On names.

Dr. Hmnahmna recently learned that he’s going to be a father, which doesn’t terrify him nearly as much as it should–which is as much as it terrifies me. The Hmnahmnas live near the Moles, so I’m hoping that they have a daughter. Follow the logic:

Step 1. Moles have a son.

Step 2. Hmnahmnas have a daughter.

Step 3. Baby Boy Mole and Baby Girl Hmnahmna become childhood sweethearts, then high school sweethearts, then star-cross’d lovers as their love forces an intractable wedge between House Mole and House Hmnahmna.

Step 4. I cackle and light a cigar as another diabolical plan comes together.

Naturally, the topic of names came up in internet discussion (some minor edits for spelling and dramatic effect):


8:17pm DR. HMNAHMNA: we have a boy’s name.

8:17pm VDV: Let me guess. Malachi Eritreus Thanbragor Hmnahmna.

8:18pm DR. HMNAHMNA: James Tiberius Leonard Montgomery Pavel Hmnahmna.

8:19pm VDV: Hikaru Hmanhmna.

8:19pm DR. HMNAHMNA: James Tiberius Hikaru Leonard Montgomery Pavel Hmnahmna.

8:19pm VDV: Hm. Was Spock a cognome or given name?

8:20pm DR. HMNAHMNA: Dunno.

8:21pm VDV: Given name. The family name is unpronounceable by humans without years of practice. Spock Hmnahmna

8:21pm DR. HMNAHMNA: Ah.

8:22pm VDV: Anyhow, what was the name?

8:22pm DR. HMNAHMNA: James Tiberius Hikaru Montgomery Leonard Pavel Hmnahmna

8:23pm VDV: those names aren’t in rank order

8:23pm DR. HMNAHMNA: Should they be in rank order?

8:25pm VDV: Well, why not?

8:25pm DR. HMNAHMNA: Thought of any names for your progeny? I realize that entails meeting their mother, etc.

8:26pm VDV: Oh, certainly. My son’s name was determined almost 570 years ago. Raffaele Tomaso Viscariello

8:27pm DR. HMNAHMNA: Is that because of the three sets of names that have been in use in your family since the fall of the Roman Empire? and in constant rotation?

8:28pm VDV: Well, you’re off by nearly 1000 years for the fall of the Roman Empire. And it’s because we don’t like buying any more desk placards than we have to

You’re looking up the fall of Rome, aren’t you

8:30pm DR. HMNAHMNA: 476 AD for the eastern half. I just figured the names wen’t even further back and you didn’t want to admit it.

or was that 437 AD. I’m getting rusty.

8:30pm VDV: If the names go any further back, we don’t have access to those records yet. The problem is what if I have twin sons to start off

8:31pm DR. HMNAHMNA: So what then?

8:31pm VDV: Raffaele Tomaso Viscariello and Raffaele Tomaso Viscariello-A

8:33pm DR. HMNAHMNA: Is your dad Raffaele Tomaso?

8:33pm VDV: Actually, no. He’s Ralph Thomas. But he wanted the Italianized name. And I’m not Vincenzo

8:34pm DR. HMNAHMNA: Dammit, what’s up with this Americanizing b@#$%^&t?

8:34pm VDV: Ralph almost certainly isn’t even the right Anglonym for Raffaele. And I’m the only Dominic/Domenic/Domenico/etc anywhere in the tree so far

8:35pm DR. HMNAHMNA: Was your grandfather Vincent/Vincenzo?

8:35pm VDV: Different on different records. His SS card says Vincent, but SS wasn’t created ’til he was 35

8:36pm DR. HMNAHMNA: What was his middle name?

8:36pm VDV: I’m the only Vincenzo/Vincent (in the direct lineage) with a middle name

8:37pm DR. HMNAHMNA: I suspect he was born Vincenzo but Anglicanized it to fit in and not be accused of being a Wop.

8:37pm VDV: Um…

[Moderator notes: During this pause, the author considered several methods of torture to punish Dr. Hmnahmna for this grievous ethnic insult, and settled on registering a complaint with the federal Civil Rights Commission.]

“Viscariello” is not as Anglo as, say, “Smith.” People could tell.

Actually, I’m finding that multiple legal names isn’t all that uncommon for Catholics born more than 40 or 50 years ago. I think my mom has seven

8:39pm DR. HMNAHMNA: Awesome

8:40pm VDV: My aunt had a name she didn’t know about until just after Gram died in aught-five

8:41pm DR. HMNAHMNA: Your secret name is Pius. Or more accurately your forgotten name

8:42pm VDV: ?

8:43pm DR. HMNAHMNA: Your name that you don’t even know you have until somebody dies. Pius Vincent Dominic Viscariello

8:43pm VDV: I almost certainly don’t have an extra name, because I haven’t had all the sacraments done

And therefore am going to Limbo when I die

Or maybe Hell. We’ll see

8:47pm DR. HMNAHMNA: you’re going to hell anyway.

8:48pm VDV: Hey. You’re not the Pope, you don’t know anything.


Anyhow. I may have missppeelled “Raffaele,” or at least spelled it differently than did my great-grandfather, his grandfather, his grandfather and so on. But in all seriousness, congratulations to Dr. and Mrs. Hmnahmna, and here’s hoping the kid ends up with more hair than the dad.