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Sunday, November 18, 2007

My Name is Pig Latin for "Copy Cat"

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.)


Aimee said...

I hear ya on the pencils and license plates. Not good for those of us with "unique" spelling. :(

Tara said...

I always thought my name was weird because of the fact that I couldn't find any pencils or license plates with my name on it. I remember telling my mom, "No one names their daughter Tara." My cousins, Jenna and Alyssa, had the same problem. We would always celebrate whenever we actually found something.

Oh...and I can't even tell you how many times I've heard "Gone witht the Wind" references. Or, how many times I've been called Cara or Sara.

Becca said...

I had the same problem. My name is not "Becky"!!

kristabella said...

I had the same problem. Everything was Kristen. Dude, it's Kris-TIN, not Kris-TEN. Gah!

I have a friend in Cali that spells it Marianne too.

janet said...

I think Janet is a dying, old lady name too (or on its way there). Old lady names unite!

alyndabear said...

I like your name's spelling. It's really pretty, in my humble opinion!

You try finding a personalised mug with "Alynda"!!

L Sass said...

Yay!! Baby names is good topic for you, my friend.

I'm glad I wasn't named after a grandmother, either. Mine were Marjorie Ann and MAVIS THELMA. She's a wonderful woman and I love her, but MAVIS THELMA.

Christi said...

My middle name is my mother's middle name (don't ask...) and as far as my first name...I think the only time I see my name spelled correctly is when you look at Corpus Christi. Not cool but I do like my name. I was named because I am apart of Christ, thus Christi. :)

Fabiola said...


My name is Fabiola, this is the first time I come to your blog and I am from Brazil. I can say I love your post.
And about your name, it is just a matter of where are you from. Mariane (with only one n) is a really common name in Brazil. when you have a Marianne, it is probably because the parents did a little numerology. I have friends who share the name with you....