N is for Nancy


When you have a name like “Chautona Avants” for your whole childhood, you learn to spell things a little differently.  C-h-a-u-t-as-in-Tom-o-n-as-in-Nancy-a A-v-as-in-Victor-a-n-as-in-Nancy-t-as-in-Tom-s.

I swore I’d never get married, but if I did, I was NOT marrying someone with a “V” in their last name.  And once more, God laughed.

Makes me wonder… what little quirks come with being John Smith or Mary Jones.  I mean, both of those people have to say “N-as-in-Nancy” too.  But as crazy as it is to hear, “Chautona… I’ve never heard that before.  Is it Indian (no one has ever said “Native American” even after the PC change)?”  I think it comes from people once being familiar with the name “Chautauqua.”  They are usually amused to learn that my father made it up, that my siblings have equally interesting names (how many people do you know who were named after bicycles and composers with very Germanic last names?).  They chuckle when they hear that I was named “after” an apartment building in Bakersfield

Does Mary Jones have to listen to cracks made about unimaginative parents?  Does John Smith hear jokes about losing his head or pretense that he is just joking himself?

Names are pretty cool… and yes… I still say it.  “H-a-v-as-in-Victor-i-g-as-in-girl.”

Got rid of one of those “as ins.”  It was definitely an improvement.

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5 thoughts on “N is for Nancy

  1. I knew a Jane Smith. She worked at a bank, and people often asked if it was really her name. She said “No. I’m new. They just gave me this one while I wait for mine to come in.” She also got a lot of “Are you married?” and her answer was “Yes. My mother loves me. She wouldn’t do this to me.” I think the biggest “real” issues with very common names are mixups with records. I have a friend who has the same name as her mother-in-law, and they have had problems showing up on each other’s credit reports, medical records, etc.

  2. although I do like my name, oftentimes I long to have a name like Mary Black. No one would ever ask Mary Black or David Green how to spell their name. My married name is two letters different from a very common name, so we usually have to spell it two or three times while people get their heads around the “by” at the end. LY? BI? huh??
    Mimi Torchia Boothby Watercolors

    • Interesting… I wonder if it’s because it really is difficult to get your head around a change like that or if it’s that my theory on people is right. They don’t listen and then have to confess it by asking for clarification– again. Hmmm

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