Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Shakespeare Obviously Never Had Stinkweed In His Garden...

Oi, the dumb things I think to write about! But alas, it has never stopped me before...
What's in a name? The legendary Bard was the first to pose this query through his young and "star-cross'd" Juliet. So...what IS in a name? Quick story. Recently my daughter's friend's sister had a baby. Did you follow that? Her parents named her Leslie. Now, for those of you who do not know, my name is Leslie. It has been my name for 40 years, but I rarely hear anyone say it. A few girlfriends, but that is about it. I am not complaining, just stating the facts. My daughter pointed out that she rarely thinks of me as a Leslie. Of course not. She is 17. She thinks of me as "the warden" (Or the ATM). You see, when I was a wee lassie, I could not pronounce the letter "S". Only a problem if your name is Leslie Sprague. Which mine was! Consequently I called myself Leli Peg. That's Leli as in jelly, like Leslie without any "S". Get it? It stuck. And stuck good. That is what I am still called by my family and old friends. Cute right? And then of course my kids all call me Mom and everyone at church calls me Sister Awesome (not my real last name, but I have to protect my secret identity somehow). And the teenagers call me Momma A (short for Awesome if you missed that). Then there is Hunky Hubby. The list of pet names from him is long, starting with Poopkins at the top and Babe and Schmoopie rounding out the bottom.
I like my name now, but when I was a kid I had some doubts. It was just coming into popularity for girls when I was little so it still seemed sorta like an old man name. But that is not the best part of this story. I was a bit of a tom-boy, in stark contrast to my lovely little sister, only a year my junior, and almost all girl! Leslie is from the gaelic and means "dweller of the grey fortress." My middle name is Cameron (until Ms. Diaz came along this was ONLY for boys) and it means "man with a bent nose." Are you getting the feeling my parents wanted a boy? Little Sister on the other hand was called two names that mean respectively "Womanly" and "Epitome of femininity." Hmmmm...
Times and names have changed over the years. I have an 8 year old. I cannot pronounce half of her classmates' names. And even if I can, I cannot spell them. What is up with Aschleigh, Whitknee & Gnoah anyway? That which we call a rose...
I am a bit disappointed in myself that I did not have the guts to name my kids anything too unusual. It would have been fun to tell people my kids were Harmony Sunshine and Hogarth Huckleberry. Yeah, I am sure they are better off. I chose my children's names carefully, as most parents do. They all have first names from the Old Testament and middle names after some family member. Their names seem to suit them, each winding up with a nickname or two. They seem to like the names they have been given AND I carefully checked to make sure none of the names had meanings even casually eluding to some deformed body part! You're welcome.
Quote of the Day: "Nicknames stick to people, and the most ridiculous are the most adhesive. ~Thomas C. Haliburton author


  1. Funny, I knew a Leslie when I was growing up and went through a phase where I REALLY wished that was my name. It's always sounded so pretty to me. I always call you "Les", though, and until this minute I never even thought of that as sounding like a man's name. Must be cause you're so cute- and definitely do not have a bent nose!

    I always wondered where Leli Peg came from. I must not have too much thought into it because the connection is so obvious.

  2. So funny!! Although my sister in law is named Leslie. I had no idea that is what Cameron meant. My daughter and I laughed because we have a Cameron who lives by us and she does have a bent nose!!

    So my favorite line of your whole thing is the part of how your daughter thinks of you as the warden or the ATM. I also read that to my daughter and we got a good laugh out of it. She knew exactly what you meant. :-)

  3. What a fun post. Names...we wear them everywhere. That is the hardest part of having kids. Forget labor, forget the 10 months of destroying my body...it's the naming that brings the most agony.
    Thanks for the laughs!

  4. Are you sure it has been your name that long? In my mind you were in your 20s.

  5. Yes, Jackie...I ACT way younger than I actually AM!!! :0

  6. This is great. Much more well-written than mine and you make such good points.

    My name is Jenavee, nobody can spell it, nobody can say it. Plus the fact that it was different and the only thing I've ever wanted my whole life is to blend in and be like everyone else. When I was 12, I tried getting people to call me Jen. Didn't stick. My nickname is Jenna, which is confusing because it's spelled with 2 n's. I hated my name for a long, long time and even talked about changing it to Elaine (who knows why now?) when I grew up.

    I like it now because it's unique. My parents pulled it off a genealogy sheet, so it means something. But sure has been a hard name to have. My kids all have an older-fashioned name for their first names and a family name for their middle names too.

    And I have a sister-in-law named Leslie too.