Day 3148: What’s in a name?

I’ve been thinking about names because of our new cat.

This adorable, wonderful, sweet, chill, loving kitty was named Ginger by the adoption agency that rescued her, her sisters, and their many kittens from the street.

My husband, whose name is Michael, said he wanted an unusual name for a cat, so Ginger was out. Michael strongly suggested the name Meredith, but my son, whose name is Aaron, and I both thought that would be too hard to say.

Michael then came up with other girls’ names he thought would be unusual for a cat, including Phyllis. Aaron and I suggested other names we thought would be unusual for a cat, including Blanche. Michael vetoed all of our suggestions according to some secret knowledge of common and uncommon cat names that will remain nameless.

When Michael came up with Joan, Aaron and I agreed that would be a fine and unusual name for a cat, and easy to say. Michael warned us that if we called her “Joanie,” he would add an “ie” to our names, too.

I don’t like being called “Annie,” so I have complied with Michael’s request.

Michael was right about the name Joan being unusual for a cat. Every time I tell people her name, they react. Usually, they say, “JOAN?!” Sometimes, they add something positive, like “I love that.”

I love puns and Michael and Aaron do not, so they don’t know that I sometimes add the name “Clawford” when I’m talking to and about Joan. Also, Michael’s brother’s full name is Martin Sloane Malone, so I sometimes call Joan “Joan Sloane Malone.” Michael has no problem with that.

In the meantime, Joan, by any other name, would be as sweet.

I asked this question on Twitter last night:

While some people have responded with “my parents!”, others have told interesting stories about the origin of their names.

How did you get your name?

When I search YouTube for “Joan,” I find another reason to love that name. One of my favorite TED talks — “Emotional Mastery: The Gifted Wisdom of Unpleasant Feelings” — is by Dr. Joan Rosenberg.

My name is Ann Judith, I was named after my grandfathers Abraham and George, and I am grateful to you, no matter what your name is.

Categories: cats, life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism, Twitter | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 27 Comments

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27 thoughts on “Day 3148: What’s in a name?

  1. I was born susan beth and it was changed to beth susan when I was 2. Apparently my parents couldn’t come to an agreement)

  2. I’m fairly certain I’m the first Mark in my family, Ann, and quite certain that I have come across a lot of Marks around my age. Your puns are quite good, by the way!

  3. Christened Peter, variously called Peter, Pete, Polly, Prof, Corp, Sarge, Staff, Sir, and Lad (by my Dad)!

  4. Joan Clawford? I think you have a winner!

  5. We all had biblical names Mary, John, David, Ruth. My middle name is Ella after a kind woman who helped my family when John was ill and passed. I was born after that, hence the gift of her name. As far as cat names, I had Eloise, Fred, Lucy, and Tom- which became Tommie as she was not a male as declared at birth. We have a feral cat we caught and released after neutering. His name is Bob.

  6. puella33

    My middle name is Mary- Jo- after my grand parents. It reminds me of Petticoat Junction , I don;t know if you or anyone else remember that show. I’m not quite sure how my first name was chosen.

  7. I’ve shared before how common the name “Chris” is for my generation, so here’s a joke that went around when I was a kid: a man named Sydney Snotnose goes to see a judge. “You have to let me change my name,” he says. “I understand,” says the judge. “What name would you prefer?” The man says, “Irving.”

  8. Loving Joan – she’s adorable! I got my name from my grandmother on my dad’s side.

  9. The title of this post is one of my favorite quotes from Shakespeare:
    ‘What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet’.-Shakespeare (Romeo and Juliet).
    We also had biblical names from my father’s side of the family which is Spanish, and ‘Maria’ doesn’t change much, which reminds me that ‘Joan’ is ‘Juana’. She looks beautiful in her cart amidst the hortensias.

  10. Joan looks like such a dear.

  11. A fun debate. I registered our daughter as Rebecca. How was I to know that it should have been Rebekah? It took about 40 years for her to let me know and to change it.

  12. Joan Clawford is the best cat name I’ve ever heard!

  13. Joan is a great name! And yes, utterly untypical for a pet of any kind. I think Clawford, as an addition, is just brilliant. You are a clever household. 🙂 And Joan is adorable!

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