad).

So, I'm sat here wondering what to do, to help my poor addled brain cling on to its last scrap of sanity before it shuts down and gives up the will to think!

My idea for this post has arisen from my daughter Kizzy who recently googled her name.  She approached me and said " Mum, am I a Hebrew?"  This, unexpected question that came from seemingly nowhere struck me dumb for a moment, until she continued "...because Kezia is Hebrew and it means tree bark."  It then made perfect sense and I was relieved that she wasn't intending to join the Kabbalah and wanted to check her credentials first.  But then she wanted to know why I named her after the outer coating of a deciduous tree.  This got me to thinking do name meanings actually influence our decisions as to what we call our baby?  Or is the process far more complex.

We've all read about celebrities naming offspring after the place where their child was conceived, started by the Beckhams and their little Brooklyn.  This trend has spread out across the class system with the birth of little Number 16 Bus Shelter in 2008!  Classy!  Sometimes, we give our precious baby the name of something special to us, which holds great meaning and affection...sad then that twins were given the name Benson and Hedges recently.  Poor creatures blighted to a life of social handicap in a world that is hard enough without being   named after a 20 pack of fags!

My own children's names were all deliberated over from the moment those pink lines appeared on the pregnancy test.  With a mix of excitement and a sense of enormity for the responsibility, I came up with five perfect names!!

Anyone who watched Blue Peter in the early 80's will remember the amazing man Joey Deacon.  Born with severe cerebral palsy and institutionalised as a child, he was virtually written off by society.  However, despite this, with the help of his friends, he wrote his memoirs "Tongue Tied" and went on to be quite a celebrity.  His influence on my life was immense...his triumph over adversity was inspirational.  So much so, that when I went to a fair and won a goldfish, I called it Joey!   Seven years later, my first born son was born.  What else could I call him...

At the time Megan was quite a rare name in the UK.  People would comment on it and ask if I was Welsh.  Since then it hasn't dropped out of the top ten baby names for girls, much to my daughter's disgust.  She wanted a name as rare and beautiful as an exotic flower...instead she wound up common!  Her name was a bolt out of the blue decision that came to me whilst watching Jamie Lee Curtis in Blue Steel.  

The amazing Ella Fitzgerald was the inspiration behind our daughter's name.  How did we know she was destined to be the musical one!!!  Coincidentally, when we were first together, me and Ian liked the group The The and their song Love is Stronger than Death was played at our wedding. the in Spanish and the in French.  So there you have it!!  Cosmic powers at work!!

She was not named after tree bark, she was named after the main character from the book The Diddakoi and its TV adaptation, about a little Gypsy girl....Kizzy.  Shown in 1976, the drama about a little outsider who found it difficult to conform, really resonated with me.    The lonely, sullen girl was someone I related to.  Thankfully, my Kizzy is the antithesis of this.  She is gregarious, funny, friendly and adventurous...reality did not imitate art.  I am most pleased!  Kizzy was delighted to meet a fellow Kezia in the Sea Life Centre at Chessington who was also named after the Diddakoi.  I am not the only one!

My baby boy, my late life gift who made my family complete could have only been honoured with a name that truly meant something to us.  He had to have the name of the best nightmare, dream stalking, knife gloved, stripy jumpered, fedora wearing horror icon.  My beautiful baby's namesake is indeed Freddy Krueger.  

So where did your children's names come from?  


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