What's In a Name?

I grew up in church, and attend regularly still. I may be a little more knowledgeable about the Bible than the unchurched crowd. But I guess I've been under the wrong impression that everyone had some idea of what was in the Bible at least.

I realized differently when our 4th was born. All our children sport Biblical names. We didn't start this way. With our firstborn we just tried to steer clear of anyone else's name in the family. My husband has well over 20 first cousins, I've got 10, and we didn't want to repeat a name or give anyone the false impression that we admired them so much as to name one of our children after them. So our firstborn is Rebecca. After she was born we thought we'd do the Biblical theme (for whatever delusional reason we chose at the time) and stuck with it. (And for those of you out there who do know/read your Bible, we're aware that it's not spelled Biblically correct. Remember, we did not choose a Biblical name for her from the get-go.) Our second is Joshua and our third is Luke. Luke has a cool story but I'll save that one for later. Actually there's a story behind Joshua as well. But I digress.

And then The Baby was born. He was the only one that we chose to know the gender of before birth, so knowing we were having a boy we chose not to tell everyone what his name would be. Something has gotta be a surprise. Turns out there was a big enough surprise with him anyway but how were we to know? So when he was born we proudly announced the birth of Micah. Friends and family didnt' have time to react on the name because of his diagnosis with Downs so we had no idea that he had a bummer of a name.

Because of the Downs he spends a lot of time at the doctor. This doctor, that doctor, another doctor; it seems that everyone want to see him. I can't blame them, he is really cute. Early on in this game the receptionist was calling us to check our medical cards. "For Micah." Try saying that out loud. Go ahead. Right now.

Yep. We named our kid after counter top. Who knew? And that's just the beginning. He's frequently mistaken for a girl. Apparently people are thinking we've chosen a really weird (read: You dumb parents don't you know any better) version of Micheala. Or Mikela, or Makayla or any number of the billion ways to spell that girlish version of Michael. We've stopped correcting people after the first few dozen times and the look on the nurse's face when she took off his diaper to weigh him as an infant was priceless.

And then nobody can pronounce it either. I'm thinking that it's not that difficult, but go back to the "I grew up in church" bit. We get many variations of Michaela as well as Mika (with a short I) or Meeka. And I especially love the people who say "I love that name. Where did you come up with it?" I hate to say "duh, it's a book in the Bible" so I simply say "he was a prophet." That really throws people.

And coupled with our last name, which for some unexplained reason nobody can pronounce, the poor kid has rarely heard his real name spoken. Sometimes it's butchered so badly that I'm not sure if they're calling us or someone else. We've totally messed that kid up for life. Like his Downs wasn't enough to deal with. Sorry, buddy. We had no idea.

We've also got a dog named Boaz. Again, a Biblical name that I was assuming everyone was familiar with. I get "how are you spelling that," "where did you get that one," and many mispronounciations. My personal favorite was one of our own church kids.

Church kid: What a cute puppy. What's his name?
Me: Boaz.
Church kid: Oh, we're not allowed to say bad words.
Me: Oh, honey, he was a man in the Bible!

Is nobody familiar with the Bible anymore?


Deanne said...

That's funny, about the dog's name I mean. I understand about naming kids with biblical names, we named our son Caleb. I can tell when someone is not a believer or familiar with the bible.....I get strange looks with a few questions.

Sandy@ Jesus and Dark Chocolate said...

We have several friends who named their son Micah, I think it's a great name....except when he is called "for micah," I never thought of it that way before. LOL!

Regardless he is a cutie! :)
Did you know I teach Special Ed and have many students this year with Downs, I love em all! What fun they bring to everyday.

Burgh Baby's Mom said...

I grew up with a Mica and a Micah in my neighborhood. I happen to like the name very much. Besides, it's not like you intentionally named him after a countertop. And hey, at least you didn't name your daughter after some tires. Michelle Lynn . . . Michelin. Yeah, I've never heard that one before. We won't even go into how much more fun it gets when you add my maiden name into the mix.

Burgh Baby's Mom said...

I just thought of one of the more unfortunate names I've heard. I once knew an Eileen Back. Say it out loud. And, yes, that was her given name, not some unfortunate coincidence brought on by marriage.

The Rocking Pony said...

I'd love to say "what were these parents thinking" but I've just put myself in that group. We did know a family whose poor son was named Brock Lee. I'd never force that kid to eat his veggies.

You know, you spend 9 months practicing the name outloud, paired with the middle and last names, any nick names that could be bestowed upon the child, said in sequence with the siblings, and even how it sounds when listed among the dogs. But never once did we give it the "counter top" test.

Mama Muddy said...

Too funny! By the way, I love the name Micah. And Boaz is a very cool name for a dog.

At least you know who Boaz and Micah were. I have run across people sporting Biblical names with no idea who they had been named after, Delilah and Jezabel! Poor things!

Chaim said...

I've known several Micahs in my time. I don't think you need to be familiar with the bible to be capable of pronouncing a simple name.

I find that people will screw up any name you give them. If it's even remotely unfamiliar, they will decide you have misspelled a common name and go with that. It's ridiculous.

Anyway, if you wanna try a tough name, call your next kid "Chaim." That one is really fun in doctor's offices, believe me :)

No one can say or spell my last name, either. I've gotten used to it by now.

Virginia (Jenny) said...

Talk about jealousies, please tell me those pictures are not where you live! It looks like you live in a beautiful state! If you live in a state where it's green, I am jealous. I live in Arizona. Our highest achievements here are trying not to get skin cancer. We are all excited it's starting to cool off because it's been 98 degrees the past couple of weeks rather than in the 100's!

mum2brady said...

I think Micah is a wonderful name for a boy! But, I do know a bunch of girls named Micah too ;) Someone the other day told me how mad they were that people were using all the good boy names for girls, cause then you can't use them for boys anymore - and I realized it's true! I know a bunch of girls named - Taylor, Devan, Tyler, Micah, even Lincoln - amazingly.

The Boaz story made me laugh!

The Rocking Pony said...

Chaim, I'm so sorry but I'm be among the "can't pronounce your name" people. That truly is a new one for me.

Mum2Brady, my sister just named her little girl Tyler and it's just as cute as she is, but I see what you mean. I'm not sure I'd name a boy of mine Tyler now. Association is everything.

And Jenny, we're even now. :) I live in Pennsylvania and absolutely love it. Not only is it green here, but now it's orange and yellow and red. We have very dear friends in AZ and although it's great to visit I don't know that I could live there. Kudos to you for taking the heat for the rest of us.

WendiWinn said...

for micah. ok. that made me laugh.

our friends just had their 2nd son. first son's name is elijah. and so for the 2nd son, i nagged and nagged them to name him obadiah. "obed". "obie". it's just too cute. they named him isaiah. still looking for someone who'll name their son obadiah. :)

Chaim said...

rocking pony:

Heh. Join the crowd.

It's a common Jewish name, but not really common elsewhere. And the pronunciation uses a sound that actually doesn't exist in the english language, so many people here in the US have some trouble with it.

It's not *that* unusual a name, though. Famous people have had my name. Chaim Potok, for example. Gene Simmons's really name is Chaim. (I'm still bitter at him for changing it. Man, if he had kept it, EVERYONE would recognize my name...)