Tuesday, January 29, 2013

What's In A Name

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This post made me think.  Meet Buddy's Daughter.  Below is my reply which I posted to her blog.

"Great post. What's in a name, a Rose by any other name would smell as sweet. Names can be so important and play a huge role in how we feel about ourselves at any age. I remember when I married the first time, I didn't want to take his last name. First off, I never liked it, but secondly, it wasn't Italian. But back then, it was the "proper" thing to do. Well, the day I left him, I went back to MY beautiful, Italian last name! Proudly. I've since remarried, to a wonderful man and... he has an Italian last name! LOL I've hyphenated my name so now I have TWO Italian last names. It's who I am and I have such fond and treasured memories of my Italian/American heritage, traditions, family, and values. To not have an Italian last name bothered me. I identify with my name and want it to be instantly recognizable as Italian! :)"

When people think of  Italians, very often they associate it with food, a lot of food.  And that is true.  Food does play a big role.  I love to cook, especially Italian dishes, but there's a lot more to the culture.  I love how we are very family oriented, how we have large gatherings.  I love Italian music, art, architecture and the language.

I grew up listening to my Grandmother speak Italian. She spoke English fluently, but was also fluent in Italian.  Now, almost 20 years after her death, I realize how much I miss hearing the language.  As a kid, it was just something my Grandmother did, I didn't pay it much mind, I was used to it, she would start off in English, switch to Italian and go back to English.  Her and her sister spoke Italian all the time.  I wish I had learned the language.  I tried to take it in school but back then they didn't offer it, so I was stuck with Spanish, which didn't really interest me at the time.

About eight years ago, I was having lunch in a restaurant with some coworkers.  The women sitting accross from me were speaking in Italian.  I had no idea what they were saying, however, I recognized the language. I was listening intently.  I realized that they realized I was listening.  I said to them, "Oh, I'm so sorry, I have no idea what you are saying, I just know you are speaking Italian and I haven't heard it in so long, I was enjoying it, it reminds me of my Grandmother."  They smiled and told me to enjoy listening and went back to their conversation.  They spoke English fluently, so I'm not sure why their conversation was all in Italian, but I am glad it was, I loved hearing it.

Our names are very important.  Our names define us whether we like it our not.  Our names help build us up or could break us down.  A name can cause years of anxiety, ruin a childhood or make one proud and build confidence.  I was always proud of my name and the fact that it was easily identifiable as Italian.  Many people would comment on it in one way or another, some jokingly saying, "a nice Irish girl I see" others commenting that it was also the last name of a famous person and many asking if there was any relation.

At least women have the opportunity to easily change their name if they choose upon marriage.  Men can change their name as well if they choose to, however, it's a process.  The majority of men don't do it, they simply live with it.  I've known several women who were extremely anxious upon marriage to take the name of their husbands and no longer be burdened with their maiden names.  One was a very Italian last name that was extremely difficult to pronounce and spell.  It caused her years of issues and ridicule all through school, never mind teasing from kids.

What's in a name? A lot!


  1. Fun post!!!
    I enjoyed it and thanks so much for the shout out!
    Mine really was a tongue in cheek kind of post - it really didn't ruin my childhood lol - ( although I certainly did have embarrassing moments )
    Take care,

  2. You are welcome. Thanks for the idea! Come back often to check out what's cooking!


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