April 15, 2014

N for Names!!!

What's in a name? Does it matter? Do you like your name? I like mine. I had always wondered how parents came up with the names of their kids. My parents rather mom named me Prudhvi Latha. Prudhvi means earth and Latha means a plant creeper. Does that mean I am plant creeper on earth? Makes sense or sounds weird? In my growing up years and later as well, many would ask me, isn't Prudhvi a boy's name? I washed it with a smile at first. Later when I learnt to apply logic in life, I would retort back saying, "Prudhvi means earth. Earth is a stri ling (A feminine gender) and Akash (Sky) is a pum ling (A masculine gender). In my head I would curse, you dumbos...since Pruthvi Raj Chauhan or Pruthvi Raj Kapoor are males doesn't mean that girls cannot be name Prudhvi. I always boasted that I had the most unique name in this world.

In school, I had a classmate named John Ramesh Khan. We giggled when heard it for the first time. Like many wonders that I wonder, I wondered about it too.  Nearly after two decades of leaving high school, I met him on FB. Ramesh xxxxxx. The face looked similar I thought. When inquired, he informed that our Principal advised to change it for better. Though Ramesh had the most secular name and his mom was very pious, he never gave much importance to religion or god. On a conversation, he said he felt proud of his name and may be subconsciously groomed himself. I think a person’s name contributes to his personality.

Talking of unique names, these days parents are in the quest for uniqueness. The rarer the name, the more unique it is. Some of the unique names I heard in recent times are Krishay, Arnesh (sounds like varnish to me), Akira, Aishli, Ruru, Aranyak, Acanda (does it rhyme to Anaconda) Daaruk, Daarun, Ehimay (like himilay) oh the list could go on and on.

When trying to name my son, we had a choice of letters to choose from Ru, Re, Ro and Ta. (If not for my dear grandma, I wouldn’t have named him after his birth star). As we didn’t get a name, we called him Rurerota for a while. :P My son is Rushik and he always goes with that extra sheeek in the cheek. Amulya becomes Amelia or Emulya.

Living in the U.S, Indian names are cacophonic to the locals here. They are surprised that every Indian name has a meaning to it. Someone named their kid Harshit and his teacher called him Her-shit. Nikhil in my team is baptised as Nee-kill. Each time he is called, the Indian inside me screams, ohh please don’t kill him, he is too young. Shravan reformed into Chevron, Venu is pronounced as Menu, Valli is Valley,  Don’t think I am not one of the bali ka bakras. If I tell them Prudhvi, they would do a somersault to say it. So, I go by Latha. Do you think they get it right? Latha becomes Latte. But, yours truly doesn’t let them go. When I am able to say Schwarzenegger, can’t they say Latha? This is how I teach them. Say “Thai, thigh” ..that’s how soft the ‘t’ is; not Latte. 

There was a new team mate. She introduced herself as Samantha. After the introductory Hellos, I looked back, “Samantha?? Is that your full name?” She smiles and says, “No. Samantika actually.” I try not to scratch my head and think. Poor girl, would I leave her alone? I bug her again, I never heard a name like that. Then came the real story. Her actual name is Samantakamani a.k.a Samantika a.k.a Samantha Okay! Okay! I'm stopping now...before you run away..

So, what’s the name story you have got to share? 

Disclaimer: Any names used in this post are purely unintentional. No offense to anyone.

36 comments:

  1. Well, my name is srividhya, it has the most profound meaning,, "the goddess of knowledge" but no one can pronounce it properly, so I have been masquerading as Sri, mmh easy right like in srilanka. But no, my name is changed to other nouns like "tree" other names like "Trish". Well thats the price I pay for living in Australia where there are suburbs like Woolloomooloo. Maybe we should consider Indianizing western name. Now that would be fun.
    James would be Jagannath
    Steve would be Srinivas
    Harry would be Harshad
    Krystene would be Karishma
    Michelle would be madhumala and so on
    Good topic darl!

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    1. I know right...every srinivas is Srini...haha that was a good one...we need to Indianise their names :P Thanks darling!!

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  2. They silent the J in my name and call me Pooa. Also, husband has renamed himself as Aby because Abhay becomes too difficult to pronounce. Loved this one! Made me laugh. Poor Harshit.

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    1. Oh godd...Pooa kya re..Pooja is such short n sweet name...we all need to have an American version of our names..

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  3. :) I still remember Kathy pronounce Latha as Latte.... :P

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  4. :) I still remember Kathy pronounce Latha as Latte.... :P

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  5. Ha ha, I know what you mean. My sis in law in Chicago has named her kids very smartly- a sweet mix of Indo American. And yet the pronunciation differs. Her girls are called Annika and Manya. Annika becomes Ann, more often than not. LOL Her Shit.

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    1. Your SIL has vision of future :) Manya is nice..many people are naming Anika which sounds both Indian and foreign at the same time...glad you enjoyed the post, thank you for reading :)

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  6. I recently wrote a post about my name and I was really wondering what to write and then asked people what they think about my name and made a compilation of it and posted!

    ~S(t)ri
    Participant|AtoZ Challenge 2014
    Smile, it makes (y)our day!

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  7. Good one Prudhvi :) Enjoyed reading it. I understand that in US though many Americans have names of multiple syllables, they use single syllable nick names. Like Tom for Thomas, Bob for Robert, Bill for William for ease.

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    1. They try to make life simpal and we harD :D

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  8. Haha I wrote on the same topic and I have suffered for 30 years with my name. The first question I get when I mention my name is 'isn't it a boy's name' and I am like 'what am I supposed to do? I did not get a say when my name was chosen :)' And yes these Americans have a way of butchering Indian names. My onsite team members pronounce my name as Praaassaaannaaa :)

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    1. Hahaha..Prasssaannnaaa...pleasant name...I know some names like chaitanya, ramana are named for both boys and girls..will check your post too :)

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  9. Funny post. I had a neighbor whose daughter was named Jabala because she was born while they were at Jabalpur.
    When I first heard one of my American friends address me as 'Shail' I was mighty impressed he got it right, first try. Most Northies pronounce my as 'Shelja' as if saying 'Shailaja' is such a difficult task. :P

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    1. LOL...Shelja kya re baap....shailaja or sailaja is such simple name...Jabala ...my goodness...jalebi jaisa hai sun ne ke liye...poor girl

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  10. Well my name is Nabanita...It apparently was the name of a character in one Bengali serial...and it means star...I love it and I feel there is no other name that could describe me more..but I guess I would feel the same with any other name :)

    N for Nauseated-Random Thoughts Naba

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    1. Nice meaning right? No wonder you love your name :) It would have been Navaneetha in South India :)

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  11. Hahaha..well my name is Sfurti. And I don't want to share incidents about how much my name has suffered. It would need a full book dedicated to it :P

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    1. Ohhoo...I can totally relate to your story..Sfurti is hard re...for ordinary people also...in south India, they would write it is as sphoorthi...but nice name :)

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  12. That was a funny narration Prudhvi :) If U want to feel relieved just think NO ONE spells my name or pronounces it correctly not in USA but in INDIA. I till date dont understand Y is my name is so tough- AFSHAN
    Some bengalis and biharis call it afsoon
    some call it afsaan
    I gave up on few ppl :P but had good laughs reading this .
    Dropping by frm A to Z

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    1. Hahaha...Afshan tho bahut aasan hai na...may be they don't say the 'sh' part...I would have called Afsan if I didn't know your spelling :) Thanks for reading, dear!

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  13. Even I am in love with my name. I haven't suffered much :D I love its uniqueness and wonder if I will gift my children a good name like my parents did! :)

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    1. You will, don't worry :) Just give a meaningful and simple to say name, they wouldn't mind :)

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  14. I have never really liked my name. It is OK I guess but I am always a bit startled when I hear it. That is why when I became pregnant I set out to find the prettiest nicest names I could for my kids. To my knowledge they are fairly pleased with my choices. ♥

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    1. Really Kathy? was there a reason you didn't like your name? You should have changed it :P What are the beautiful names you choose for your kids? would love to know them :)

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  15. I don't tell my name to 90% people I meet offline; they never get it. I give them my first name only. Nearly all people I 'meet' online ask me what my REAL name is. When I tell them Dagny IS my real name, they get offended... as if I am trying to pull a fast one on them. :(

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    1. Even I wondered many times what your real name is :) I wanted to go with my blog name as well..but as I entered my name for some of the wordpress blogs initially, people slowly knew my name and now am okay...pretty comfortable with it :)

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  16. I liked this post laced in humor.I believe names should be short and not contain names of native place,family ,caste and father. as in some parts of country.Names should be compatible with personality as far as possible.

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    1. Thank you for reading, KP sir. The shorter sweeter the better I believe :)

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  17. You know I find it so strange that people are going all out to keep weird name for their kids. There is a boy named Kaushik who is regularly called cow-shit by children. The weirdest one I heard was Anwanshika and Vyakta.When I named my kids, I just wanted them to have names they won't be ashamed of when they grow up :). And yes, I know all about the US thing. I have seen the weirdest of spellings so that they can gel with the local crowd.

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    1. My goodness...Koushik is so simple and yet they crucify it...Yeah, your kids have cute simple names....I heard one name Aranyak! Donno what he will be called...I think parents don't think it is weird when they name them...it might sound like honey to their ears could be :)

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  18. While it wouldn't be fun to have Americans mispronounce your Indian name, imagine having Americans mispronounce your AMERICAN name! I have a very American name, but it is spelled differently. It is spelled wrong and pronounced wrong all the time. I used to HATE the spelling of my name when I was a child, but I'm okay with it now. So I named my kids short names that absolutely COULD NOT be misspelled or mispronounced. And yet, it still happens to them. Maybe it just says something about my fellow Americans...?

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  19. What an interesting post. Yes, there is much to be said about Names -- I also find it interesting when you "grow" into your name and there are also those people whose name just does not suit them. All my life, I was called a different name by strangers because that was what I "looked" like, I guess.

    Carol @ Battered Hope

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  20. My name is Joyce because my parents were full of joy at my birth. Plus, Joyce was my mom's dolls name.

    http://joycelansky.blogspot.com

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