What’s in a name?

Daily Prompt: Say Your Name


In Islam, it’s the right of your child to be given a name with a good meaning. For this reason I spent months finding good yet exotic sounding names for my six future children (ambitious, I know. But I realize now one is enough!).When I eventually fell pregnant I didn’t use any of it. Instead I used a name that my family had lost; their original surname.

When my great grandfather came from India to South Africa he was illiterate. When he applied for a South African identity document he told the clerk his name and the clerk, a man of another race and ethnicity completely, didn’t know how to pronounce, let alone spell it. He then gave my great grandfather a shortened version; the middle part of the 3 syllable name he heard.

The original name has a good meaning as well as significance and the masculine sound of it is the exact characteristics I was looking for in a name for my son.

I never really wondered what my name meant. It was only when looking for a name for my own child did I look up my own name. It turns out that it’s made up of two Arabic words; joy and elegance. I’ve been told that it accurately describes the person I am. Hence I think a name has a secret impact on the person you become. Would a child named Warrior grow up with more confidence than a child named Donkey? I don’t think a name should define you, not at all but I do believe its vital for a parent to give a child a name he can be proud of.

I am proud of my name; I never once wanted to change it. My nickname (a shortened version of my name) was always a part of me I found solace in. It was another side of me. The creative, funny, youthful, unique side of me that nobody else could copy. None of my friends or cousins were known by their nickname the way I was. Growing up, some people didn’t even know my real name. I felt cool, like a celeb with my own tag name.

Now hardly anyone calls me by my nickname anymore but I don’t mind. I am a woman now and am proud to embrace the ‘elegant’ part of my name. The refined part of myself.

*On a side note if I could choose a second name I’d go for Sakura, meaning cherry blossom in Japanese. It’s the most beautiful tree. EVER. 

When I was little my dad explained to me where my twin sister and I came from. (We were born a day after my moms birthday.) My dad told me that my mom was in hospital on her birthday and needed to be cheered up so he climbed Table Mountain and found two baboons. He then shaved their hair off and gave them to her as a present. This is why he called me ‘aapie’ (monkey).

It didn’t have to make sense when your 4 year old self was still trying to process the fact that you could still have been on a mountain somewhere growing up with wild animals!

Besides that every Sunday morning my dad told me a chapter of another ‘true’ story. It was about a princess who owned a tiger and a huge but powerful emerald.  I have yet to find out what the princess does with the powerful emerald. The princess’ name was Fahranaaz.

And if you didn’t know; that’s my name. Pleased to meet you 🙂


10 responses to “What’s in a name?

  1. Pingback: Daily Prompt: All About A Name | My Daily Prompt Blog·

  2. Pingback: Daily Prompt: Say Your Name | writinglikeastoner·

  3. Pingback: My Name Is . . . | A Short A Day·

  4. Pingback: Daily Prompt – Say Your Name | Joe's Musings·

  5. Pingback: Boy To Man | Daily Prompt: Say Your Name | mattsden101·

  6. Such a lovely story 🙂

    My family and I can relate completely with your grand dad’s situation – the very same thing happened to us. But I guess my dad didn’t try to change the ‘name’ we’ve been given so we’re still known as Akabor even though we’re rightfully Akbar 🙂

    • I think it happened to many people unfortunately. At least we have an idea of the on our lineage, some people have no idea and perhaps don’t know they could be related to someone they know. Thanks for your comments 🙂

  7. Pingback: Identity crisis?! | Ireland, Multiple Sclerosis & Me·

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s