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art of naming / nicknaming !!!

Discussion in 'Snippets of Life (Non-Fiction)' started by mansimahi, Feb 5, 2012.

  1. mansimahi

    mansimahi Gold IL'ite

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    My cousin recently had a baby boy and she said that they were naming him Rohan. Rohan???? The question was not because i had something against the name ....I do have some quirks...like how i hate February...but this wasn’t it...no sir...this was something else. The thing was there were already 6 ‘rohans’ in the family....and we were already confused as to which rohan was who.... and another rohan is going to add to the confusion..... Maybe it is time every family maintains a database....a progam on computer ....and when there is a new addition to the family, one feeds a name to the computer and it will say either “available” or “sorry, this name is already taken, please choose another name or try the following suggestions – rohan1234, ro.han, iamrohan, mynameisrohan !!!:goodidea: :clap


    One would think the earlier generations would have had it easy naming their kids...because the kids were named after the grandparents......but No...they too had their own set of confusions. Like in a tambram (tamil Brahmin) families, the first born son was given the name of the paternal grandfather...but was seldom used except officially...because it would be scandalous for grandmother to call her grandson by name since it was also the same as her husband. So the grandsons were given nicknames.. and invariably everyone chose the same nickname Ambi. Now, those days, they were also in a joint family, so in each house, there would be 4 or 5 kids at any given time with the same name “ambi” . If you call out ambi in a agraharam (street where tamil Brahmins reside) ...atleast 10 heads would turn responding to your call. Worst still, the father would be ambi and son also ambi...[​IMG] To differentiate it, they had prefixes attached to it – periyambi (big ambi), chinna ambi (younger ambi), mottaiambi – not to think that he was bald...this mottai (bald) prefix was given when ambi was a baby and his head was tonsured- and now he would be in his 50’s with lush healthy hair and still called mottai ambi :bonk....and there were those who moved away from native and were still called ambi’s – Bombay ambi, Bangalore ambi, Chicago ambi.... and their physical attributes when they had been kids....gundu(fat) ambi, olli (thin) ambi (no matter that the gundu ambi was now olli and the olli ambi was gundu :bang)...you name a prefix...they had it. ....




    Any self-respecting tambram family will have atleast 10 ambi’s in their family tree. ..and mine had more than 10 as my grandparents on either side had many siblings and all the firstborn sons were nick named AMBI.( very original aren’t they?:hide: ) As a child i was pretty confused during family gatherings with all those ambi mama’s ..... I still am. I have a glazed look when the family gossips about all those ambi’s.... I am always afraid that i am going to put my foot in my mouth and say the wrong thing to the wrong ambi... no one remembers their original names anymore... recently there was a sadhabishekam invitation from one Hariharan...noone knew who it was...after much frantic calls trying to place who it was...there was a collective sigh of relief that it was from poovambi (thus called because as a child he loved keeping poo (flower) in his head)...:crazy




    So i am beginning to think that “Rohan” is the new “ambi” of our family.... and it is going to start a new tradition of prefixes. Give me an old fashioned Venkatasubramaniam Ramamoorthy, panchapakesan, much easier to remember and now unique too.. ..but pronunciation is another matter altogether. There was this joke about one Anantharaman Subbaraman who was in US ...missed his flight because the announcement was for “Anotherman superman”... :biglaugh:rotfl
     
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  2. Srama

    Srama Finest Post Winner

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    Ha ha Sumitha! Only you can write like this! I don't envy all the 'ambi mamas' you have! I hear you! We all have those don't we? In our family too, we do have some like that but not as many as yours by any strecth of imagination! But this
    is beyond imagination!

    Your snippet reminded me of one Seinfield episode where in George wanted to name his son (imaginary in a fight with his girlfriend) 'seven' and not to forget to mention my own DH who wanted to name our DS "tabla" - his logic being if a girl can be named "Veena" and made to sound so beautiful that you actually forget it as an instrument and remember it as a person, why not name a boy Tabla......logic like your family's you say? Well it took me a million and names before he picked a name that was agreeable to both of us!

    Thank you for such a lovely write up! And oh speaking of Anotherman superman, I do know an uncle who when people tell him that they do not understand his name, will not hesitate to tell the longer version with a Tamil accent (forgive me!) followed by "now try calling me by my full name" - that pretty much does it and people magically know his shortened name and how to pronounce!
     
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  3. mimur9

    mimur9 IL Hall of Fame

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    ROTFL :rotfl enjoyed this post Sumi:thumbsup. In our family the name of my grandmother and grandfather is very common. Every family (sons & daughters of my grandparents) named their siblings like that. So all are called with a prefix to their names (some by initials, some by the place, some by peria / chinna) but luckily no confusion so far!!.

    Srama, :clap:rotfl competitive name 'Murali' (flute) is there for boys isn't it? But see only girls have more choices (here too) because they are considered to be more sweet like those music instruments ;-) Aren't we lucky?!
     
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  4. vjbunny

    vjbunny IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Mita...
    Such a hilarious post....:rotflI had heard english people nametheir kids like it but never knew Indians too did the same.....
     
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  5. sushmavja

    sushmavja Platinum IL'ite

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    Sumitha, u made me laugh like anything.so many ambis.....omg.i have so many mamas whose name is srinivas and attas by name padma.around five couples whose names are srinivas-padma.so ideal pairs na.for us srinivas is the most common name given after Venkateswara Swami..
     
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  6. Srama

    Srama Finest Post Winner

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    and I hear about it now after 9 years and go oh yeah! Why didn't i think of that - thanks Mira......I still think veena sounds way sweeter. I think the look on my face would tickle my DH to no end when he teased me with the name and hence.....
     
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  7. getstrngth

    getstrngth Gold IL'ite

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    Hahaha well written... To add on there is the name "Lavanya" , "Priya" and "Lakshmi" is so much confusion in our family... Sometimes the confusion comes when talking to other family members they think of someone else and I'm mentioning someone else...
    Couple of days before it happened during my online chat. I was assuming my mom side relative Lavanya and started conversing with her. But she was replying differently and was questioning me on everything.I first thought she has got into short term memory loss because of her marriage. The opposite person understood that I had mistook her for someone else. She then replied reintroducing herself as one of my dad's friend's daughter, that we had meet each other few days before (exchanging our email ids) etc... I was feeling embarrassed...
     
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  8. Mindian

    Mindian IL Hall of Fame

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    Hilarious Sumitha, still :rotfl at all the ambis you seem to have met.very true ..there are a lot of Rajas in my family and Babus in my hubbys family.
     
  9. mansimahi

    mansimahi Gold IL'ite

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    hahaha....nice way to get their tongue twisted :), Most of my cousins abroad have shortened names for convenience...they dont want their names to be butchered... :D
    Thanks srama
     
  10. mansimahi

    mansimahi Gold IL'ite

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    My family has couple of murali's. I love the name though., Yes...like everything else, girls have more choice of beautiful names... lucky ..we sure are !!! :D

    Thanks mira :)
     

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