Wednesday, February 15, 2006

What's yer middle name?

I'll tell you mine if you tell me yours.

Update 2:45: Okay, here's the version of events I heard...

At one point, my middle name was going to be "Lennan." Completely weird, but with some logic behind it -- my dad's name is Len and my mom's name is Nan, which when mooshed together make... yeah, you get the idea. I actually played with the idea of switching to this during my teens (who doesn't want to rename themselves as a teenager?) just because, I dunno, it sounded more interesting and less dorky than what I actually got. Later on, however, I decided that I really didn't want to memorialize that particular union with my name, and went back to my given middle name.

Which is Ilyse.

Again, the version I heard: my dad was in seminary when I was born, and was taking classical Greek. So the theory goes, "Ilyse" is the Greek spelling. As an aside, the only thing I ever, ever heard my father admit to being less than brilliant (and by implication better than you) at was foreign languages, and classical Greek in particular. The general idea being that he simply sucked at Greek, so there's an extremely good chance that the whole Greek-spelling thing is a steaming pile of bullshit. It is, however, interesting-looking in a sans-serif font.

The other part of the story -- Mom, feel free to correct any of this -- is that when it was time to have me christened (my father was in seminary, remember, and at a monastery, no less) there was some balking at doing the job on the basis that I had no Christian name. My first name, which is of traditional French derivation, isn't eligible. So my father convinced them that "Ilyse" was a variant of "Elizabeth" -- and I guess that worked for them.

I hated my middle name throughout much of my life, like every other sensible youth, until I spent some time in the UK. People there pronounced it "Eh-leeez" in that languid way that they have, and ever since then I've decided that it's not so bad after all.
8:36 AM ::
Amy :: permalink