Friday, December 26, 2008
The Story Behind Our Names
People usually have an interesting story behind their name. Mine is as uninteresting as uninteresting can be. My mom named me after one of her dormmates and they weren't even close! She had to come up with a name starting with N because she and my Dad had decided to give all their children names starting with N (my Dad's name is Napoleon, that's why).
I'm the second to the eldest child and the eldest daughter. That could mean only one thing. Our eldest is a boy and his name is Noel. So I jokingly call him, "The first, Noel". My Dad's second name is Emmanuel so at least my Kuya's name has rhyme and reason.
Anyway back to my name. I immediately know if the person I am talking to is Bisaya when he/she calls me Nemia. But it's not just the pronunciation. It is the spelling. What gets me is that people also tend to misspell my name as Nemia. Now, guess what I have? Renal anemia (true to my name!)
My sister, who follows after me, is Noemi. [One time I had a special T-shirt made for her with the words "Do you NOEMI?" on it.] As a little girl, I could not pronounce her name so I called her "Oyie". The nickname stuck through the years. These days, I call her Oyang.
The fourth in the family has the most unique name. When my mom was pregnant with him, she and my dad watched "Lawrence of Arabia". So they wanted a name that sounded like Lawrence but started with N. So since "Nawrence" looked weird, my brother ended up with the following name - Norenz. Cute, no?
The fifth and last in the family was named after my uncle Eric who died early of a heart attack. Of course, there was the mandatory N and for good measure, a K at the end. Hence, Nerick.
There you have it Noel, Nimia, Noemi, Norenz, Nerick. The Gamo family.
I'm glad our parents didn't have a warped sense of humor like mine. They didn't name us Si, Nila, Ga, Pini, and (as suggested by my male friends) Jo.