What’s in a name?

Jakedog

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I’ve never liked my name. Ever.

Even as a child, I hated it. It just never felt like me. I never identified with it. It’s not a bad name. It doesn’t carry any real negative connotations. It’s just not who I am. I knew from the time I was old enough to answer to it.

I started going professionally by my initials in 2005. GS Harper. Not a “real” name, but I didn’t have anything I liked better, and name changes legally are whole ball of cheese anyhow that I really don’t feel like pursuing. And I have no idea what I’d choose anyway. I just know I have always hated mine.

My biggest backlash has always come from my mother. It’s understandable. She named me. It meant a lot to her when she did it. But it’s… just not me. Never has been.

Huge bridge crossed tonight. She addressed me as GS in a public social media post. I about fell over.

Over the years, I’ve posted here several times about our very contentious relationship. I don’t get along with my mother. At all. I haven’t, well, ever. But this blew my mind. Totally.

I’ll be 49 on Sunday. She’ll be 71 in July. She’s finally making an effort to understand and accept me. At least it seems that way. Maybe I’m reading too much into it. But holy cow. For the first time in 49 years I feel seen by own mother.

I also talked to her on the phone earlier. Yay, Mother’s Day. And she didn’t ask me if I was ever going to get a job. She didn’t praise anything, but she didn’t try to shame me or make me feel bad for being a musician. That’s a first.

I don’t know where I’m going with this. I just gotta tell someone. So I know I didn’t imagine it. That’s all.
 

gimmeatele

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I have never been keen on mine, mostly as I am named after Prince Philip, every class at school or college had at least two others Phil's and it always seemed to me a common name, but I guess with the growth of TV and social media there are far worse names it could have been!
 

hemingway

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I won't even start on my relationship with my (now dead) mother.

I don't mind my name, but I get bored of every single official everywhere getting it backwards and insisting I'm wrong.

- Mr Stewart Grant, the doctor will see you now.

- it's Grant Stewart.

- No. Your name is Stewart Grant.

- No, I think I know my own name. It's Grant Stewart.

- Okay. Go right in, Mr Grant.

THWACK!
 

Jakedog

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I won't even start on my relationship with my (now dead) mother.

I don't mind my name, but I get bored of every single official everywhere getting it backwards and insisting I'm wrong.

- Mr Stewart Grant, the doctor will see you now.

- it's Grant Stewart.

- No. Your name is Stewart Grant.

- No, I think I know my own name. It's Grant Stewart.

- Okay. Go right in, Mr Grant.

THWACK!
Another GS. Hell, yeah. Solidarity, man. Sorry for your troubles.
 

Blue Bill

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That's awesome, that the ice maybe has broken a little. I hope and wish for you both that you can continue to get to know each other better. My mom died last August, I was lucky enough to have had a chance to spend some time with her during her last year. I believe I learned more about her in that last year than I had learned in the previous 40 years, and it was very interesting to find out new things about her, and by extension, about myself. I urge you to pursue getting to know her while there's an opportunity.
 

Kandinskyesque

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I have the same first name as both grandfathers, 2 uncles and 4 cousins.
When I was younger, if somebody said my name at either of my grandparent's house and there were Grandfathers, Uncles and cousins present, then about 5 of us would respond.
It became the norm to hyphenate my name with my middle name but for some reason only my name got this treatment.

I've confused matters further by giving my son the same name but with a different middle name, so the hyphenated convention continues. Mrs K's idea of course.
 

eclecticsynergy

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I've gone by the initials W.G. all my life. My Dad has the same name and in our family (and in a lot of families with roots in the Southwest) when you have the same name as your father, you either get the initials or you get called Junior. I'm okay with the initials.
 

bettyseldest

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My brother Alan, was christened Richard Alan, giving him initials RAS. Had he been Alan Richard they would have been ARS which would have amused the other kids at school. When he left school he started to call himself Richard. I stopped calling him Alan maybe ten years later, but never managed to call him Richard before he died last May, aged 62.

My cousin is a few months older than me. Had it been the other way round I would have been David, and probably much happier for it. Not only would I have the name which I prefer, I would have avoided 7 years of mockery at school.

Throughout secondary school the register was taken twice a day. Each student would call out their initial followed by their surname. Twice a day I would have to call out "I Steel", followed by giggling from my classmates, sometimes the teacher appeared to join in by claiming not to have heard, and asked that I repeat myself. You would think that after 7 years it would have worn off, but no it still raised a giggle.

Many years later, when I joined a cycling club, my name interested my clubmates, as my namesake had won the Tour of Britain in the year of my birth. My parents knew nothing of this, despite their pride in having gone to school with arguably the greatest ever cyclist (Beryl Burton). I would much rather have shared a name with a prematurely grey haired Northamptonshire batsman and an ineffectual leader of the Liberal party.
 

sax4blues

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I don’t know any reasons but both my parents went by different names.

Dad - Claude Evan. I only knew him as Evan. Then when I was 14 I started working with him in the summer and work called him Claude.

Mom - Louise Jean. I only knew her as Jean. When I was 7 we met some Midwest relatives and they all called her Louise.
 

Midgetje94

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I won't even start on my relationship with my (now dead) mother.

I don't mind my name, but I get bored of every single official everywhere getting it backwards and insisting I'm wrong.

- Mr Stewart Grant, the doctor will see you now.

- it's Grant Stewart.

- No. Your name is Stewart Grant.

- No, I think I know my own name. It's Grant Stewart.

- Okay. Go right in, Mr Grant.

THWACK!

Lol. I don’t mind my first name. (Jonathan) I was named after my dad John but they didn’t want a Jr.

but my last name was awful for a while. Midgette. It’s French so technically idk how I’d type phonetically lol. But every family member I’ve ever met or hear of. Uses “Mid-Jet” but With the spelling I got midget all my life. From actual doctors offices, classmates, all the way up to Navy Basic Training. Had my recruit Sr. Chief tell me “Joe Dirt was a horrible movie. And just like him, I need to stop trying to church my name up.” Lucky back in 7th grade football “Midget” actually became a nickname. To the point once I was graduated and tried my hand in college, I was just “Jonathan” again. It felt weird after so long lol.

Anyway while looking into the history of the name and what not. I found we have extended family (far enough back for a alternate spelling). A good amount of Coastguard veterans in the family. To the point we have a Cutter named after the family that was in a Nat. Geo. Magazine years and years ago. Up in North Carolina if I recall correctly. Grandma couldn’t recall correctly how we are related, but swears we are. But with a last name like that, I’m sure we have to be one way or another lol
 

hemingway

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Lol. I don’t mind my first name. (Jonathan) I was named after my dad John but they didn’t want a Jr.

but my last name was awful for a while. Midgette. It’s French so technically idk how I’d type phonetically lol. But every family member I’ve ever met or hear of. Uses “Mid-Jet” but With the spelling I got midget all my life. From actual doctors offices, classmates, all the way up to Navy Basic Training. Had my recruit Sr. Chief tell me “Joe Dirt was a horrible movie. And just like him, I need to stop trying to church my name up.” Lucky back in 7th grade football “Midget” actually became a nickname. To the point once I was graduated and tried my hand in college, I was just “Jonathan” again. It felt weird after so long lol.

Anyway while looking into the history of the name and what not. I found we have extended family (far enough back for a alternate spelling). A good amount of Coastguard veterans in the family. To the point we have a Cutter named after the family that was in a Nat. Geo. Magazine years and years ago. Up in North Carolina if I recall correctly. Grandma couldn’t recall correctly how we are related, but swears we are. But with a last name like that, I’m sure we have to be one way or another lol
I once knew a gay guy with a French surname that took the cake.

It was Le Coq.

He insisted it was pronounced Le Coke, like the icky drink. But he never got away with it. I don't know why he protested. Sometimes you just have to own it.

Even more unfortunately his first name was Richard. What were his parents thinking? Dick Le Coq. You couldn't make it up. Except someone did. And they saddled him with it.
 

trapdoor2

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My eldest brother was named after Dad (Donald or Don), so the family always used his middle name (Scott, Scotty, etc.)...which he loathed. When he moved out he switched to Don and never looked back.

I feel lucky. I'm named after Dad's favorite Admiral, who went by "Pete". Thankfully, they used his given name. Bad enough the kids in school discovered my name spelled backwards is "cram"...:rolleyes:
 

bgmacaw

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It definitely helped when the "Little" part ended.

Yep.

My name is a family name that went back 6 generations and it was bestowed on the oldest male child. So, it ended up with each generation flip-flopping the first and middle name. I got stuck with the middle name, a complication by itself. But my grandfather was the "Big" and I was the "Little" while he was still alive. I didn't pass the name on to my son.
 

Midgetje94

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I once knew a gay guy with a French surname that took the cake.

It was Le Coq.

He insisted it was pronounced Le Coke, like the icky drink. But he never got away with it. I don't know why he protested. Sometimes you just have to own it.

Even more unfortunately his first name was Richard. What were his parents thinking? Dick Le Coq. You couldn't make it up. Except someone did. And they saddled him with it.

All of a sudden, I don’t mind mine lol. Naa I got used to it and owned it.

7th grade football (in Texas) haha backstory. We had this implant from Florida talking mad **** about Texas football. We all hated him. I actually gotten into a fight with him in a class earlier that day.

But anyway back in practice both being defensive linemen coach put us on opposite sides. I protested, being still heated from the day’s events. But was told to get on the line. To this day. I don’t remember what the kid said. But I had enough. Whistle blew. I went straight for the facemask. I grabbed and yanked down. Looking back I realize how reckless and dangerous that is. But I was what? 12-13? I didn’t think about the kids neck or spine. But I hear coach yell “midget! Get you FREAKING ASS over here!” Except he didn’t edit the language lol. Proceeds to tell me to take a lap. And cocky teen I was I asked if I can do it again for 2. His reply was “no, but since you’re so eager, you can give me 2 anyway”

From that day on Midget was a badge of some kind. Started with the football guys and quickly took off. Funny how it happens
 

hemingway

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All of a sudden, I don’t mind mine lol. Naa I got used to it and owned it.

7th grade football (in Texas) haha backstory. We had this implant from Florida talking mad **** about Texas football. We all hated him. I actually gotten into a fight with him in a class earlier that day.

But anyway back in practice both being defensive linemen coach put us on opposite sides. I protested, being still heated from the day’s events. But was told to get on the line. To this day. I don’t remember what the kid said. But I had enough. Whistle blew. I went straight for the facemask. I grabbed and yanked down. Looking back I realize how reckless and dangerous that is. But I was what? 12-13? I didn’t think about the kids neck or spine. But I hear coach yell “midget! Get you FREAKING ASS over here!” Except he didn’t edit the language lol. Proceeds to tell me to take a lap. And cocky teen I was I asked if I can do it again for 2. His reply was “no, but since you’re so eager, you can give me 2 anyway”

From that day on Midget was a badge of some kind. Started with the football guys and quickly took off. Funny how it happens
Love it.
 

boris bubbanov

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Could be worse, could be a Dave! If I ever move to a different town I'm gonna change that.
When I worked at UPS in the very early 1970s, we had a night crew, of which 24 were men. And 11 and for a while 12 were named Dave/David. One of them might have been me, yeah. So they all went by last names or nicknames.

I think the guys named David envied their co-workers named Armand or Delfayeo. When someone envies a guy named Delfayeo, that's saying something.
 




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