This morning, I hung out in my bed trying to avoid the start of another day. I busted out my library book, Murder On The Orient Express by Agatha Christie. The main character's name is Hercule Poirot* and he is from Belgium. I'm pretty sure they speak French in Belgium. I'm not sure how to pronounce the name. It shouldn't be a problem for me since I'm not reading the book out loud but I-read-every-word. Some people can skim and understand, some people don't have to say the words in their head as they read.... That's not me. I read every word and say it in my head and then the book plays out in my head like a movie. But I stumble every time I get to this name. In my head I've been saying Hercule (her-Q-lee) like the Greek guy - Hercules only without the S. And Poirot (Pair-O) like that dude with the tiny head and big ears named Ross who tried to run for President way back when. Or, maybe he did actually run.... I don't know.
As I read and stumble my mind wanders and I stop thinking about what I'm reading, even though I continue to read and eventually find myself three pages on and no idea what's going on. I back track and read it all again, sometimes finding that my mind has wandered again, probably triggered by the same phrase in the book as the time it wandered before.
Today as I thought about this strange name I started to think about my own. Specifically my maiden name because I have always thought it an odd name and Becky and I recently had a conversation in which she expressed surprise that we aren't the only Algers in the world. There are others and we don't know how we're related to them. I was wondering where it came from.
So I busted out the baby name book. (OK, I confess, I made Sam bust it off the shelf because I wasn't ready to get out of bed. And I'm lazy.) 35,000+Baby Names by Bruce Lansky. (We bought it for around 50cents at a garage sale way back when I was pregnant with Sam. Why? I don't know. We didn't use it to name him. And why do we still have it? I don't know. Everybody knows we don't get to name babies around here.) (Am I aloud to use parentheses every time my mind wanders during this post?) [I should go to college to find out.(Or at least take a refresher course.)] (Ooooh, parentheses inside of brackets!... tricky!...)
Where was I? Oh, the name book. First, I looked up Julie. It said:
Julie (English) a form of Julia.
So I went to Julia. It said:
Julia (Latin) youthful. A feminine form of Julius. See also Giulia, Jill, Jillian, Suli, Yulia.
OOOH, YOUTHFUL! I like that!
On to my middle name which I get from my Amazing Aunt Alicyn. Of course this spelling version isn't in there. In fact, what ever you do, don't google it. It's just not appropriate. So, I went to:
Alison, Allison (English) a form of Alice. See also Lissie.
Alice (Greek) truthful. (German) noble.
And then listed below, among others, Alicyn! Yay!
Truthful and Noble.... I like that.... (HEY! I confessed about saying I busted the book out when it was really Sam who did it.)
On to the last.
Not there... Oh, I'm in the girl section...
Here it is:
Alger (German) noble spearman. (English) a short form of Algernon.
Algernon? Great. Remember that book they made you read in Junior High called Flowers For Algernon, and it was about a mentally handicapped guy who is scientifically experimented on to be made smarter because hey, it worked on the mouse, and then the mouse dies and so you know whats coming for the guy.... Yeah, I remember it too. And with a last name like Alger, in JUNIOR HIGH, those are a few weeks I'd like to forget. Thank you very much. Anyway.
Algernon (English) bearded, wearing a moustache.
OK, NOW I'M JUST MAD!** WHY ARE WE HERE?! TALKING ABOUT THIS?!
* I asked my beautiful,brilliant, and bilingual employer how to pronounce it this morning when she dropped off her baby. She said it's HERR (emphasis on the first part)Qul (spoken gently) the E is silent. I have been pronouncing Poirot correctly with the silent T, but it sounds so much prettier when she says it.
** If you know what's good for you, you won't tell me that you clicked here.
2 days ago