Tuesday, March 9, 2010

What's in a name?

So up until recently, yesterday afternoon to be precise, I was convinced that I was the only person with my name in the entire universe. My parents made it up by combining their names (it was the seventies and they were young) and it's taken me the better part of my life and loads of therapy to get over that and forgive them (some bitterness still lingers).

Introduce yourself with a name like this, especially to someone in a crowded noisy nightlcub, and you will inevitably get a blank stare and that look that says: "I will never be able to remember your name". Never mind the trauma I went through in all the schools I've been to. Let's just say that kids aren't very kind to those with unusual names.

Some days are better than others when it comes to my acceptance of it. Some days I would enjoy the idea of there only really being one of me, because no one else has this name. Other days I would say my name over and over to myself, this usually leads to any word sounding weird, doing this with my name leads to despair and lots of alcohol.

I'd googled myself before of course. The very first time I'd used the internet, way before Google had ever existed, I'd looked for another name like mine. Never any luck. So it was in a moment of "it's-almost-time-to-bugger-off-home-and-I'm-bored" that I googled my name again yesterday and suddenly got a small mountain of hits. One very interesting one was a design company in Australia called Alwill. Then I started noticing that all these hits were people with my name as their surname!

I've only just started looking into this, but it would seem that this name has something of the Irish in it, descendant of Allwell or something along those lines. Oh joy upon joy! Finally my name means something! I can actually point to it and say that it is a full blooded name with some history behind it, even though my parents completely made it up in a moment of post-birth euphoria!

But it's still a rare name. So I'm still special. So there.


  1. At least your name has a positive ring to it. You could have been called "Alwon't" … I am stuck with the names of my grandfather (who I never even knew)…

  2. daar's dit darem, ek kon Johanna Jakoba gewees het;)

  3. hehe. I grew up thinking my name was unique. I did not know anyone else with my name, and i was aware that it was not as popular as "John" or "David" ONLY THEN.. my bubble popped in high school. i started meeting people all the time with my same name!!! AND, mostly, my age, AND, they were all named after the same character, played by an actor my mom had a crush on when i was born. INSANE. now i dont feel so special.. HOWEVER, my nickname, a slight play on my real name, is Wozzel in real life. Has been since I was 5. I dont know many people who actualy call me by my real name, even at work I am Wozzel.

  4. The things parents do to their children, I would be much more careful naming a kid, knowing what I know.