Whats in A Name

The Bride came up with this really interesting post on names…

It’s funny how a name can evoke such reactions..infact…read the comments in her post, honestly I was pretty surprised that so many people had so much to talk about it…

I loved the names of Bride’s kids she uses in the blog..now I think I should change R’s blog name to Ranchi or something..you know,Β  just to make it more interesting… πŸ™‚

As I read the comments in Bride’s post, I realised I have a lot to write about it as well πŸ™‚

When R was born, we didnt even have a name in mind…I wanted her name to start with R….we usually name the kid on the 11th day so we had 11 days to think of a name, but then with my super horrible delivery, RD and I had no time to actually discuss anything..when he would come to the hospital, either I would beΒ  unconscious thanks to the meds or I would be feeding R and cursing anyone who talked to me or attempted to talk to me πŸ™‚

My mom wasnt too happy with the name we selected for R and then neither were my in laws..though in laws eventually realised that it was better not to force any names on us, since both RD and I are pretty head strong anyways…Amma was like ‘you call her what you want, I am going to call her what I want πŸ™‚‘ and we were okie with that πŸ™‚ (She doesnt do it though, now she calls R by her actualΒ  name..talk about threatening πŸ˜‰ )

Now, among Tambrams, the child’s name is pretty complicated. So lets say, I had a daughter. Which means, that the official name of the child (to be used for poojas, during marriage) etc has to be my Mother in law’s name. If I have another daughter, it will be my mother’s name. If I had a son first, it would be my father in law’s name and if I have another son, it would be my father’s name. And then now after R if I have a son, it would be my father in law’s name..did you understand..it took me 30 days to get this concept clear..but anyways…

So R officially had to be called after my MIL…my mother’s mom, who had come for my delivery suggested a combination of my MIL’s and mother’s name which my Amma vehemently opposed..she was like that sounds horribly weird…

I didntΒ care, I had decided on a name after a friend of mine who had been a strong support system during my pregnancy and I thought it sounded very cool πŸ™‚ RD was okay with that, though he also liked the name ‘Ashraya’ a lot πŸ™‚

In between all this, my Appa googled (this guy googles the strangest of things!)Β the name we had decided upon and came up with a different spelling..RD got all excited and happy and agreed to that ‘different’ spelling…I was too exhausted, physically (with horrible daily dressings and breast feeding) and emotionally (what post partum depression) and what not and agreed to the spelling πŸ™‚

both RMBΒ and bhabhiΒ were pretty happy with our name..so in short, AmmaΒ and in laws were pretty much vetoed πŸ™‚

on the 11th day, when I said the name to the pandit, he stopped for like 2 minutes and saidΒ ‘yeh kaisaΒ naamΒ hai’Β hehehe πŸ™‚

and then of course, we also told him MIL’s name so that he could say that as well..but for all practical purposes as well as in the birth certificate, R has R’s name πŸ™‚

Again, the birth certificate in Gujarati got the name right, and I was hoping and praying that the english certificate also had the right spelling and it did πŸ™‚


But, now I realise that may be naming R as R was not a super idea..mainly because in the south of India, her name is distorted like no man’s business 😦 whenever, I have to write her name to someone, I always give examples which help people to know the right pronounciation…even teachers in her school for the first time when they read it, pronounce it wrong..of course now the brat is old enough to correct it..

Midst all this one day while I was telling Amma of the name confusion, she tells me, I hate my name and fight with my mother on why she named me like that, you hate yourΒ  name and fight with me on why I named you like that and now I think your daughter is going to hate her name and fight with you on that…

See, see, Amma is just being childish because we didntΒ name R what she wanted her to be named Gah! :):)


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82 Responses to Whats in A Name

  1. The Bride says:

    See, I told you there’s lots to write about this topic. I love everyone’s name stories also. And yeah, I think we are all destined to hate our names and fight with our parents… thus as a parent, I have the right to choose whatever I please in full knowledge that my kid will not like it.

    Now I am super curious about R’s name. And we are all used to R and it would be weird if you start calling her Ranchi now. Though I do think Ranchi is cute.

    • R's Mom says:

      hahahah name stories are fun to read…I loved reading your take and the comments that followed πŸ™‚

      I was thinking of Ranchi or something hehe πŸ™‚

  2. raji says:

    first comment?? can you email me R’s name? i am so curious now.

  3. And now that makes me sooooooooooooo curious to know R’s name πŸ˜›
    So much story behind naming ah? Being a Tambrahm, I never knew all this 😦 My Tamil name is actually my thatha’s mother’s name πŸ™‚ but ofcourse no one calls me so πŸ˜›

    • R's Mom says:

      Errr..you knwo what, loads of people are telling me that this custom seems new to them…may be I am wrong..its just in a particular sect or something..not sure πŸ™‚

  4. Jas says:

    ha ha… the name struggle continues…. but it is certainly complicated with all that tambram tradition…

  5. After reading this, I am dying to know a) R’s name b) R’s official yeh-kaisa-naam-hai name πŸ˜‰ and c) what your mom wanted to name R. I must remember to ask you whenever we happen to meet πŸ™‚
    Like you I too am not very finicky about names. Any name that is easy on the tongue, has a good meaning that is generally understood (I don’t fancy people asking err, what does that mean?) and is not VERY common (a little common is quite okay) is good enough in my book πŸ™‚

    • R's Mom says:

      a) and b) have the same answer…the official name is the MIL’s name..which is pretty common but her name made the pandit asking me yeh kaisa naam hai πŸ™‚
      Ma wanted to name her after a nakshatra πŸ™‚

      Errr…R’s name often has poeple in the south of India asking me what it means πŸ™‚

  6. Chaitali says:

    All this while, i never had a curiosity to know R’s real name.. but nw with this post of urs i want to knw her real name along with the proper pronunciation, may be u can record the name n put it along the name like hw they do it for dictionary word.. on similar lines.

    Well its upto u.. as u mite want her name to be discreet on this public blog..

  7. Chaitali says:

    See, see, Amma is just being childish because we didnt name R what she wanted her to be named Gah! πŸ™‚ – LOL.. u try to disguise :-p

  8. Nithvin says:

    err..didn’t know something of that sort exists among tambrahms regarding naming kids* note to self: must check with amma and appa if our family has forgotten some sustoms ;)*
    SO now we know the story behind R’s name..actually, even I didn’t know how to pronounce R’s name..I actually googled it to find out how to pronounce it as I felt really stupid to ask you that πŸ™‚
    As for the last line, I can see that you are already practising ‘not taking things to your heart’ so effectively πŸ™‚ loved it ..

    • R's Mom says:

      See..like I was telling kismi, may be I am wrong okay…I always thought all Tambrams have that custom, may be its only a particular sect..pata nahi!

      Arey you don thave to feel stupid about asking her name’s pronounciation..I am surprised I didnt email you the way it needs to be said πŸ™‚

  9. journomuseed says:

    Hahaha, I love the panga you want to take on with your mom!! Btw, on the Kumbh ke Mele mein bichhde sister line, this post that I am going to tag here was one I wrote ages ago, about two years ago…When I saw your post today, I couldn’t help but crack a private chuckle…http://wordysketches.blogspot.in/2010/03/so-who-said-whats-in-name.html

    • R's Mom says:

      I loved loved loved your take on it :):)

      Arey my Amma is super cool..she took up the panga and then now is the only one who calls her by her name with a u added to it (I think its the Kolaveri effect on her ;))

  10. summerscript says:

    My name is tooo long.. Me no liking!
    And when I see people murdering the spelling.. I get so angry..
    It might be just one missing ‘h’, but if its not there it does not even look like my name!!

    Oh! really? Is there a concept like this..? Yes its confoooosing!!

    • R's Mom says:

      but but, I love your name..saachmein πŸ™‚

      I can understand the spello murdering..it happens to me also..check out Smitha’s post…its super cute πŸ™‚

  11. Smita T says:

    I Love R’s name…. esp since u named after u know who…. but not loving ones name is quite normal I think… Infact one of my freind’s loved the name Radhika as opossed to her own Sulabha… she told her husband when they got engaged that he better change her name to Radhika, since name of the bride can be changed during a ritual of a maharashtrian wedding… and he obliged… But me I love my name…. I really thank God that my bro came up with this name and not something else… πŸ™‚

    • R's Mom says:

      yaa..I think you are the only one who knows who she is named after πŸ™‚

      Cute story of your friend πŸ™‚

      you like your name thats great..though I have at least 5 Smita’s saved in my list πŸ™‚ your bro came up with your name..how cute πŸ™‚

  12. aame says:

    I thought you would spill out the name in the end of the post πŸ˜‰ He he he…

  13. Smita says:

    Utter confusion I say!!!! We also had major arguements on deciding Arnav’s name but now everyone is happy with it and the best part is he is able to pronounce it abhi se so all happy. Though my In laws sometimes feel that it is a very common name but who cares!!!
    And the last para of your post reminds me of this incident. A fren of my bro has a son who doesn’t like his name and wants to be called Raj. So all his frenz call him that and when his mom protests he says, ‘you never asked me before giving me my name and since I don’t like it I want to change it’, period!
    Sigh! kids these days!!!

  14. Pepper says:

    I love R’s name. I always grin when I think of the way you explained the pronunciation to me. And hey, R will love her name too! Who wouldn’t like such unique and exotically spelt names. πŸ™‚

  15. SM says:

    If you change the name to Ranchi, I promise to be a life long loyalist of you, R, this blog and all things related !!!!! Though from Bangalore, I grew up in Ranchi and even though have lived in half a dozen cities after that, Ranchi is and will always be my “real” hometown – not to forget, Mr. Cool-as-a-cucumber-Dhoni is also from Ranchi. (And in the time honoured tradition – can I do some booth capturing to ensure you change the name to Ranchi?)

    See- you had me at Ranchi. Rest of the post – not bad πŸ˜‰

  16. uma says:

    so what is R’s name..am curious now :-))
    actually people spend so much time these days to find the most unusual and difficult sounding names for their kids. I sometimes feel bad for the kids who are stuck with, IMHO, really absurd names 😦 and what’s with the fascination for names beginning with A. I wanted to name R from one beginning with A but ultimately didn’t πŸ™‚
    So maybe there is a lot to do with the name. And, yes, I hate the concept of the kid taking on the in-laws names for whatever reason. Heck it is my child and equally my parents’ grandchild, so why should s/he take on the in-law’s names?? It doesn’t matter if the second child is named after the girl’s parents, as a consolation. What if she wants only one child??!!!!

    • R's Mom says:

      well I do find some names really exotic like Saimaira, or Tiara or Kanishka and stuff…..

      Oh so you are aware of that name after the grandparent thing na..I thought I was the only one who seem to know about it πŸ™‚

  17. DI says:

    I should do a name post for Zo. But only after I do a non-Zo post first. In any case, just for the record, I love R’s name, meaning, spelling, all of it! πŸ™‚

  18. Smitha says:

    A lot is in a name, clearly:) We all want that perfect name for our offspring, which they will invariably hate and want to change at some time in their life:)

    We had a whole excel sheet dedicated to names before. daughter was born. We decided to make the decision between the two of us, because more the people involved, the more complicated it gets:)

    As for names getting man handled, the simplest of names get mauled:( How difficult is my name? And how common, and yet it has been distorted – in india, that too:) Had done a post long back on this – http://wordsndreamz.wordpress.com/2009/06/22/mutilation/

    • R's Mom says:

      I laughed out so loudly at your post…I can imagine Smitha being mutilated like THAT!!!

      you had excel sheet! baap rey both you guys are so so super nice parents.. πŸ™‚

      • Smitha says:

        Not super nice parents – just a little mad parents πŸ™‚ A lot of names got kicked off because 1. we met people we took an instant dislike to, had those names
        2. Some names had ‘shit’ in them – ishita, nishita etc πŸ™‚ And I did not want to take chances.
        I should just stop talking now, before I start sounding like the maddest person around πŸ™‚

  19. R’s name is pretty and very unique. Don’t you go about changing it! πŸ™‚

    LOL @ the confusion over names in Tam-Brahm houses. I totally hear you on that! BTW I thought children were given the names of their grandparents and grand-uncles only after they passed away, isn’t that so?

    I find that tradition kinda funny. So many times I have heard of mothers naming their sons after their FIL and then not being able to call the child by that name (because sasurji ka naam kaise le sakte hain?) and then the kid would be given a ‘house name’. Usually, this house name would stick till the kid grows old. And oh, the nicknames! So hilarious! One of our relatives Subramanian used to be called ‘Chuppani’ by his family, and that name stuck for ever. πŸ˜€

    • R's Mom says:

      no no..thats one thing RD was VERY CLEAR about..one name, one spelling whole life because his name was changed due to surname issues..he is very very clear on that πŸ™‚

      Errr..is it..I am not sure rey!

      oh most south indian’s have that nick names..kichami, chuppani, or they their company names in front of them Safety moorthy or pzifer subramanium and stuff πŸ™‚

  20. vethal says:

    so nice of u to give her the name of ur friend. wow really nice of u …

  21. That is some name story, ah?! πŸ™‚

    When we named our kids, there was just one thing in both the CH and my mind – That, it should be short and pronounceable by all. So, we typed out the names on MS Word and made the computer read them out aloud. That sounded okay and we named them that. Heh!

    And that Tambrahm custom is new to me. Actually, I’ve heard my MIL say that when the first son in the family has a (male) child, he should be named after the FIL. Nothing else counts. Also, we have three names for the kids. One, official. One, on either sets of (great)grandparents. One, on some God/Goddess. Also, if the grand parent is alive, that name should not be used for calling the child. Too many rules, no?!

    • R's Mom says:

      hehehe πŸ™‚

      I love Keer and Kau’s name..they are short sweet and perfect…LOL on the computer thing..you guys are crazy

      oh is it!! pata nahi, may be its only for a certain sect or something rey! not too sure

  22. ashreyamom says:

    we too had lots of discussion in naming my baby.. finally i took a stand and said this is what i am going to name her..i had too written a post long back.. link is here..

  23. Visha says:

    Hehehe…the way you explained the naming custom was cute R πŸ™‚

    LOL on ‘yeh kaisa naam hai’

    Recently, my sister-in-law gave birth to a baby boy. The parents want a traditional as well as a futuristic sounding/ meaning name. They have hajaar discussions about the janam patri name, certificate name, home-pet name, etc..in the midst of all this, I am like as it is they are gonna call the kid ‘kanna’ or ‘beta’ only…why the hajaamat of getting so many names πŸ˜›

    • R's Mom says:

      hahah! no no..its a big thing for some people rey…and I totally respect it..one thing I am pretty sure about is no pet names…they often turn out to be embrassing when you are 40 and still called ‘babubhai’

  24. RS says:

    Okay..u have got me super curious to know R’s name..
    My husband’s colleague’s name is Jorge and he likes it pronounced ‘Horhe’.
    So the name confusion is universal.

  25. Hmmm Name is important I will say. My father had my name and my sisters already decided.. and So have I πŸ™‚

    Will put them up someday ..

  26. Deeps says:

    Such a lovely post, RM! You know I was a bit surprised too to see that unique spelling of R’s name! :). And I so would like to know what your mom’s choice was πŸ˜€
    Loved your story behind R’s name. It makes me want to share namnam’s too! πŸ™‚

  27. Pingback: Naming Namnam.. « Perceptions

  28. Sreetama says:

    Now I am soo very curious to know R’s name! Please mail me if it’s not too much of trouble to you! I believe her name means dusk or that hour of the day when the sun sets and night emerges or something on those lines? If I remember correctly…

    I was named by my maternal grandmom (dida). It means the girl who has most parts of Godess Lakkshmi in her, since I was born on a Thursday. I didn’t like my name initially. But now I kinda like it! But sadly half of the folks in Delhi can’t pronounce or spell it right!

    • R's Mom says:

      you have great memory πŸ™‚

      I loved your name for sure πŸ™‚ I wouldnt be able to pronounce it myself…I need to ask you if we ever meet up πŸ™‚

  29. Scribby says:

    Well to think of another name for R on the blog this one comes to my mind instantly “charmy” aka charming πŸ™‚ and it also goes with Chirpy πŸ˜‰ two best friends no? πŸ™‚

    • R's Mom says:

      hahaha! I wouldnt name her charmy…I knew someone with the name Charmi and I wasnt very comfortable with her..though it matches with Chirpy πŸ™‚

  30. i love R’s name – remember i threatened to copy it – if the Elf was a girl. Anyway naming the baby is something we also took forever for much to the digust of the parents. Hello! I had just had a baby and was still reeling under the fact that “I” was responsible for this creature.

    But naming the Elf is a post which i must do!

  31. sudhagee says:

    I am quite aware of this tradition as I was named accordingly. I also wrote a post with the same title on a similar theme about a year back.

    It was a post that I enjoyed writing, though not as much as I enjoyed reading yours. πŸ™‚

    • R's Mom says:

      oh my God! Sudhagee on my blog *does a virtual dance*

      I loved loved loved your post..thank you for clearing all the confusions on the rules..now I guess I am more clear..instead of breaking my head with RD trying to figure out what he meant and what he said, I should have just read your post πŸ™‚

  32. anisnest says:

    honestly RM I am still not sure if I can pronounce R’s name correctly. that’s the first thing I am planning to check with you when we speak. 😦 ..
    while naming Adi all we had in mind is short and sweet so there we got that name.. hope she likes it πŸ™‚

  33. techie2mom says:

    RM, after all these talks about R’s name, i am really really very curious about R’s real name 😦
    Even we had this name controversy for Zini, my dad wanted to name her as per her Rashi (or nakshatra or whatever it is called), my in laws had decided on a name already that hubby & i didn’t like…But finally we all agreed upon a name πŸ™‚ and Zini has that name in her birth certificate πŸ™‚

  34. Tanishka says:

    No name can be as common as mine… Call out my name in public and at least four gals would turn for sure… Do you really think I shouldn’t be mad at my mom…??

  35. Akhila says:

    First time commentor….
    We too had a long list of names to start with. Wanted a Sanskrit name, with a good meaning, easy to pronounce, yada…yada… you get the point. A month after we named her, we heard about 3 more girls of the same name πŸ™‚
    Tambram naming is a bit complicated. Normally, the first child is named after the in-law & second after your parents. However, if you are a Tanjore Brahmin, you cannot name the child after the in-laws if they are alive. Then the child has to be named after the FIL’s parents !

    • R's Mom says:

      hey welcome here πŸ™‚

      I must admit I love your name….I know a few Akhilas and they are all sweet people πŸ™‚

      Oh okie..got that Tanjore Brahmin rule now πŸ™‚

  36. Mathangi Vijay says:

    Hey such a nice post!! Initially I used to love my name. I used to be the only person in my school with that name and I used to feel so unique and nice. Then I moved to North India and they used to pronounce my name really bad.. All sorts of pronunciations for a single name! That time I used to hate it. Then once again I started getting a lot of compliments for my name and how tastefully it was chosen and blah blah!! Then I started liking it and till now I retain it. Yes I love my name πŸ™‚
    But when it came to my son, I was clear on one thing. It has to be easy to pronounce in any part of India. Of course the very name which I thought is easy to pronounce is being bitten and spit badly in Singapore, is yet another story πŸ™‚

  37. Ashwathy says:

    he tells me, I hate my name and fight with my mother on why she named me like that, you hate your name and fight with me on why I named you like that and now I think your daughter is going to hate her name and fight with you on that…
    Hahah talk about cycle of life! πŸ˜› I fought with my mom on the random spelling she gave my name (not the one visible to you now, I changed it a bit) coz it had little to do with the name being actually pronounced. Plus my name is very common in Kerala, but few people have heard it outside of Kerala…. so I keep scolding my mother that her vision was very small. πŸ˜› I hope to name my kids better.

    ROFL @ panditji’s reaction!! πŸ˜†

  38. Swaram says:

    Am so crazy about names RM. I hv a huge list and keep ‘supplying’ names to people who come to me for suggestions u know πŸ˜› I actually cn make a business out of it he he πŸ˜‰

    ‘ I have to write her name to someone, I always give examples which help people to know the right pronounciation’ – ha ha ha! I know I know πŸ˜‰

  39. Varsh says:

    It is imperative that one likes his/her name ‘se in any case people are going to address him by that name and one can’t keep complaining! πŸ™‚
    My name’s pretty simple and common and doesn’t evoke any questions. A Jr’s name on the other hand had everyone in my family in a fix, and I had to explain it to everyone.
    In our custom the child’s aunt (Bhua) decides its name but I was adamant that A Jr’s name would be of my choice. I googled a lot (yeah I’m weird too :P) and finally got a name that could be a combination of A’s and my name, and also have a beautiful meaning, and I succeeded πŸ˜€
    He seems to like it and vehemently corrects people who mispronounce it. πŸ˜€

    • R's Mom says:

      Oh even for us, the bua keeps the name..we didnt even bother asking πŸ˜‰

      Glad he likes his name..Muah πŸ™‚

      A combination name is awesome..my name is a combi of Appa’s and Amma’s with a slight twist

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