"Don't assume that a single letter name is an initial. People do have names that are one letter long." -https://www.w3.org/International/questions/qa-personal-names
Hi from J, 2018 A to Z team captain, debut author interviewer at Operation Awesome, Speculative Fiction writer, blogger, Lenni-Lenape indigenous person, and someone with an unusual name.
Names are tricky monsters. People tend to take it personally when you call them by the wrong name. Interestingly, this applies even to people who haven't chosen their own name. In some cultures, parents select the name for their offspring. Sometimes this even takes place before the person is born! (If that didn't shock you it's because you live in a culture where that's normal.)
Some people do not have the same name their entire life. There's a childhood name, which is generally just a reference to parentage and birth order. At some point, the person distinguishes themselves in some manner and earns a new name. (This is not the same as a nickname.) Occasionally you'll even find cultures that offer a third naming opportunity in the elder stage of life. Religions sometimes add a name in the middle. There are also several cultures where a person retains their given (first) name but changes their surname (last name) after getting married. In some languages, the surname is first and the given name is second.
Around the world, there are cultures where names come from a "name giver" via divine messages. These names are often sacred and not shared with outsiders. Thus, a second name is generally chosen as a means of reference for outsiders.
I'm J. Just J. It was early in my life when I found myself surrounded by outsiders who demanded to know my name. The Name Giver hadn't visited me yet, so I didn't have one to offer. (And couldn't share that one anyway, as I can only share it with one other person.) I didn't know that people sometimes spelled J with a superfluous "ay" tacked on. I didn't understand the questions that resulted in my second, or middle, name (which I chose based on my tribe, and is NOT an indicator of gender). It's also fine to call me by last name (something I discovered people did when I ran cross country).
I love learning about names.
From where did you get your name?
Do you know anyone else who received their name in a manner different from the one used by your culture?
Does your name indicate your gender and, if so, how do people of other cultures know this?
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