Welcome to my blog. I write about fitting in, sticking out, and missing the motherland as a serial foreigner.

Sterling's Non-names

When I was growing up, if someone called me by the wrong name, it was usually one of these three:

1. Brittany
2. Heather
3. Gretchen

Brittany I get, because it's a Bri- name that's a lot more common than my actual name. Heather and Gretchen are a little more difficult to understand. Gretchen does have a consonant cluster in the middle, and maybe Heather just evokes the same feeling as Bridget?

Well, Sterling has acquired his own Non-names. Over the past 17 months of his life, three totally different people from different countries have called him Preston. And then today, someone called him Tristan.

I am especially fascinated by Preston. There is the st cluster there, like in Sterling, but otherwise, I think people mistake it for his actual name because it evokes similar ideas - vaguely British, maybe it's even a town/area there, two syllables, emphasis on the first.

I haven't noticed that the girls have any Non-names yet. I'll have to keep a clearer ear. I probably wouldn't have noticed the Preston thing except that it kept happening (three times).

What's your Non-name?

March 6th, outsourced