Monday, February 4, 2008

That's My Name and I Am Proud of It!

Ever wondered if your name would translate into something really embarrassing in a foreign language? How about your initials spelling something that was a real *PITA*. The baby name guidance of today is quick to warn parents to check that little sweet pea's initials will be as pleasant as that new baby smell. But how were the Dutch of 200 years ago supposed to know *WTF* the acronyms in today's English venacular would be. *LOL*

Really stupid, really real discussions abound on baby naming forums for some prime examples of parental cruelty or ignorance. The silliest name I ever personally encountered was Mrs. Olive Green. She went to our church when I was small.
I wonder if the LL Bean monogramming department ever had to turn someone down? I can certainly envision a worker calling his coworkers over to share a good chuckle. I know the DMV certainly does screen their custom license plates. And remember this embarrassing NFL moment? Does the International English Honor Society think they totally escape ridicule by using their little greek letters? And with text messaging rampant among our teens, new acronyms are becoming popularized every minute.

Imagine finding a steamer trunk in your elderly neighbor's recently deceased great-aunt's attic. Inside is the most beautiful antique sampler you have ever seen. The trunk even has the documentation to help date it back to 1750 (I probably need a few more "greats" in the timeline to make it work). The only catch, her great aunt's great-great-grandmother that stitched it was named Anneke Saartje Smit. Oh yeah, they were from Friesland, in the northern Netherlands, home of the Big Honkin' Initials.
Well, fortunately, that is not the sampler of current discussion. (And anyway, traditionally the Dutch did not actually use middle names in that time period.) Sampler 1761 reproduction by Permin is the Queen of the Big Honkin' Dutch Initials. Another fine Friesian example. Now here is a wonderful success story of a trunk in Lilian's Aunt's Attic that has a much happier ending.

However, my Dutch sampler did need some initials. I rely on the tussenvoegsel to give me a third inital and enough material to hopefully stir up a giggle, but not too much more. Bestina's last name was "van Drachten." So, here we are so far (the size of the crop represents the finished size more or less - we ARE getting close):
Enough little donuts to keep a powder sugar mustache on Homer Simpson all week.


KsMaryLou said...

Big Honkin' Dutch Initials indeed! LOL So this is to be Bestina's Dutch Beast. Oh how I love your warped sense of humor. hee, hee I can't wait for this chart.

Anonymous said...



Anonymous said...

ML, did you realize that Olive Green's initials are OG? Love, Kim

Lynn said...

Tracy, regarding LL Bean; one of the most memorable good times my friend and I ever had was at an LL Bean outlet store. The tote bag section was all of the mistakes! We stood there laughing for at least 45 minutes at some of the names with some fabulous misspellings. Of course the only one I can remember was Coutney, missing the r, not one of the best. I'm sure most of the customers were appalled by our hilarity!