Sunday, June 25, 2006

The Name Game

Everyone else is doing this meme, and it's actually about words, so I'm giving in:

1. What does your first name mean?

According to the first Google link, "Andrew" means "manly, valiant, courageous" in either Greek or French or both. And we all know Google never lies.

2. What does your middle name mean?

Colin: according to the same site, it means "youth, child, victor."

3. What does your last name mean?

Long, long ago, my ancestors made wheels somewhere in England. They were subcontractors to guys named "Wainwright," which is why the Wainwright folks are all rich toffs now, and we're middle-class stiffs in the US of A.

But there's probably a family named something like "Spoke" that are lower class, so it's not all bad.

Other interesting family names: Curtis, Salter (cue old family joke, inevitably brought up at dinner time, about "coming from a long line of Salters"), Stahlbrodt (which means "stole bread," and probably got hung on some ancestor on the way over).

4. So what does your name mean when put together?

Manly youth who makes wheels. Sort of a medieval-England Enzo Ferrari, I guess.

5. What would you have been named if you were the opposite gender?

Rebecca. Which is my wife's younger sister's name, oddly enough.

6. Any other name oddities?

My name is about as non-odd as humanly possible.

7. Do you like your name?

It's me, and it's been me for thirty-seven years. It's like asking "do you like your brain" -- it's a question I don't even think about.

I used to greatly dislike "Andy," but it's the only non-pretentious short form of Andrew, and it's what most people who know me actually call me, so I've come to accept it. But I did make sure to give both of my sons names that shorten to forms without a "-y" ending.

8. What do you like best about it?

That it makes me sound even WASPier than I actually am.

9. What do you like least about it?

There are one or two other people with the same name, which can lead to confusion.

10. If you had to change your name (witness protection program, whatever), what would you want it to be?

The Wife and I used to have silly fake-Scottish names for each other (which we made up on our honeymoon in Edinburgh). She was Moira MacTaggart, and I was Ewan MacGregor. Sadly, there's a actor chappie using that name now, so I don't think I could pick it up at this point.

We did also plan out names for the whole family if we had to go into the witness protection program, though. We would be the Green family. I would be Hunter Green, she would be Kelly Green and the boys would be Forest and Brunswick. (We had Heather ready for a daughter, but sadly she has never appeared.)


Anonymous said...

My son is Andrew, no official diminutive, but some of his school friends have taken to calling him "Drew". He much prefers this to Andy (as do I.)

Andrew Wheeler said...

We may, perhaps, disagree on "non-pretentious"...

jill said...

Isn't Moira MacTaggert a character from the X-Men? Was that intentional?

Andrew Wheeler said...

Moira MacTaggart, I'm surprised to find, is a supporting character in the Marvel Universe. We didn't deliberately pick the name for that reason -- The Wife's interest in comics runs only to Akira and Sandman -- but I probably had both names unconsciously in my head, and that's why they stuck. My brother was the big X-Men fan in the family, but I was reading his comics through most of the '80s.

We did try out other Scots name variations -- I think I was "Angus" for a while.

Anonymous said...

We must have different referents for "Drew", unless you find Mr. Carey pretentious.

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