Friday, May 10

What's in a name?

"My name isn't Offred, I have another name, which nobody uses now because it's forbidden. I tell myself it doesn't matter, your name is like your telephone number, useful only to others; but what I tell myself is wrong, it does matter. I keep the knowledge of this name like something hidden, some treasure I'll come back to dig up, one day. I think of this name as buried. This name has an aura around it, like an amulet, some charm that's survived from an unimaginably distant past. I lie in my single bed at night, with my eyes closed, and the name floats there behind my eyes, not quite within reach, shining in the dark.”
The Handmaid's Tale



  1. Intense happiness.
  2. The ability to find appropriate expression for one's thoughts.

happiness - bliss - luck - blessedness - fortune - joy


Stranger/Acquaintance: What do you like to be called?
Me: I don't know...anything starting with F, really.
S/A: How about Flick?
Me: Yeah that's fine, I get called all sorts of names, like
* Flick: my grade 2 teacher and majority of the people I know.
* Fliss: my old art teacher, Miss B, the Trafalgar family.
* Flea: 2nd mum's husband.
* Phil/Philly: the Trafalgar cousins back when we were kids.
* Floss: the soccer/cricket/rugby union mums, M.
* Fly: That's cute, Ears and Bus Buddy, but only when they first met me.
*  Lissie: the name I wanted but never took off.

And there are the names I've always hated and never mention, Flicky-dicky, Flickity, Flicker....


Somehow I respond to all of them and each one belongs to a different me. It's weird though, just how much our name becomes a part of our identity. Given to us when we are born or sometimes before that. Or how certain names can mean so much to us, all you have to do is hear them and instantly you connect it with something. A feeling, a memory or a particular relationship. Then there are the names you want to name things or your own children. I've always liked the names Delilah and Noah. Then there's Marigold and possibly the name Bruce, just because it's such a quirky funny name. There are the names of the people we're going to meet, which may just be repeats of the names we already know. I know several Sams, but only one Stella. I've met few other Felicitys but I've met plenty of Jess' and Rebekah/Rebeccas. On the internet, we create new names for all sorts of things, ourselves, our blogs, our tumblrs, our what-else-you-may-have. As a budding nurse I'll care for people who'll have a whole history attached to their names. And as a budding midwife as well, I'll birth people whose names will go on to mean something. No matter the name, it's important.


1 comment:

  1. This is really lovely. I like the idea that different names give us different identities and I completely understand that. I guess it's all us, but we are made up of all these separate little parts .


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