Thursday, August 7, 2014

What’s in a Name? What’s in Two Names?!?

I seem to be on a new kick,  more of an awareness tour of my medical surroundings lately, so here's another observation that I found interesting.

I find myself in a landscape of medical professionals who have more than just professions in common. No, they also share the burden of using 2-first-names.  Some may actually be 2 first names, but others may be a contraction of the first and middle name. 

This goes for women and men, though women beat the men in numbers by a quick mile. Here are the names of those with whom I interact on a regular basis:

Mary Alice

(Do you think I was bored today, or what?) This partial list is only staff members I know personally in Triage, Oncology, and Infusion Departments.

Notice there is not one Mary Ann in the lot. I knew 3 growing up.  Well, think New Orleans, Roman Catholic, and you get the picture. Maybe the names fell into disfavor, but I digress.

I am always curious about the reasons for this double first name thing that seems to be cropping up here in small children, too. Yes, everything old is new again! So, it can’t be just a regional curiosity as some may think. 

I wonder if it begins with parents making contractions out of longer names or if siblings start it as a joke. Like nicknames.  I wonder if there is a name for this 2-first-name phenomenon. 

As for me, if (when) I ever heard my first and middle names spoken (usually very loudly) together, I knew I was in deep trouble for something. Fortunately for me, that only happened a few times in childhood. Yes, I was a good boy. Ahem... Of course, my first and middle names don’t lend themselves to easy contractions, so that may be what saved me.

I’m sure Anne Marie in Philly will have a comment on this one.  At least, I hope so. 

And so it goes.




    anne is a family name, marie is my maternal grandmother's middle name, louise is my confirmation name (catholic, ya know).

    my sister is joan (a first), marie (same as above), therese (confirmation name).

    funny thing is, our ancestry is czech/austrian/british...not a frenchman anywhere in there.

    1. I think we could spend hours on this. I find it fascinating. Thanks for the info.

  2. If I was called by my two names(George Roger) I knew trouble was coming and my mom didn't subscribe to the "wait till your father gets home" theory.

    1. Roger, my situation was the same. Teh-Heh!

  3. I wonder why the British don't do this, though I'm not complaining. Maybe the origins are from other European immigrants. A number of Germans I've known have double first names. In France, pf course, it also happens though maybe not quite as common as in Germany. Off-hand I can't think of ANY British people I've known, or even celebrities, who own a double. (No doubt someone's going to come up with a few!)
    I possess three first names which, together with my surname, would comprise a 27-letter, 9-syllable gob-stopper - and that's not even including my self-chosen, confirmation name which, since my binning of R.C.-ism is an adjunct best forgotten now. .

  4. My sister-in-law's name is Judith Anne. Like those above, she knew she was in deep trouble when her whole name was used and not just Judy. In fact she thought her name was Judy Than until she started first grade.

  5. When Bill goes to the bathroom to take a dump, he says "I'm going to take a 'Ronald Walter"" Any wonder why we have a bumpy relationship? And yet again, another inappropriate comment from your friend "Ronald Walter", probably won't be published but I got you to sneer anyway didn't I?

  6. My brother and sister-in-law chose their children's names carefully to avoid this kind of thing. They chose names that are not easy to shorten.

    1. Anon: My mother was careful about that, too. Neither my sisters nor my own name can be easily twisted into a single name. For that alone, I am eternally grateful to that woman.

  7. Yes. for a little while I was 'Michael Charles' which i rather liked.


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