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Thread: Honoring an "exotic" heritage
October 12th, 2013 03:41 PM #1
Honoring an "exotic" heritage
This is a discussion my hubs and I had today. I posted earlier (last week maybe?) about my husband being obsessed with Neferet Pearl for a middle name for Nettle while I prefer Marzanna. We finally struck a compromise, but before I say the MN, I wanted to ask for your thoughts on this. My husband is of Japanese decent on his mother's side, but since it IS his mother's side, he got his dad's Anglo last name (Wakefield). Juniper and Pyrus both have middle names that reflect my heritage of Irish (Teagan) and Russian (Nikolai). He said that it would be unfair to use Marzanna since it is a Slavic name which again leans toward my heritage instead of his. He then started throwing around Japanese names (which I actually do like, but I have reservations on them that I am currently trying to explain in this post) and one really stuck and we both like it and it's meaning. My only issue is that in North America, these names are considered "exotic" and may seem to clash with an Anglo last name. On one hand, it is his heritage so it wouldn't be like being of Irish and Welsh decent and wanting to use a name from say Korea. It is also only a middle name and probably won't be used much. On the other, it would clash. The name we chose is Nettle Chiyo Wakefield. We both love it and it is a fairly common name in Japan, so it is not unrecognizable. It also has the literary connections from Memoirs of a Geisha. It means eternal.Mommy of Juniper Teagan & Pyrus Nikolai
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October 12th, 2013 04:04 PM #3Senior Member
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- Jun 2012
I feel like people are very rapidly getting used to the idea that a kid might have multiple heritages, and so the idea that names would clash because they mix national origins will end up being outdated. Personally, I think a little mix and match is preferable to feeling like you're locked in by your last name...if you child is half Japanese and you name them Giuseppe to go with your last name D'Angelo, that creates a different kind of clash.
October 12th, 2013 04:06 PM #5
I hadn't heard the name before, but since it is to honour your husband's heritage, it's perfectly acceptable to use it. Juniper and Pyrus are very nice together, by the way.
October 12th, 2013 04:23 PM #7Senior Member
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- Jan 2013
I kind of think middles names are anything goes. Very people will see it and when they do, your daughter can point out her Japanese heritage. I think it's beautiful. It's literary, it's pretty and it's meaningful.
That being said, I would, ah, rethink your first name choice, which is not my cup of tea. I think a lot of people will find Nettle a little unusual; it reminds me of Nestle, and the word mettle which considering Nettle is not used much here it's likely to be confused for the word mettle or medal which I pronounce with my lazy accent like the word mettle. It's also her first name so everyone will see it a lot. Have you tried the coffee shop test? (ie using the name out of the house and seeing if people understand).
Nettle is also a plant which also causes skin irritations, and is used as verb meaning to bother or irritate or sting as a nettle does. Sorry if that's a bit harsh, but I googled Nettle while I was posting and those are the things that came up.
Last edited by emilyva; October 12th, 2013 at 04:36 PM.
October 12th, 2013 05:42 PM #9Senior Member
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- Jul 2013
I don't think it is an issue at all! Nettle is lovely and the mn aren't heard as often so sentiment is the most important thing! The flow is good and it does help to address the balance between your heritage and his. If you both love it then I can't see a problem XPoet
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