Saturday, June 30, 2007

Euphemia -- a fatal kidney disease or just another name?

One of my college roommates was named Euphemia. The name is Greek in origin, although her family is English and German. We accidentally discovered that there was a saint named Euphemia, when I was trying to pass her off as Catholic in front of the priest who was going to marry me. It was bad enough that I wasn't converting, but having a Protestant matron of honor on top of it all might have pushed him over the edge. When she said her real name, he perked right up and said, "Oh, after St. Euphemia." Why yes, we said, thrilled to learn that she had been named after a martyr who had been burnt at the stake. How lucky we were to have done our due diligence without knowing it.

Euphemia had been named after her mother, Euphemia. But neither one of them was called Euphemia. My roomie was Bonnie and her mother was Peggy. I used to say those names were euphemisms for Euphemia.

The name Euphemia was for more formal occasions. Like births, deaths, and marriages. The other names were for casual use.

Then thirty or so years ago along comes a granddaughter who was named [you had to ask?] Euphemia. But we call her something else of course. 

Now she is having a little girl of her own. Will she break the chain? Her brother has already had a daughter that he REFUSED to name Euphemia.

One of my brothers is having his third child, a second boy, in December. All the names he liked, which included Aidan and Cian [pronounced Chewbacca because it's Welsh] have been axed by various family members. I can feel his pain.

But as odd as it is, I can only imagine what will happen if the name Euphemia is replaced by something more euphonious when my roomie's latest granddaughter is born.

2 comments:

mombzbe said...

Told my hubby that if we had another baby, and I know it would be a boy, I'd name him Aidan.
What he replied is not fit to print. :p
Anna

Mrs. L said...

Yes, they named the new baby girl Euphemia, but they call her MIA -- her name is from the last three letters. Phewf.