Daily Prompt: Name That … You!

Do you know the meaning of your name, and why your parents chose it? Do you think it suits you? What about your children’s names?

Photographers, artists, poets: show us IDENTITY.

Above house entrance Barfüssergasse Solothurn

Seen above the entrance to a house in the old town of Solothurn – If you ever get lost, or cannot remember where you live, it is always a good idea to have a name on your house, or sign engraved in stone.

Now to something more important: of course I know the meaning of my name. My mother did not tell me, as she was not into such intellectual matters; she just picked it because her mother liked the name Patricia. I should have been a Maureen but at the last moment when the nurse asked in the maternity hospital, mum said Patricia and so Patricia it was. No, she did not break a bottle of milk over my head, like naming a ship, she just said in a loud clear voice, let her be named Patricia.

I am convinced it was because the name Patricia actually means noble. I was sure as a child that my mother had found me in a wicker basket, wrapped in golden cloth with a crown hanging on the handles of the basket which was placed at the front door: the rightful heir to the crown of England perhaps. If I had become a Maureen, which my mother actually wanted, I would have been great: Maureen the Great. I am still not sure whether this name would have suited me better, but at the time I had very little to contribute to the matter.

So there I was, a Patricia, or was I a Pat. It was easier to spell in any case. Of course my grandmother paternal side liked to refer to me as little Patsy, problem being that “little” was not exactly me. I was always the tallest, the one that stuck out in the crowd and as mum loved to dress me with a big bow in my hair in nice bright colours, I was even more the one in the middle. There was also a story circulating that I was found under a gooseberry bush, but that was probably to avoid telling me the truth about how it all began.

I have a second name – and there comes the link to royalty again. It is Ann, almost like Princess Anne of England. I was there first, a few years earlier, but my right to the throne was denied and so I remained a Patricia Ann growing up somewhere in the slums East End of London.

I also had a Surname, the one that dad brought along with him. I was a Relf. In my endeavours to discover the truth behind my nobility. I found this definition. It must be true as it is in Internet.

Relf Name Meaning

Southern English (of Norman origin): from the Old French personal name Riulf, composed of the Germanic elements ric ‘power’ + wulf ‘wolf’”

Note the reference to power (I have a loud voice). I am not sure about the wolf part, but perhaps I howl unknowingly on full moon nights, roam the forests searching for victims to tear into pieces with my long fangs (ok I am exaggerating again, but the film was good). In my ancestry I was a Norman, a conquerer of England, probably an offspring of one of the mistresses of William the Conquerer, so there we have it. The crown on my wicker basket slowly becomes reality.

Unfortunately I moved to another country where the name Patricia is not so known, not as my mother wrote it. For the past 46 years when filling in a form in Switzerland, I have had to add the remark “Patricia with a “c” and not a “z””. The name in the German speaking area of Switzerland is spelt Patrizia. Were I to live in the French speaking part, Patricia would have been OK: one of the blows of fate I have encountered in my life.

Now to my offspring, and as they are my offspring and not writing this noble blog, it will suffice to say that meanings did not really come into the question. The names were chosen because I and Mr. Swiss liked them and because Swiss grandmother and English grandmother could both pronounce them. I made one exception (excuse me son for mentioning this), my youngest has the middle name Jason. I discovered that the name on the paternal side of the family occurs over many generations. My great grandfather was a Jason and his father before him. Unfortunately my son then became an O.J.Gerber. No problem were it not for a certain notorious American film star bearing the same initials.

So there we are, my right to nobility, royalty, fame was never realised, but at least my name tells all.

Daily Prompt: Name That … You!

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23 thoughts on “Daily Prompt: Name That … You!

  1. Pingback: What’s my name all about? | Hreodbeorht's Surf Report

  2. I’m smiling inside as I have made a few recent discoveries, your blog being among them.

    And I whisper this secretly, because I HATE my first given name and ALWAYS have, no offense to you of course, but MY given first name is: Patricia-Ann.

    YUCK.

    I have often and deadly seriously asked my mother what drugs she was on at the time of my birthing because I have never thought my name suits me AT all. Rarely, especially if people want to keep breathing, has ANYONE ever called me by my entire given name. I LOATHE it. Thankfully family call me Trish or Tricia and friends call me Pat. I accept it but don’t think either “fit” me.

    sorry about the ramble, but just thought I’d share the synchronicity of the moment.

    Like

    • LOL – I didn’t have much to say about the matter either. Of course, I could have been a Maureen – but I don’t know. I would have liked to have been a Jennifer, but that is out of the questio in a country where they pronounce the “J” like a Y. At least you have hyphen in beetween, hyphens are good, something special.

      Like

      • Smiling …. I like the idea of the hyphen being special … but that’s a grammatical thing, yes? So maybe my parents should have called me “grammatics” and I could have shortened it to mattie? Lol … At any rate, we have the names we do and I guess, unless we consider legally changing them, we have to best live with them.
        Hmmm … Jennifer with a “Y” …. hmmm … that would be weird. Like mistakenly pronouncing Jann (as in Yann) as the hard-sounding “juh”

        so many variations, so little time 😉

        Like

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  4. Funny how some names date us. I had or even have, a cousin called Patricia, but it isn’t a name that I have come across in the last forty odd years for new babies. Studying your picture I don’t see a Patricia or even a Pat, but do I see a Maureen or a Mo? Mmmm… interesting thought. What names would people give us by looking at our photos? I apparently should have been Julie, but somehow when arriving to register the birth it became Judith. My Sunday name. I much prefer Jude and I loathe Judy (because there was a dog called Judy living behind our house when I was little, so I always associate the name with a dog), no offence to other Judy’s though. Just not for me. I too have royal connections with Margaret being my middle name. Never use it, but I like the fact that she was the Royal with style and naughtiness 🙂

    Like

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