Sunday, August 12, 2007

What's in a Name, part 2: That which we call MommaBean by her father's name would sound as silly?

As a follow up to my previous post on names (and returning to my unwanted maiden name), I thought I'd share the second bit of silliness attendant with this. As most of you reading this blog are likely aware, on all official Jordanian documents, they have your name, your father's name, and your grandfather's name. Now, for an oldest son here, it is traditional to name his oldest son after his father. And the father's name becomes the middle name. As a result, such names as George Elias George X or Mohammed Mahmoud Mohammed Y are fairly common. In fact, it's probably more like George Elias George Elias George Elias X. To an American, that's kind of odd. But, then again, having a Jr., II, III, etc. is rather commonplace. Here THAT is odd. Now, my family chose to take the Jr tradition and shift it a bit. As a result, they give the same first name and a different middle name that starts with the same letter. Let me explain...

My grandfather was Wilton (Yeah, I know, tell me about it!) Thomas. My dad is Wilton Taylor. My brother is Wilton Tyler (he promised never to saddle a child with the first name Wilton, by the way). All of them use(d) their middle names. So, when I moved to Jordan, I became MommaBean Wilton Wilton X. Imagine. Wilton Wilton. How silly does that sound? And you should see the looks El 3atal gets when he they ask my father's name and he says it's Wilton, then my grandfather's name and he says Wilton. They always ask if he's sure. I mean really sure. And, yes, he confirms, it's Wilton Wilton. So, not only is it an unattractive name, but I get to have it twice on all of my documents :). Please, please save me from the Wiltons...

But, in one small coup for me, when getting my Jordanian driver's license, the gentleman who did the final input and entry doesn't speak English. As a result, I was able to get him to put my name in English properly (with my married last name rather than my maiden and NO Wiltons). A small step for MommaBean, a tiny one for womankind :).

Happy Wilton!


At 5:06 AM , Blogger joladies said...

I think it is wiser for foreign wives to take their married name (by going to the Passport Office with a petition to keep their married name as shown on their foreign passport) as at least it gives them an identification with someone in this country. In case of an accident, or whatever, our relations would never be found!! T

At 5:58 AM , Blogger MommaBean said...

There is that, for sure. After all, we weouldn't want to be sans-relatives. And, they'd NEVER find either of the Wiltons :).

At 9:07 AM , Blogger Dave said...

My kid's names on their school records are all incorrect. My daughter's middle name is Elizabeth. According to the school, it's David.

It's not hard for us foreigners to wrap our minds around the traditional Arab nomenclature. Why is it so hard for them to understand (and accept) that we do it differently?

At 2:57 AM , Blogger MommaBean said...

Ah, but it is a bit hard in the US for people. Like when a girl has a guy's name (her father's) as her middle name. I had a friend who got really funny looks because her middle name was Sami.

But, of course your daughter's middle name is David... Too funny.


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