Monday, January 14, 2008


Since I was little I've been fascinated by names. My sisters and I created a game we very cleverly called "The Name Game" in which we found unusual names in a name book, wrote them down on paper, and drew them out of a basket to create names. We were obviously quite easily entertained. Some of our favorites included Honoria and Cordie-Cordie. We named all of our dolls, we talked about names for our children someday, we went through great rituals in choosing names for make believe or paper dolls. If a name could be chosen for something, we went to great lengths to choose the perfect name.
With such a background, I find myself listening to names at the store where I work. Today I was intrigued by a mother and her three children--who were incidentally undoing all the tidying work I did in the kid's section. Throughout the course of their lengthy and noisy stay back in my section I heard her call the kids Hattie, Mabel, and Nash. I am familiar with the first two names, but only through literature in my childhood (Hattie Be Quiet, Hattie Be Good and The Grandma's Attic Series). But I've never heard the name Nash. The names didn't seem to fit the tow-headed kids, either. Another name I heard today was Sally. This obviously isn't a strange name, but I realized that I've never seen a Sally that looked like a Sally. And therefore, I'm not sure what a Sally should look like. It seems more like a fictitious name and not something a real person should have.
Back in my first semester of college I had a teacher called Estrella Sybinsky. She was a strange and flighty woman who seemed more concerned with the birds and the bees than the American Government we were to study. She called role every class and she never seemed to know where I was in the room--as I am a creature of habit, I always sat in the same seat and I always sat with the same two guys who she always knew. Finally one day she looked at me after seeing me respond to my name (for the record she said the last name and then the first name which I found a little bothersome) and said, "You just don't look like a Stephanie." I asked what I looked like and she thought for a moment and replied, "I don't know, maybe a Tiffany." Now I ask you, how different is Stephanie from Tiffany? Honestly they both kind of sound like preppy, cheerleader girls from the late 80s, early 90s. This is of course my personal stereotype and not one that I fit at all. :) But still, the names sound pretty similar to me. However, I am quite happy my parents chose Stephanie because I personally prefer it over Tiffany. And there is something to be said for contentment.


Alaina said...

Oh the name game. :) We entertained ourselves for HOURS! And cracked ourselves up with the funny names...

Tiff, I mean Stephanie, (oops, I get so confused) :) I still really love names.

Heather L. said...

i think you must have put the lady on the spot and she was struggling to come up with a name because Tiffany is really TOO close to Stephanie. (Besides, what a thing to say to someone!!!!!)

Names can be very interesting...we always get a Christmas card from a family with kids named things like Bridge, Gage, Tate, etc.

Rebecca said...

Tom and I have so much fun thinking of crazy names when it comes to choosing names for offspring. :) I hope our kids are just as satisfied with their names when they grow up.
Can I just say that I'm so glad your name is Stephanie! :)

jeremy said...

You probably misheard her. She actually said "Tuffy" in Taking Care of Business. You look like you could be Tuffy. Not necessarily a bully...nor the Tuffy of Tuffy Muffler fame....just Tuffy...or maybe she said Taffy. I'm not sure. It could be Taffy Judd...which sounds like somebody who means to say "Daffy Duck" while holding their tongue.

Am I hereby kicked off your blog yet?


Michelle said...

Jeremy - if I can be so blunt - you're crazy - are you trying to get banned from Steph's blog...Stephanie's name fits her very well...She does NOT fit the "stereotype" but it is a good name for her...

I don't see her as a "Tiffany"!

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