December 30, 2003

What's In A Name?

Irma recently wrote an interesting post about the origin of her name. While my story isn't as interesting (nor does my name have Steven Tyler's blessing), I thought I'd share.

No one really questions my first name - Christopher. Its pretty straightforward and doesn't really beg for explanation. My middle name is a different story.

I was born in South America where my father was working for a Chicago-based bank. Seven years into their stay, they had me! Now, despite the fact that I was born an American citizen, my parents were forced to pick a Spanish name translatable into English. They chose Cristobal Mateo.

Most normal people would translate this as Christopher Matthew. But the pressure to fill out South American and United States birth certificates and State Department forms was on and my dad was admittedly excited by the thought of having a new member of the family. So it should surprise no one that he didn't quite work out the translation correctly. My official, legal name is Christopher Mathew. Yup, only one "t" in Mathew.

You'd think this would have very little impact on my life but you'd be surprised how many people do a double-take when I'm signing forms, applying for loans, buying a car or a house. And people actually tell me that I've spelled my middle name wrong. Like I wouldn't know!

Posted by Chris at December 30, 2003 07:50 AM
Comments

I have the same problem (well, sort of). I go by my middle name. I always have. I normally sign everything by my middle name. When filing out loan applications, etc, I can't do that. I have to sign my first name. Nine times out of ten, I have to redo it. Same thing with the doctor's office. They can't ever find my records because they are under my first name. I don't understand why my parents had to do this to me. LOL

Posted by: FN at December 30, 2003 09:03 AM

I like that spelling. My mom intentionally mispelled both my sis's names but gave me a normal name :) Judy, Jami, and Jenifer

Posted by: judy at December 30, 2003 09:27 AM

Well my middle name is just plain ole' Lee...LOL..Pretty boring I might add and the only problem with my name is my last name. No one can ever pronounce it correctly, the spelling of it has been mutilated 10-fold, and after 42 years it gets annoying. LOL..I think I'll keep it just the same.

I think the story of your name is unique and I'm glad you shared that with us. Kind of mysterious even..*grin*

Posted by: seger at December 30, 2003 09:27 AM

My names have no story. My dad picked them just cuz lol. My oldest sister on the other hand, my dad got her name from a hooker in a book he read once. I used to take great joy in telling people my sister was named after a hooker then leaving so that someone else had to explain to people what I was talking about lol

Posted by: Jaded Angel at December 30, 2003 09:41 AM

My brother's middle name is Mathew too!

Posted by: Cheeky Girl at December 30, 2003 09:47 AM

HA! That's funny.

Posted by: Ginny at December 30, 2003 12:15 PM

at least you *have* a middle name...you wouldn't believe how many people *don't believe* i don't have one...they think i'm trying to hide some hideous middle name from the world...:P

Posted by: azure at December 30, 2003 12:29 PM

Aww! Glad I could inspire a post!

My middle name is Marie. Nothing behind that except that it was my mother's mother's name. She was either Marie or Maria, I can't remember. The only other thing I got from her is my eyes. I am the only person in my entire family to have green eyes. Everyone on my mom's side has brown eyes, everyone on my dad's side has blue eyes. My grandmother had green eyes, and so do I.

Posted by: Irma at December 30, 2003 01:30 PM

hehehee my cousin's name is MICHAEL. However he's always been called Jim or Jimmy. (His dad and 3 Uncles are Mike/Michaels), when he went to get his driver's license he put down Michelle. bahahahaaa because he didn't know how to spell Michael. I still laugh about that one.

Posted by: Rachel in Alaska at December 30, 2003 08:39 PM

my spanish name is anita maria, after my tia (aunt) maria. when i was adopted, my name became ann marie, but it didn't take too long before my personality revealed that i am way more of an annie than ann. then of course with a danish last name...makes me a hispanic mutt. *sigh*

Posted by: Annie at December 31, 2003 11:22 AM