Monday, January 09, 2012

Everybody around here has two names

In Rhode Island, where I'm from, or Maine where I lived, people have the first name, the middle name, and the last name. They go by the first name. Admittedly there's a lot of "The Third", or III at the end, or a lot of letters. Like this, "Elizabeth Ellen Prata, III, MsEd, M.Div, LOL." People sure do like their education letters up north.

But here in the south the thing is two first names. "Sarah Beth", "John Thomas", "Abbie Fae", "Fairley Adin", like that. Now, I don't know if the people who use two first names also have a middle name. Interesting if they do. But woe to me if I call the child by only the first of the two first names. Once recently I called to a little girl named Anna Claire, but said only "Anna please come here" and the girl next to her shook a finger at me and said in her best Librarian voice, "Her name is ANNA CLAIRE!" Oops.

There are some boy names in the south that I had not heard before. These names are not common up north: Chase, Chance, Braxton, Mason, Carson. Nice names, solid.

When I was married my last name was Joyce. Elizabeth Joyce. That was tough, having two first names as all my names. It got mixed up a LOT. One teacher I taught with for many years never did call me Elizabeth. I just gave up after a while. When she called me Joyce, I answered. We have a presidential candidate with two first names and that's it, Ron Paul. And what's up with Mitt? Actually, Gov. Romney's first name is Willard. I looked up his genealogy and can't find Mitt as a family name. So I don't know what's up with Mitt or where it came from. I don't think I can vote for someone named Mitt. Just kidding. I'm not that superficial. Really.

We set a great store by our names, whether they are two first names or the full name with letters or numbers after, they identify us. I like to go by Elizabeth. I wouldn't mind if my parents had been born in the south and made my name be ElizabethEllen. That has a nice ring to it as well. Actually I don't care what you call me. Just don't call me late for dinner.

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