L Sass has seriously had the most fun NaBloPoMo posts. Love! This post is one of my favorites so far.
After telling her story, she asked her loyal (and so funny) readers where their names came from. Well, Marianne ... hmm. Nothing spectacular about that name. And trust me, I've heard my share of Gilligan's Island jokes; but amazingly, not until college.
Both sides of my family are ridiculously unoriginal. There are like 5 names floating around, so everyone is named after someone. Well, two of my grandmas were named "Myrtle" and "Norma." Those hideous appellations died out pretty quickly. But there are a lot of Roberts, Johns, and Stephens with the boys. The girls mostly have recycled middle names. Funnily enough, I share my middle name with an aunt on each side of my family.
So, my first name? My mom's name is Ann Marie. My parents decided to flip-flop it and turn it into Marianne (it's an anagram!). I remember being the angriest little girl because I couldn't find my name on barrettes, pencils, or anything personalized. Sure, Denise next door had a cute little license plate for her bicycle, but if I wanted one, it either had to be "Mary Ann" or "Heather." Hmph. I learned that "Marianne" means bittersweet. Yeah, that's about right, when you emphasize the bitter.
I've met maybe 5 people who spell it the way I do. I guess it's much more common in Europe, particularly France, Germany, and Scandinavia. It's tragic, I know, but I manage to deal.The Targo and I have been looking at baby name books, and one said that "Marianne" was practically an extinct name. Now, we imagine our grandkids feeling the way I did about Myrtle. "Isn't Marianne a terrible name? Gah! I can't imagine calling a toddler that. What were her parents thinking?"
(Many apologies to the Myrtles and Normas out there. Along with the Dagmars, Peotrs, and Wojciechs, I mean no harm.)