What’s in a Name?

1) Name Concatenation (Regional deviation for South Indian Names)

My own explanation for name concatenations is that people try to appease the Gods by naming their offspring after them. Alas, the ratio between Number of children produced: Number of Gods they love is seldom 1:1. So, to appease all the Gods and themselves, they give the hapless one all the names rolled into one.

My Grandfather was an extremely pious man – I still remember him to be one of those people who was constantly chanting the name of God. An altruistic philanthropist, his love for God was imminent in the names he bestowed on his children. But he had too many Gods to please and the younger ones bore the brunt of taking on more name baggage. Why else would my youngest uncle be saddled with a name like Siva-Rama-Krishnan Kalyanam-Iyer?! (Because Shankara, Srinivasa, Subramania and Narasimha Gods were all duly honoured. By the time the 9th child was born, it was probably clear that 3 more boys may be a bit of a difficult target, and he settled for “Siva-Rama-Krishnan” instead.)

Apart from the aforementioned sons, he had 4 daughters, who he named as *Lakshmi. The Goddess smiled at his gesture, and gave him his daughters-in-law named bearing the remaining *Lakshmi names. So, we had 9 *Lakshmis in the immediate family –

(Santha, Maha(2 in number), Vijaya, Subbu, Raja, Seetha, Muthu, Jaya) * Lakshmi

2) Pretty Names

I, for one was hoping my sister would have three daughters, because I loved the names of 3 pretty sounding chemical names in my Chemistry lesson when she was pregnant.
Oceana, Galena & Publica“, I proclaimed, “would be their names”. She could call the first one, “Oshi”! I have spent many an enjoyable afternoon taunting her with these names. It must have been at this juncture that she fervently prayed for a boy instead of giving her children horrendous chemical names! Thankfully, I matured out of this phase before my own daughter was born!

3) Names inspired by Someone/Something

The successful character in the Novel you read, that sweet daughter of a friend – they all play a role. During the time we were selecting my brother’s name, I was actively involved in the process. I would bring to the dinner table all names I fancied. The name of my classmate who was kind, the name of my best friend, the one who caught a worm – anybody!

Tony“, I proclaimed one night. The truth was Tony had lent me a sharpener that day, and I saw no reason why anybody would not want to name my brother “Tony”. Aforementioned pious Hindu grandfather’s son got a jolt, and the name was dropped!

4) Rhyming Names

If you do want rhyming names for your children, would you need to take that aspect into consideration while naming the first child, or would it be a consideration when naming the second one? In any case, it does sound nice when sisters tell you their names are “Savitha & Kavitha” or “Archana & Aradhana”

Point to Ponder: How do you know which one is being referred to when parents bellow the whole name? Probably not prudent to question the foghorn at this juncture. The wiser thing to do would be to wait for the next broadcast before responding would be my guess!

5) Crocodile Names

There are more ways than 1 to get creative while naming children. My greatfather, decided to play the Crocodile game while naming his offspring:

Sethuraman
Ramakrishnan
Krishnaswamy
Swaminathan

Ah well….what’s in a name?

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19 thoughts on “What’s in a Name?”

  1. Manu & I are thinking of numbers- 2 digiters, first names and lasts respectively!! Nos: 37, 94….

    Will be faster spelling their names anywhere: iflyswa.com, DMV or calling AT&T to open an account!? So, no more breaking heads or taking more than a minute to pronounce names as they do now!!

    It won’t be as when someone calls me Lakshmi and 4 of us look up! No more confusions.. Numbers are in plenty, so we get our pick!

    (-;

  2. Manu & I are thinking of numbers- 2 digiters, first names and lasts respectively!! Nos: 37, 94….

    Will be faster spelling their names anywhere: iflyswa.com, DMV or calling AT&T to open an account!? So, no more breaking heads or taking more than a minute to pronounce names as they do now!!

    It won’t be as when someone calls me Lakshmi and 4 of us look up! No more confusions.. Numbers are in plenty, so we get our pick!

    (-;

  3. As long as a name is short enough for it to be conveyed to customer support representatives, I am happy…

    Meera: Spelling the numbers might be tricky when compared to some of the names out there… Picking 2-alphabet characters might be even simpler..My $0.01 worth…:)

  4. As long as a name is short enough for it to be conveyed to customer support representatives, I am happy…

    Meera: Spelling the numbers might be tricky when compared to some of the names out there… Picking 2-alphabet characters might be even simpler..My $0.01 worth…:)

  5. There is another category:
    Coupled names:
    RadhaKrishnan,
    SeethaRaman,
    LaxmiNarayanan,
    GowriShankar
    Maybe there can be names like
    ShobaSuresh and SaumyaSri πŸ™‚

  6. There is another category:
    Coupled names:
    RadhaKrishnan,
    SeethaRaman,
    LaxmiNarayanan,
    GowriShankar
    Maybe there can be names like
    ShobaSuresh and SaumyaSri πŸ™‚

  7. Midframes– I am not sure if I expressed myself right. Numbers will not be spelt at all!! It will be given as numbers.. 1st name:6 (as in number 6, NOT Six!!) so on and so forth…

    Anyways, 2 alphabet characters–(ahem.. what would I name them under this category? AC, BD, KD, OC (-: is a pretty good idea. Shall definitely keep it in mind.

    Your $.01 suggestions will be revolutionary in the future generations.. Copyright it !!

  8. Midframes– I am not sure if I expressed myself right. Numbers will not be spelt at all!! It will be given as numbers.. 1st name:6 (as in number 6, NOT Six!!) so on and so forth…

    Anyways, 2 alphabet characters–(ahem.. what would I name them under this category? AC, BD, KD, OC (-: is a pretty good idea. Shall definitely keep it in mind.

    Your $.01 suggestions will be revolutionary in the future generations.. Copyright it !!

  9. Meera: You should note that the 2 letter alphabets should not be pronounced as individual letters… So “AC” should be called “Akk”, “OC” should be called “Okk” and so on..:)…KD, BD are good ones…

    I think some of the chinese names are built around that…”Chi Po”, “Poi Chi”, “Ah Chi”, “Nike Ma” (this is actually my colleague’s name), we could have “Nika Dha”..:)

    I only wish I can patent these ideas..

  10. Meera: You should note that the 2 letter alphabets should not be pronounced as individual letters… So “AC” should be called “Akk”, “OC” should be called “Okk” and so on..:)…KD, BD are good ones…

    I think some of the chinese names are built around that…”Chi Po”, “Poi Chi”, “Ah Chi”, “Nike Ma” (this is actually my colleague’s name), we could have “Nika Dha”..:)

    I only wish I can patent these ideas..

  11. Addendum to Crocodile names:

    Swaminathan…

    Nathamuni
    Muniswaran
    rangaswamy
    swami-vivekananda..;)
    anandabairavan
    ravanan
    anniyan
    yanni
    anniyan…yanni.. ==> in infinite loop..;)

  12. Addendum to Crocodile names:

    Swaminathan…

    Nathamuni
    Muniswaran
    rangaswamy
    swami-vivekananda..;)
    anandabairavan
    ravanan
    anniyan
    yanni
    anniyan…yanni.. ==> in infinite loop..;)

  13. Mindframes….I hope you remember we are talking about children names here – infinite loops will not do! Check point 4 on the trouble with rhyming names, multiply manifold for same names!

  14. Mindframes….I hope you remember we are talking about children names here – infinite loops will not do! Check point 4 on the trouble with rhyming names, multiply manifold for same names!

  15. Just wanted to say that I’ve been almost crying with laughter because your posts are exactly the kind that tickle my funnybone πŸ™‚ (I’m working my way through your posts starting from 2005!)

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