May 05, 2006

My Name

My last name is unpleasant. It comes from French, which is disturbing, because I am not French. Well, I probably have one line of Frenchness that happened to go straight through a male line. It’s intriguing when you stop to consider exactly what must have happened to get you a certain last name. One single female is enough to break the chain. Females are the weakest link. However, it is largely due to the females that I do not have hairy legs today. Other than being French for a fancy estate that my family of hobos, hillbillies, and horse thieves could not have owned, Metheny is unpleasant because the spell check continues trying to change it to the word Methane. Even with its constant self assured righteousness, it might not know how right it is. I will not expand further.

Miranda is a better name. Miranda comes from the gerundive of the Latin verb Mirari, to wonder at. This is the same root that brings us Miraculous and Milagros (which would be my name if I was a real Mexican because it is more ethnic). Baby name books fondly translate my name as Strange but Wonderful. Others have suggested the term “Easily impressed.” When you consider, however, the fact that I will swoon over anyone who can speak Serbo-Croatian, this would tend to lend force to the second argument. Tracing Miranda through Hebrew, a daunting task, brings the definition “Bitter”. Again, another name shares this root. This time it is the name Miriam.

I like the way my name is said in Spanish. The r is nice and pretty, the mi is nice and soft, and the anda combination, so troublesome in English, stays out of everyone’s way. In English, the r makes a growling sound, the a is heartily diphthongs, and loud obnoxious people say “aynduh”. This annoys me to no end. Of course, the Norwegians pronounce my name the same way as the Spanish. I have not tested my name on Germans or on African clicky people. In Japanese it is okay, even if it sounds like Milanda half the time.


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