What’s in a name?

Shakespeare described this beautifully.

What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet

I was not impressed when I heard it for the first later. Years later, I still remain unimpressed with this wordplay! It is very easy to describe a rose and distort the importance of the name. But tell it to me! I have name which is easily mistaken for a girl’s name!

It was not always like this! While in school and college, I was never mistaken for a girl. My name, being unique, was easy to remember! But, this only added to my woes! People remembered my name while I was not very good at remembering names. So, you are suddenly pulled into a conversation by a familiar face addressing you by your first name and you are busy remembering the name of the familiar face while trying to act interested in the conversation!

When I stepped into my professional life, the uniqueness of the name faded suddenly. A new problem cropped up. People imagined me to be a girl as soon as they heard my name! Once, when I introduced myself and started talking in a teleconference call, there was an uneasy silence. Later I realized, it was an awkward pause during which the people at the other end of the phone were frantically deconstructing the voice to check if it contained even a faint trace of a woman.

Another instance was when a rookie engineer was assigned to my team. After the resourcing manager assigned him to my team, he enthusiastically called me! As soon as I asked him to come over to my office, I sensed a wane in the enthusiasm curve. Later, when he became my good friend, he confessed the secret behind the enthusiasm and sudden deflation in it too!

Recently, a colleague told me with a nervous and shy smile, “Hearing your name, most of people think you are girl”. So, do you still think, “What’s in a name?”.

Picture Courtesy:  http://www.biblesociety.com.au/

Tags: Musings,Name


  1. haha man, shake hands with me, a fellow sufferer.. :(

    My last name is my mummy's first name and here you're always addressed by your last name. Its pure embarrassment for me especially when in company of fellow mallus.. hah, what to do man? I blogged about this last year under the same header.. :)

  2. Although my name doesn't strike people that it could be of a girl, I've had people spending that extra second or two to get my name right, which is what it is more by design.

    About your name well I fall in the list too. But then ..it dint take me long to meet you since I'd heard your name from Basheer.

  3. @ScorpioGenius - :) Now, I will have to go through your archives and dig up that article. We should start a "What's in a name?" club.

    @Sanju - Thanks for your honest but late confession. :) As far your name is concerned, the your last name is slightly confusing because of similar names starting with "Sri". :) I remember asking this twice to one of my colleagues before preparing one of the infamous excel sheets. :)

  4. Frankly,when you visited my site for the first comment,I thought it was from a female....till I went to read your profile.
    Don't worry,you are the best with your name.

  5. At least your daughter I presume never had problems learning your name. Ishita could not pronounce her fathers name for a long time and answered "I don't know " every time somebody asked her the name of her father.

  6. My son is always mistaken for a girl because of his name..whats the meaning of your name?

  7. I never thought it to be girl's name ....may be because i have many male relatives with names like Munna,Chunna.

  8. @BKC - Another friend confesses! :)

    @Aparna - The "D" name is a tongue twister. But "I don't know" response is funny and also embarrassing! :) You are right! I will never have that issue because she pronounces my name. :)

    @Sujata - Yes, I was also wondering about his name when I read your post on his birthday! And about my name, there is no meaning to it! :(

    @Kavita - Finally! Someone who never mistook me a girl. :)

    @Ramesh - Thanks. :)

  9. Nona: Are you saying your name has " no meaning " huh ?
    Ok lets believe it that way.

  10. names can really confuse... people think i am south i dia because my name is like that... but guess what... im from the north eastern parts... :) whats in the name!!! bah!!!

  11. That's a nice post!!! I was always mistaken by a male from my name.. but i got benefited by it and got my first job at Pepsico...

  12. @Jithu - Thanks for dropping by. :)

    @Rajlakshmi - Thanks for dropping by. To be frank, I also thought you were from South India!

    @Swatantra - Interesting! PepsiCo is gender biased???

  13. maybe its the rhyme with Nina that makes people confused...;)

  14. You know what, I too was thinking about your name till I read this post. I actually thought Nona was ur pen name and even I have googled several time to check what this word means actually..Well actually what I had to was to just read this post..nice post and nice writing style..

  15. @Mathew - There are women with this name! :)

    @Tomz - Thanks. :)

  16. Had a good laugh...actually it need not sound a feminine all through, in local vernacular langauage it also means ....err..HOUSEFLY!
    But frankly I like the name, it sounds like a pet name with lot of affection in it.
    Your topic has been of interest for me too, want to blog on it some day.

  17. @Vaz - One of my classmates in Manipal had mentioned about the "housefly" connection during my college years. :) I will wait for your blog!


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