Wednesday, May 9, 2012

What's in a name?

I hate to admit it but I don't like my own name. Oh the "Dinardo" part is fine. Its the "Jeff" part I've never been partial to.

My Dad is first generation Italian. Both his parents were born in Italy and he was always part of a large family in the Bronx. His name is Frank and he was always surrounded by other family members named "Frank", "Frankie", "Tony", Big Tony", (you get the idea).

So when Dad married my nice German mother he wanted to change things. He named his first born "Richard" which was pretty "American sounding." But he pulled out all the stops when I came along. No offense to all the wonderful people in the world named "Jeff" but to me it has such a blah sound to it. So white, so generic. "Sergio", now that's a name I can live with. "Sergio Dinardo" has a nice ring to it!

Of course when I got married I was no better. My ex wife's name is Kristine so when our oldest son was born we named him Erik. The "K" on the end coming from the spelling of her name. Its a common name but we liked the twist.

When my second child was about to be born we had expected it to be a girl. When we found out that he would be born male we were stumped. We had ruled out so many names when we named his brother. After the doctor's visit we stopped for a lunch. As we thought about the fact that we were going to have another son we ran through new possible names. Across the street was a shop called "Alex's coffee shop" and we both looked at it. "Alex Dinardo," we both said and liked it. So it was decided right then and there. We toyed with "Alec" for a few minutes but knew he would spend his life correcting people that it wasn't "Alex". Also, neither of us were big fans of "Alexander" so we just named him "Alex". I remember when we first brought him to day care when he was 3 or 4 and one of the staff kept calling him "Alexander". I bit my tongue the first few times but then I had to quietly correct her. "His name is Alex," I said "Its not short for Alexander."

I have known some people with very interesting names. I know a Bonnie Lass, a Kelley Green and my favorite-an old high school friend named Timothy Burr. Why is that funny you ask? Well what did we always call him out when we saw him in the halls at school? "TIMBER" (Get it?)

When I see my sons I can not imagine them being named anything else. And I know my parents think the same of me. Still, if you see me, a little "Hi Sergio" is guaranteed to get me to smile.

1 comment:

  1. Hey Jeff, how about "Gioffredo" (instead of Sergio)?
    Then you could be Fredo or Gio Dinardo.....solo un pensiero. :-)

    Enjoyed the post.