On names, changing them, and pronunciation

Gili Bar-Hillel abhillel at hotmail.com
Tue Mar 11 05:20:47 EST 2003

Sallyo wrote:
>They are now Ange and Pete Ferris-Smith-Jones-Fysher-Fry.

I like the Spanish system, which is to keep both parents' surnames and only 
switch to the paternal in the next generation. I was sponsoring a little 
girl in Guatemala whose name, to my delight, was Elida Maritsa Cabrerra 
Garcia. Cabrerra was her mother's maiden name, Garcia her father's name. Her 
child's name would have Garcia in the one-but-last place.

I've kept my name, for both professional and emotional reasons. I am the 
last of the Bar-Hillels (except for Bar-Hillels who are not related to me 
but invented the name independently), the first of whom was my grandfather, 
who generated it from his father's Hebrew middle name, Hillel. Bar-Hillel 
means "son of Hillel". My grandparent had two daughters, both of whom kept 
their names, but my aunt has no children. I have my mother's name as she 
never married.

I wish I could pass the name on to another generation, but this is one of 
the very very few issues that Hemmy is adamant about - he wants his children 
to bear his name. We almost never disagree, let alone argue, about anything, 
but the name business is a big exception. I practically had to beg and 
threaten to get his grudging agreement that we give Roi a middle name that 
echoes my last name (he is Roi Hillel Semo). Hemmy thinks names should be as 
short as possible. Now he is flatly refusing to give a middle name to 
due-anyday-now-but-yet-unnamed-baby#2, claiming that Roi having a middle 
name is a lot worse than he ever imagined. I have no idea what he's going on 
about. I'm still hoping he will give in before we need to seriously fight 
about this.

Gili Bar-Hillel
Tel-Aviv, tel.(03)5250014


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