American quirkiness; names

So yesterday was the 1 June and for the first time in 3 days we had some decent weather. Thank god it’s summertime at last. It’s been like living on Ilkley Moor. And as you’ll have read from a recent posting, I don’t have a hat.

Nevermind it was sunny in the afternoon and we took the boys down to Central Park and let them play with their remote control excavator and dump truck on the little sandy beach. Bliss. Well at least for 5 minutes until Noah got fed up as his machine wouldn’t travel easily.  I took him over to the little playground where Elliott and Carol joined us subsequently.

The boys had a blast especially when they discovered the water fountain and proceeded to get absolutely soaked…

We had so many laughs until we declared it was time to head home and Noah ran off and jumped in the sand pit. You can probably imagine how he looked. Like he’d been sandblasted.  Sigh. Not to worry we got them home, stripped off and in the bath and all was happiness. It only took about 30 minutes to clear the slurry from the bath. We even got them to bed early as S&E were out at a concert and we were on overtime baby-sitting duty. Think we earned our corn yesterday.

Anyway one of the things I like about being at the playground is the collection of names you hear as the many local mums and child minders call out their kids. And if you’re looking to hear some interesting names then Harlem is the capital city for innovative monikers. I’ve heard from the proud mums of Maneesha, Deontay, Shardday, Jennetta,  Shannique to name but a few. And the girls in our local store, Best Market, have a great collection too.  Yesterday morning I was served by Tynasia and the day before by Magef. I asked her how it was pronounced and she answered Marr-zyeff. ‘It’s French’ she declared. Eh? Maybe in Louisianna love. It sounds about as French as Yosemite Sam.

No bother. She liked the name which is all that matters. And just to almost conclude this little posting I have to tell you about a meeting I had with a lady and her little boy in the same store earlier this week. We were both entering the lift and we both had strollers. Noah was asleep in ours and her little fella was walking alongside and being a bit demanding over a packet of crisps. Exasperated she turned to him and said if you don’t settle down you won’t get any chips when you get home…Remington. He was about 15 months old. Remington. It’s a great name but it sounded so overpowering for such a wee chap. He sounded like a Wall St commodity broker.  I was though very tempted to ask if her surname was Razors by any chance, but resisted of course.

I’ve since being done some research and there’s a real desire amongst the African American community to create unique names for their kids. To this end there’s increasing use of odd letters like Q’s and K’s and X’s in the names and to re-spell accepted names differently so that  Rebecca for example becomes something like R’Beq’aah.  And the latest vogue, as you’ve just seen, is to use punctuation mid-name where it really isn’t needed. I least I haven’t heard of anyone being called Covfefe yet but you know it’ll happen though probably spelled Q’ovphephe.

Phat-balled P’All


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