Thursday, November 23, 2006

Naming Names

"What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other word would smell as sweet."

-- William Shakespeare: Romeo and Juliet (II, ii, 1-2)

We all know that Bengalis have a penchant for sticking their kids with some of the weirdest monikers known to man. And as if that weren't enough, they then compound matters by tacking on even uglier "pet" names to the already atrocious names, thus ensuring that generations of therapists will be kept busy (the world's psychiatrists owe us some acknowledgement - "I would like to thank Pocha and his parents for putting my own children through college" - but that is another post).

A case in point is this rather funny, and anonymous, take on Bong nicknames, (the infamous "Daak Naam!"), which has done the rounds of the email forwards, including me. All I can say is that when Ronojoy and Anurabha are used as used as examples of "good" names (pun intended) spoilt by nicknames, you know that things are bad indeed.

But... Bengalis of the world take heart! The absolute weirdest Bong name has nothing on the names of children in a friend's elementary school class in Dallas, TX. Here are some of the winners:

  • Courvoisier – Even when Emmanuel Courvoisier was setting up his business in the 19th century, this only worked as a family name. Today, it is as clear a confession of a drunken hook-up as there ever was. Maybe someday she will have a brother called VSOP.
  • Miracle Omega - The boy decided to go by his middle name because he thought the first name was too girly. Let’s face it – when Omega is a better option than your given name, super atomic wedgies and being stuffed in your locker are going to become part of your daily existence. As for the career in the military, forget it. Just hope that your HMO covers extensive therapy.
  • ABCDE - pronounced Ab-si-dy. What can I say - just how lazy must your parents be if they are not even willing to go through the entire alphabet for your name?
  • Pleasure du Jour - 'nuff said.

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