This past weekend we were at my mother’s to celebrate my niece’s birthday. It was an Italian event in full force complete with my mother’s scrapbook. She’s been keeping a photo diary of our ancestors right through the birth of her grandchildren. It will be a nice keepsake some day. As long as you can get past the names.
As we were pointing out our ancestors and explaining family history to the younger generation something occurred to me. What the heck were my relatives thinking when they named their children? My great-grandfather’s brother was Sebastian. Okay, you may be saying, what’s wrong with that? Nothing. But it’s what they called him. His family couldn’t leave things well enough alone. They scarred this poor guy forever. Because he’s always been referred to as Uncle Saduti (I’m not even sure I spelled that right!) His name would be pronounced as Sa Do Tee with the accent on the second syllable. This guy died before I was born and he’s going down in history as Sa Do Tee. Really?
Then there’s cousin To-To. Pronounced Doe Doe. No, he’s not a female deer. We have an Itulo. Pronounced Eee too Low. Maybe he was short? Can’t forget Cheech. Thankfully, there’s no Chong. I have a cousin Cino Seeno. His real name is Vincenzo. I would’ve voted to be called that instead. I spent my whole life wondering why my Aunt Treesa wasn’t Theresa. But she was!! We just called her Treesa instead. My family obviously has issues making their blended sounds. And here’s a real kicker. Aunt Treesa had a first husband, like 60 years ago, and everyone left living can’t remember his name. The poor guy died in a mental hospital probably because no one knew who he was or where to find him.
Don’t be like my family. Choose wisely when picking a name or a nickname for your children. It will last for generations and end up in a scrapbook. You know, now that I’m thinking about it, these crazy names would make great names for some of the magical characters in my books because no real person is called Saduti.
On a different note: I’m holding another Good Reads Giveaway for Welcome to Kata-Tartaroo. You have until February 20, 2014 to enter. 5 signed copies will be given away to the lucky winners. Good luck and happy reading!