For YOU, Kids, Life

What’s in a Name?

May 2, 2012

Jessica had her baby yesterday! As I was reading all about it, I couldn’t help but notice the disapproving comments on the baby name they chose as the parents for their baby girl!!! It reminded me of this old little thing I wrote and wanted to share again. Enjoy!

Today we are celebrating the birth of my cousin Brenda’s baby boy, Damian. With today’s technology, I had the play by play on her decision to be induced, to her trip to the hospital, to the time of the 8cm dilation and pictures and video of the new baby boy via text, Facebook and the old fashioned telephone call. I was super excited and I kept asking my cousin Yvette about the baby’s name. She must have told me five times in the last three months that the baby boy will be named Damian. I couldn’t believe it was so different and even expressed my preference for other names. Today, I still sent her a message this morning confirming the spelling of Damian and to make sure I didn’t miss a middle name. But the more I thought about it, the more I liked it and had a revelation. There was a clear indication that our extended 60+ Roman family was moving on from the common names such as Jesus (we have 4 in the Roman family), Jose (2 including a Maria Jose) and Maria (5 that I know of). Oh, but this does not even compare to my husband Jose’s Banda side of the family!!! Forget about the names, you also have to memorize the typical Mexican nicknames.

When I first met Jose, I met a lot of his family with nicknames such as Baby, Bibi, Panchito, La Bola, and he himself was known as Chepe (you know, because Jose isn’t short enough). There was also a Charlie and it seemed weird to me that this cousin had such an American name. There was also a Paco and I have a cousin Paco so that was normal. But names such as Kako for a Ruben really surprised me as I struggled to keep everyone straight. His sister Gloria Melissa was just “Meli” but when I call her at work, I don’t know who to ask for!! Or I have to double check when I send out a dirty email that it doesn’t go to her mother, my mother-in-law who is also Gloria!!!

This weekend, Jose had a real good laugh as I was preparing the guest list for his parent’s 40th Anniversary Surprise Party. I kept asking questions like, “Who is Juan Fransisco?” and he would say, “um, Panchito?” Oh. Then, “Who is Juan Carlos?” He replied, “That would be Bibi”. But isn’t Carlos Alberto really Charlie? And then, “”Who is the other Juan? Juan Alberto?” “BOLA!!!!” He couldn’t believe that I couldn’t keep the names straight. I continued deciphering between Juan Manuel (Tio Mane is how I know him) and then there’s Jorge Manuel and 2 Francisco Antonios!!!!

We were guilty as well when naming our little boy Diego Antonio. Jose is Jose Antonio because Jose’s grandfather was Antonio and Jose really wanted to honor his grandfather by giving Diego the middle name. We later found out that a Don Diego was a great-great grandfather and even a mayor of Cerritos, San Luis Potosi. Oh, this had the Banda family jumping for joy although I didn’t honor that poor man on purspose! I guess it is what it is and I am kind of proud that Don Diego was so important to the town and to the family.

In all the Velascos, Romans, Bandas and Galvans, I haven’t heard of a Damian and it was refreshing to hear Damian. Just Damian. Although it is honorable, meaningful and touching to name our children after our ancestors, it is also nice to hear something different and unique. We don’t want to forget where we came from and at the same time, like Juliet said, “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” A Roman is still a Roman. From the girl who grew up with one cousin Chuy, one Tio Chupis one Tio Chucho and 2 Abuelitos Jesus, let’s think of a little apodo for the little Damian…

Your Friend,


P.s. I’m still keeping our Baby #3 name kinda under wraps…sshhhh! Can’t wait to hear what everyone thinks! xoxo

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  • Reply Yvette S May 2, 2012 at 10:43 am

    Love this one still! With the times changing and being born here we have gone out of the comfort of the typical “mexican” names. Although we still like to hold on to our heritage we try to go with the different not so common names. As long as we can pronounce the name in both English and Spanish it gives us the assurance to go with it. I also took my mom into consideration that she would be able to pronounce the name as well. I like how the names in our family haven’t been repeated. There is only 1 Diego, Eric, Adrian, Mya, Aleiyah (I went with a different way of spelling), Adinna and Damian. Can’t wait to see pics of Galvan #3! xoxo

    • Betty
      Reply Betty May 3, 2012 at 2:03 pm

      You forgot Santi!! LOL! πŸ™‚

      • Reply Yvette S May 7, 2012 at 10:45 am

        I actually had remembered but I wanted to add a name from each family. I just realized I added both of mine!!! LOL!!! πŸ˜‰

  • Reply Rusty May 2, 2012 at 1:20 pm

    Im all for being creative and different but, when a celebrity names their son “Pilot Inspector” I can’t help but laugh and wonder whether they play jokes on the world.

    • Betty
      Reply Betty May 3, 2012 at 2:03 pm

      I really think they want to be different SO BAD!!!! Thanks for stopping by Rusty! xoxo

  • Reply Maria Gabriela Fernandez May 2, 2012 at 1:25 pm

    My personal opinion is that as a parent you have every right to name your child whatever you like (there’s a fine line with such names as Apple). I was shocked that people would be so bold and … rude as to criticize JS for what she named her baby. Num 1 her name is ‘normal’ compared to other celebrity baby names … Num 2 , well who cares? There are more important things going on in our world today. LOL.
    On a more personal note, when my daughter was born … as un-traditional and un-Roman Catholica as I am, I chose what I feel is a very traditional name for my daughter. Her name is Daniella Isabel … very regal if you ask me . πŸ™‚ I didn’t want to torture my daughter with the typical ‘Maria XXXX’ that my sister, myself and so many of the females in my family were plagued with.

    • Betty
      Reply Betty May 3, 2012 at 2:04 pm

      Yes, very regal Daniela. Love it! xoxo

  • Reply Luz May 2, 2012 at 2:11 pm

    I completely agree with you Betty!! 2 out of my 3 kids are named after someone in my husband’s side of the family. My oldest is named after her grandmother that unfortunetly passed before she was born. I lost the fight of my youngest we named him Jose Manuel, after my husband and father in law, typical mexican!!! When my sister was picking names for my nephew, she wanted soooo much to find a “Mexican” name. But after looking at all the books of names they all sounded the same, she ended up naming him Elijah Daniel, which in our family there is none of. We still call him Elias, mostly because my parents can’t pronounce Elijah, when they say it, it sounds like the are saying Alicia, haha… Funny story, when I toke my son to get his 1st build a bear, like 9 years ago, I asked him what are you going to name your bear when I heard the name I almost fell over my chair, he said mommy I am going to name him Jose the 4th!!! It is nice to honor our parent’s/grandparents, but at the same time it is refreshing to hear a different/unique name, that way when you go to a family party and you call your child, he/she is the only person that turns around, lol!!! By the way I love both your son’s name, can’t wait to hear what baby boy #3 name is. Have a blessed day!

    • Betty
      Reply Betty May 3, 2012 at 2:08 pm

      Luz! Thanks for visiting and commenting!!!! I really appreciate it! I agree…to me it’s super important for my parents to be able to pronounce the name. I’ll give you a hint…the name for Baby #3 will be Spanish from Spain (Catalan) and the middle name you can say a lot of Latinos use it! πŸ˜‰ xoxo

  • Reply Nancy Zapata May 2, 2012 at 8:55 pm

    First time I read what Betty says and I love it. With a boring name myself -and no middle name-I wanted to give my daughters unique names pronounceable in English and Spanish -at least the first name-but we also wanted them to remember where they came from……so after many searches and lists..Nubia Xochitl (Aztec middle name) and Arianna Itzel (Mayan middle name) came to be. Thoughts for a 3rd Aztec or Mayan girl name?

    • Betty
      Reply Betty May 3, 2012 at 2:10 pm

      Yay Nancy! Welcome!!! And thanks for commenting! I noticed your beautiful choices for your beautiful girls…and does this mean Congratulations are in order???? Hurray! How fun! You with 3 girls and I with 3 boys!!! LOL You def have to think of another Aztec or Mayan name…it’s only fair!!!! Love it!! xoxo

  • Reply Liz A May 3, 2012 at 10:43 pm

    Names, names, names…I think it’s interesting to ask why an individual was given their name. Today, too many people want to give their child a unique name. I try not to judge people, but I work in a pharmacy and see different names every day. I can’t help but laugh at times when I come across a person’s full name (quietly of course lol) or get upset when a simple mistake like a letter difference can cause us to fill and dispense the wrong prescription to the wrong person (that goes with a Jr as well). For this reason, I did not want my son to be a Jr. I don’t want any confusion or problems later. Having a middle name is not important to me, but it may be to another parent. My mom had 15 brothers and sisters and almost everyone have Maria or Jose as their first name, but we call them by their second name or nickname, for this reason I didn’t care to have a middle name. In my husband’s family the first born male have alternating names from one generation to the next. My husband is Jesus, his father is Catarino, his grandfather was Jesus, his great-great-grandfather Catarino, etc. We broke the tradition and named my son Andres. No one in our family has that name. We almost named him Manuel, after my father whom passed away when I was a toddler, but we had too many Manuel in my family. It was really a quick decision for my husband and I to give our son his name because we were expecting to deliver a girl, because that’s what we were told we were having lol. As for my daughter, I came across the name Nayeli, and instantly knew that was the right name. It’s Zapotec and her name translates into -I love you. I was looking for an Aztec name and loved Xochitl but knew it would be too difficult for many people to pronounce and and didn’t want people butchering her name when they try to pronounce it. When naming my daughter and son, I wanted a name that is pronounced in spanish but not the traditional, Maria, Jose, y Jesus. I am very happy with the name I chose for them and I hope they will grow up not hating me for giving them their name jaja πŸ™‚

  • Reply Ghosted! | My Friend Betty Says… October 19, 2012 at 12:05 am

    […] to Google, we got Booed or Ghosted. Remember I grew up Mexican? Yes, this didn’t happen around 26th Street in the South Side of Chicago. If I’m wrong, […]

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