Your NAME does it all!!


It’s the same puzzled look, puckered eyebrows and the stereotypical reaction “sorry! I didn’t get you “, that has bothered me each me time I was asked “what’s your name?” Perhaps it’s that susmi isn’t a very familiar name for the south Indians or, it’s because of my incorrect usage of the “sh” sound (As observed by my best friend who feels that I always mess up with my own name),I always had to make a second clarification on my first name. As i grew up, my name became the most powerful weapon for me to accuse my parents. (Well, my name was an outcome of an extensive research done by my mother and unanimously approved by the family!!). Just in case you are wondering if a name could cause such hilarious roller coaster reactions, it’s time that you meet my neighbor Aslesha. Her name being a synonym for  the word “hug” in most of the Dravidian languages, has always managed to win her many accolades ever since her high school days!

Thanks to a cousin of mine who is expecting a baby soon, I had this very urge to carry out a comprehensive investigation on Onomatology (Yp! that’s how the study of Names is called as). But I must tell you, my list of obligations never ends with her; instead it is extended to numerous people around me- for instilling an essence of curiosity each time I hear their name. The lesson I learnt was very obvious- there is a tale behind every one’s name. Aaliya, for instance got her name starting with a double A, simply because her dad wanted her to be the first in the school attendance list. The name Anit was derived out as a unique combination of the first letters of his parent’s names-Annie and Itoop. And now, would you believe that a boy was named “swathanthrakumar”(the independence boy), just because he was born on August 15th, the Indian independence day? I have strong doubts whether his parents were inspired from the traditions of the Yoruba community of Nigeria, wherein babies are named depending upon the conditions in which they are born. Well, I was told that the Yorubas are known for their crazy names such as Abegunde (Sunday boy), Bejide (rain boy) etc.

In the Swahili tribe of Kenya, the tradition is to give two names for a baby- the first name given at birth describes his appearance and the second is the adult name, given upon maturity. Interestingly, it is a tradition in china to give their kids ugly, meaningless name in order to confuse evil spirits. In the Navajo community, a name is considered to be utmost precious that they are used only during special ceremonies. In case if you are wondering about their day to day conversations, they manage to address each other as “mother”, “son”, friend”, daughter” and so on..

Weird I must say, the Wikmungkan tribe of the North Eastern Australia has an elaborate child naming ceremony that take place during the child’s birth. A nurse would call out all the child’s living relative’s name one by one. The name being called out when the placenta is removed from the mother would be the child’s name!!

With a multitude of websites and books featuring on baby names, this story never ends. As i said in the beginning, behind every name there is a tale- that of traditions, hopes, interests and beliefs. While it’s just a fact that nobody likes his or her name, everyone loves every other name. Out there, my cousin is still in an expedition to find a name for her baby. And i realize, many more Asleshas and anits are still waiting in the queue.



33 thoughts on “Your NAME does it all!!

  1. Anoop Vattoly says:

    Interesting information, well written. Can easily relate to!

  2. Kim says:

    Interesting….very interesting……..:)

  3. Akshita says:

    What a fun post! Loved reading this. 🙂

  4. Pamela says:

    Hey! I completely roger that! This was about to be the topic of my next post called “whats in a name”..which sleeps in my drafts right now.
    Great writeup! Well researched!

  5. Mike Martens says:

    My Dad always told me when I was growing up, never forget what your name is…

  6. It’s great reading this post and I’m bad with remembering names and even faces at some point. I am trying to make amends:)

  7. Neeraj says:

    Wow! I didn’t know names has got so much behind them. Very minutely researched though I would say. when I looked at your gravatar name I thought it is “Sus + My + sebastian” Lol.. 😛 Sus’h’my is a beautiful name with an ‘h’ of course. 😉
    Guess what I hate my name too.. 😀

    • that’s totally a new way to call out my name!! but isn’t Neeraj a good name?( or at least that’s what i believe!! yeah, as i said, everyone hates his or her name; but loves every other name)..

  8. jannatwrites says:

    Fascinating about where our names originate. I like the idea of the two names – one at birth and one at maturity…that way, you can be sure you always have a name that fits!

  9. So very interesting!! People always made me repeat my name (real one) because it was English and most people here are French. It’s a hyphenated name and ended up using the easy part. I like that there is meaning to a name. I though very hard for my children’s name and tried to be careful it was not a name they would get teased with at school. Thanks for a great read! I had originally stopped by to thank you for visiting my blog but now I’m stuck here…hehe….:)

    • so that’s yet another “name-tale”. As the post mentions, there is a tale behind every name and this was an effort to find a few among them.Thanks for your words! though its very much true that “words are not necessary in this communion”..Thank you too for that great video!

  10. The name of a person sure can create an unrest in one’s mind, but all said and done, in reality one’s name is really chosen by another. On what basis is a name given, maybe on the likes or fascination of the parents. Well, it’s reassuring really that in the generation gone, the names given could in some way relate to an individual. However, what can be noticed today, is that names given to one’s children can be as bizarre as what would never really consider to be sane. Parenting sure has reached a profane level to reasonably understand one’s responsibility.

  11. Very interesting. I have a friend from Jordan with seven names…

  12. ivinrocks says:

    Really nice read Susmy! N FYI, just today I was starting off on my new blog about the humour in names, n I came across this! Now I got to deviate from this for sure! 😛

  13. Sure! I’m hopping into your space right away!

  14. 86gauri says:

    Very interesting and fun read !!
    When we went to Bali some months ago, we were rather surprised to find that most people seemed to be named either Made or Wayan . Only later did we come to know that children there are named according to their birth order – Wayan being for the first born ,Made for second born and so on .So basically ,the entire population of Bali (including the girls ) share just four names – Wayan, Made, Nyoman or Ketut. ! 🙂

  15. Hahahahahhaaa 😀 now that was funny!!

    Nicely written!!

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