Thursday, October 23, 2008

Name Calling

I commented on Daphne Paez's 'What's in name?' post on LJ. I decided to post it here as well.

My real name is Zemirah. I've met a lot of Zees (Zee is my nickname), but never a Zemirah. I used to spell my nickname with just Z, but my tita from the states wrote out Zee in my pasalubongs so I guess it kinda stuck.

It's pronounced Ze-mee-raah. I hate it when people say Ze-maaay-rah. Some friends say Zeh-mi-raah (with matching theatrics), but it's a joke so it's ok.

So why the weird name? My mom (Hadassah) was looking for an interesting name. She wanted something biblical since she and her sisters all have biblical names (Tabitha, Ruth, Judith). My dad (Carlos) and his siblings have names based on feast days of saints (based on their birth dates).

My mom wanted something unique so she picked the Z page from the book of baby names (which I think she got from the church library- I'm not kidding). I'm the first born so she picked Zemirah which means "joy of parents". She liked the meaning so much, she neglected to check the Bible passage until after I was already named. Lo and behold, 1 Chronicles 7:8 reads "The sons of Becher were Zemirah, Joash, Eliezer..." Eh lagot. Girl ako eh. Oh well.

When I was younger, I'd get weirded out with siblings whose names had a common theme (Cherry, Apples, Orange, Peaches), a common name (Maria Cristina, Maria Lorena), or a common letter (Patty, Pia, Paolo, Portia). I never realized that we were one of them! We turned out to be the weird Z family. My brothers names are Zabdiel, Zuriel, Zachariah.

As a kid, I wanted a "prettier" name like Jennifer, Barbara or Patricia. I used to use Lila also, after Lila Fowler of Sweet Valley Twins Hahahaha Now, when sales agents annoy me on the phone, I just say my name is Katrina.

In coffeeshops, I say Z when they ask me for the name for my drinks. Z seems like a no-brainer to spell, but no! It's been written as Zy, Zi, C. What happens when the other barista calls out for my drinks? The scenarios have been:

"Drinks on the bar for Zey!"
"Calling out for 2!"

But the best so far:
"Mocha Frappucino for ZORRO!"