Wednesday, April 26, 2006
Another reason I read Steve Sailer: for posts like this, which are just too dog-goned funny.
On the subject of names: my stepmother has four sisters and three brothers. For their sons, her parents chose relatively straightforward names. But for the daughters, they decided to recombine the syllables of their own names to make the kids names. The results were (I'm not sure I'm going to spell these all correctly):
and the most unfortunate of the lot,
which really should be the name of a pharmaceutical, not a person.
Of course, since my stepmother is from the Philippines, none of the girls actually got called by these names, but rather by their nicknames. Which, of course, following Philippine custom, had nothing recognizably to do with their given names. Which of the girls do you imagine was nicknamed Ping-ping? Ling-ling? Day-day? See what I mean?
I love names. I can spend hours playing with the site like this one.
This business of giving imaginative names to girls has a long pedigree - Job, for example, after God restores him at the end of the book, has new children and, in a departure from typical custom, we are told the names of the daughters but not the names of the sons. The daughters are named: Jemimah ("little dove"), Keziah ("sweet spice"), and Keren-Happuch ("horn of eyeshadow"). I have always thought that the whimsy of these names is related to the point of the Book of Job, to Job's appreciation of the abundance of life as the most adequate answer that can be made to the problem of apparently unjust suffering or "natural evil" in the world.
Incidentally, did you know that the Masons have a girls affiliate named Job's Daughters? Me neither. Isn't the internet cool?