Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Just call me....?

I was thinking about my name the other day.  Steve Johnson.  It's a great name.  Almost nobody misspells it.  There are a few who get confused.  "Is Steve spelled with a 'V' or a 'PH'?"  "Johnson is that with an 'O', an 'E', or an 'I'?"  (Yes there have been a few in my life who would think my last name was "Johnsin".

My name is a good name.  I know hundreds of thousands of moms and dads have agreed with that in the past 50 years.  They gave it to there children.

Skye Jathani had an interesting blog today about weird names. He says that with the election of Barak Obama weird names are suddenly in style.  That's what got me to reflecting back to the day I was thinking about my name.  Not only is "Steve Johnson" not weird, there are times that I think my identity is lost in my name.

Try it, Google your name (chances are you've done that before). When I good "Steve Johnson" including the quotes, Google returns over 800,000 hits.  I gave up really quickly any idea of digging down to see how many of those actually refer to me, but I'll venture to say it is very few.

Google "Skye Jathani" and you'll find about 8000 hits, 3 pages in, all relate to the same guy.

So, my idea was that maybe I should change my name.  I already have for my blog using my childhood nickname "Deets".  Maybe I should start using that more often.  It kind of has a cool differentness to it, don't you think?

Then I started thinking, my name doesn't really give me any identity as far as my heritage goes.  Johnson can be Swedish, English, Scottish or Icelandic.  I asked my dad which it was once.  He said one day he as his grandmother what grandpa Johnson was.  Her response..."He was a skunk."  That's not really helpful in giving me a positive cultural identity.

I don't know much of my heritage, but I do know that my maternal grandfather immigrated from the Basque Country of Spain.  The Basque culture is really unique.  Of course, Grandpa Bruner, as I learned to call him, had change his name to something more common in his youth.  I guess he didn't want to stand out with the name Ascargorta.

So here was my thought, I could use Deets as my name, but I could inject it with a bit of Basque heritage.  In the Basque language (which is very different than Spanish), there is a common use of "tx" in spelling certain words.  You know how sometimes and 'x' can sound like a 'z'.  Deetx would be a really unique name and spelling.  Don't you think?  Of course, as much as I understand the Basque language, that would be pronounced deech.  And deech isn't really Basque at all.

Anyway, this is a long winded way of saying, I could change my name, but I'm still the same me.  God knows me as a unique common name can't hide that.  In Christ, my name has already been changed, from Steve Johnson to Steve Johnson God's Son.  That is my heritage.  It may be common, or it may be weird, but it is me.