Thursday, December 22, 2011

What's in a Name?

My mother named me after a character in a Mickey Spillane novel.  Shannon was a prostitute. My father wanted me to be named Moire, in gaelic it means Star of the Sea, but my mother would have no part of that. "Everyone will make fun of her," she'd say, "they'll ask, do you want More a this or More a that?"

You'll find no Shannon's in Ireland - it is not a true Irish name. In Ireland, it is the name of a river and an airport. Even so, it's fun to fly from Kennedy airport to Shannon airport and return home flying from Shannon to Kennedy.

As a kid I liked my name until a song came out called, Shannon is Gone. The lyrics were about the death of Beach Boy, Carl Wilson's Irish Setter. The single became a worldwide hit and after that, everyone and their cousin started naming their dogs Shannon.

When I was young, I dreamed of having two children, a girl and a boy. I wanted my son to be named Kerry, after my brother who died when he was very young. I chose the name Amber Essence for my daughter. When I got a older I realized it sounded too much like shampoo (Herbal Essence) so I changed the name to Katherine, after a great aunt that I adored.

My first born, a boy, is named Kerry Ryan Magann. His fathers name is Terry, so it was extra sweet to say Kerry and Terry this or Terry and Kerry that. I'm sure Kerry got teased a lot for having a "girls name" but if you asked him, he'd tell you he liked it.

My second born, a girl, is named Lindsay Katherine Fong. Her father loved the name Lindsay and I understood how important little girls were to their fathers, so I agreed that he should pick her name.

My then mother-in-law, wanted us to call her Dorothy, after the little girl in the Wizard of Oz. As much as I love that movie I was not going to name my daughter after a character in a book or a movie, especially since, with her thick asian accent, she pronounced the name "Door Dee."

Instead she would call her only granddaughter, "Rindsay."

In keeping with asian tradition, her Grandmother gave her her Chinese name. She chose Ling Ling (or, "Ring Ring") after the famous panda bears. Most of Lindsay's close friends call her Ling. I still call her by her newborn nickname, Pumpkin.

My half-sister Lenore (named after her father Leonard), once told me that my daughter would be destine for greatness if I call her Katherine but if I name her Lindsay, no one would take her seriously. "Lindsay sounds too flighty," she said. Turns out Lindsay is a bit flighty, and I like that about her. She is also a force to be reckoned with, and I like that about her too.

My sister Colleen has no middle name. I've always wondered about that. Did they run out of ideas?  I think Colleen Elizabeth Kennedy sounds nice, but they saved Elizabeth for me.

Colleens ex-husband is a twin. His name is Paul and his brothers name is Peter. Their middle names are A and B. The one who came out first was named "A" and the second born was named "B." That's weird, don't you think?

Speaking of weird, strange or bizarre...

I once had a friend named Rose. Everyone called her Rosey. Her last name was Lipps. Rosey Lipps, how strange/sweet.

I know a man named Richard. His last name is Dicky. They call him Dick Dicky. His sisters name is Lisa. They call her Licky Dicky.

I once interviewed a woman for a job as my assistant. Her name was Jane. She seemed great and I seriously considered hiring her until she told me her son's name. It is Rector. Rector is a terrible name. I don't care if it's a family name. I don't want to hear about Rector. I don't want to see Rector embroidered on his LLBean backpack. I don't want to hear about how Rector got the shit kicked out of him during recess.

The next woman I interviewed was named Kate. Kate seemed great and I seriously considered hiring her until she told me her daughters name. It is Violet. Violet is a terrible name. I certainly hope it's not a family name. Sorry, but I don't want to hear about Violet. In my twisted mind, Violet is a strippers name, and I don't want to hear about Violet riding a pole with a set of DD's.

Besides, Violet's mom chewed with her mouth open. Violet would no doubt follow in her mothers footsteps. Violet the stripper, with her mouth open, swinging from a pole, with a set of double DD's.  NOPE... I don't want to hear about it.

When I interviewed Miss Pegged, over lunch, I asked her what her childrens names were. They are Jake and Tyler. "You're hired!" I told her.

I had several people applying for security guard positions this week. Two, stood out.

The first one's name is "Bah T.A." Yep, thats what his resume says. Can I hire someone the week before Christmas who's name is Bah? I'm afraid if I have him come in for an interview I'll call him, Baaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhh.

The other applicant that stood out is a man who called claiming his name is... (wait for it)... Sheelove Boudi. I asked him to repeat it. I then I asked him to repeat it a third time. I was convinced it was a prank call. I had to see for myself what this Sheelove Boudi was all about, so I had him come in for an interview.

I told my husband about Sheelove Boudi and he said, "I love Boudi too!"

Turns out Sheelove spells his last name,  B O U Z I.

I told my husband Sheeloves' last name is Bouzi and he said, "I love Boozi too!"

I asked Sheelove if he had any children.  He does not.  I asked him if he did have children would he be willing to consult me prior to naming them.  He said he would.

I once hired a man named Rockstar. He didn't show up for his first day of work.

I once hired a man named Doddie. He got caught on the job with his shirt off (long story) and I had to fire him.

I think if I can hire a man named Rockstar and Doddie, that Sheelove deserves a chance.

What about you? What is the strangest name you've ever heard and do you think a name seals your fate?


  1. I do! I think Boris's fate was sealed the day you lied to Barney Rubble and convinced him that Boris was the founder/CEO (and customer of) Pajama Jeans!

    I loved this post, Shannon!

  2. LOL........THAT was hysterical Boris!

    By the way, I once had a pug and named him Brutus. He was a very bad pug and I'm convinced if we had named him Buddy, he would have been a very good pug.

  3. I loved this post. You have come across some weird names. I got thinking, would she hire me. Of course you would, why? Because I'm awesome, that's why. (oh and humble too) :)

  4. how could I NOT hire "Dazee Dreamer" .... we are one and the same!

  5. I had a dog named Flip, he brought several stray female dogs home with him, who blessed us with several litters of adorable puppies. It must have been too much for Flip as he disappeared soon after the second litter what's in a name you say, well Flip was way too flip about his families and I think it's all because he was named so irreverant a name....I say you can tell a lot about character from names...
    BTW, I have been called Betty Rubble....because of my laugh....

  6. another good posting Shannon!!! Love the monkey tv!! Susan Nolen

  7. Heather Hornie was one of the strangest I came across. There is a whole clan of Hornie's here too.

  8. *LOL* That's hilarious! I wish I knew some people with really strange names. The strangest was a girl I knew in primary school: Rose Bush. And a name can seal your fate. I wanted to give my son a unique name, but I had to watch it. My last name is Rains. My husband and I had to come to a compromise and settled for a common name: Brandon.

  9. I had professor named Harry Knuckles.
    I used to think my name was unique until I was making an appointment one day and the receptionist asked me if I was the Chris Hudson on such & such street ... I said, "Gee, how many Chris Hudsons do you have in there?" she said, "about 20," and that was just locally. Sheeesh!

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  11. Oh gosh. ANYTHING is better than "Ann". How boring!!!! I've always hated it.

  12. Too many typos in my previous comment. I'll try again with accuracy.

    In junior high school I dated a girl named Nancy. Last name Dick. Her father's name was....wait for it....Harry. Yes, Harry Dick. Harry A. Dick, Jr. to be precise. Harry's father must not have liked children to have named his son after himself. Fortunately, Harry was a tall and intimidating man, so I am sure no one gave him grief about his name.

  13. LOL .....oh, sure they did (but behind his back) !!! I'm getting such a kick out of the names. There are a bunch more on facebook. I want to copy and paste them here.

  14. by the way..... no one has commented on how adorable I once was!!! big ears, weak chin, thin hair... whats not to love!

  15. My dad used to work with a man whose last name was Leaf. His parents named him Forrest. They wanted him to name his daughter "Maple." He said, "Absolutely NOT."

  16. Not funny, but I named my firstborn, a red headed little girl, Phedra (Phaedra in Greek mythology). I wanted a different name. She's different alright, beautiful, but very different. Yep,your name can seal your fate.

    For years we never ran into one. While living in a small Colorado Ski Town she comes home from pre-school and tells me there's another girl with the same name. Yep, only another 'old hippie' would name their kid Phedra. They even spelled it the same.

  17. I have two. There was a lady on a TV show once that was angry that people kept saying her daughter's name wrong. It was spelled Ja-a. I would pronounce it Jaya. It was pronounced Jadasha. And I quote, " The dash dont be silent." There was another lady on the same show with twins named monkeysee(pronounced monk-casey) and monkeydo( i have no idea how she made this sound any different lol). Some people should not be allowed to have children. If it makes you feel any better, my mom's boyfriend at the time(who is not my dad) named me after a soap opera person who he thought was '"hott". :/

  18. This is too funny and most interesting. I like Lindsay Katherine, it is a balanced name. Now you know why my children have four names, to please the tribal leaders!

  19. Funny names are quite entertaining indeed. Take Matthew Tress (Matt Tress) from Beaver Falls, PA, he did turn out great in bed, but everywhere else he's a mess. Then there was a gal in high school named Amanda Lynn, she played guitar, go figure. I have also known TWO different Michael Michaels. Love for cute Monkeys!!!!

  20. these are so good. Jess... HYSTERICAL! Matt Tress, Amanda Lynn AND 2 Michael Michaels. silly goodness~

  21. A friend of mine works with an Indian woman named...Cunty. How would you like to be stuck with that handle! Great post and so's the one below about your grandson's concert, but I'm not able to leave a comment there. My parents internet connection is really slow and I'm flying on one wing here in Peoria! Have a great holiday!

  22. Ding Ding Ding... Marty is the winner!!! (or as many times as I tried to text that spellcheck kept changing it to "wiener" )

  23. My name is Christopher, not strange but because of my grandfather's strong accent he would call me Christ offa, When my former wife and I were descussing names for our first son she wanted to name him Jack, would have been fine except for the fact that our last name is McQueeney...imagine going to school with the name Jack McQueeney! and my father worked for a man named Ricard nailer , ie Dick nailer. just found your blog, glad I came bye.

  24. What about you? What is the strangest name you've ever heard...

    Never been happy with first name, its "Ronald" and I always felt it was clumsy. And yeah, I do think a person's name does have some effect on how they are received by others.

  25. my name is hard to say - lots of "n's". my husbands name also takes time. mark cook - its the two "k" sounds.

    Ronald clumsy? I like the way it rolls off your tongue.

  26. I think you might hire me. My middle name is Lindsay, and it's spelt with an a rather than an e like most English versions :-)

  27. I think that, to a degree, I act like an Elliot. The strangest name I've heard of is Pilot Inspector. Needless to say it's the name of a celebrity's child.

  28. This is a fun post. I've had all sorts of interesting names come up and I'm not remembering any of them!

    I like my name a great deal. My son's name was a compromise, but it fits him very well and he says it's the name he would have preferred out of all the ones that were in consideration. So that worked out.

  29. PS You were a totally adorable baby! Makes me want to pinch some cheeks and I'm not even a cheek-pincher!

  30. LOL, this laugh I needed! Your husband was cracking me up and I love Boize too! :) What's up with the big ears? ;)
    Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

  31. Nice story honey, are you sure it wasn't Brian Wilson who wrote Shannon song?

  32. There was actually a guy in our town who named his daughters Ima Pigg and Yora pigg. They never got married. Imagine that!

    Ive been reading your blogs and kind of getting to know you.

    It probably sounds strange coming from someone like me, but like it or not I've been praying for your family and that the biopsy shows benign.(I'm not always manic or a jerk.) Besides I want to read some more.


Thank you for encouraging my JOY of writing. By reading and commenting you are feeding my soul, stroking my heart, and in the end...making me a better writer.

Thank You For Encouraging My Joy of Writing

Thank You For Encouraging My Joy of Writing

Shannon E. Kennedy


Photo by Joan Harrison