Tuesday, November 16, 2010

In A Name

Had I been a boy I'd have been named Clint… as in Eastwood.

My dad talks about "Eastwood" as if he's an old family friend. "You see Eastwood on TV last night?"

He even squints and mumbles and walks around enacting justice and barking orders like he's in an endless loop of Dirty Harry.

Ray and Clint. Peas and carrots. Spaghetti and westerns.

My mom wanted to name me Wayne, except my dad hates John Wayne, so… overruled.

Because my mom had already had two boys she was certain I'd be a boy. Clint it was. But just in case they decided Gina would do for a girl.

Gina, pronounced... G-Na.

Gina shortened from Regina, meaning "queen."
Or "silvery," if you're Japanese. (Cause you know, lots of Japanese girls are named Gina.)
"Garden," in Hebrew.
The pet of the Latin Virginia, meaning "maiden" and the English pet form of Georgina, meaning "earth-worker" or the Italian Luigina, meaning "warrior."

A name meaning placard I had as a kid pronounced girls named Gina "mischievous." It's the only description I've lived up to thus far.

Gina is a family name on both sides. I have a cousin on my mom's side, Gina Michelle, and another cousin on my dad's side, Gina Lynn. They both go by their middle names and are both about 12 years my senior.

I was named after my dad's niece, who he affectionately calls "crazy Lynn" because she is vivacious and fun and prone to talking out of turn and saying hilarious things.

I had a lot to live up to.

The most famous Gina is probably Gina (Luigina) Lollobrigida, an Italian actress and dancer popular in the '50s. Or Geena Davis, but she doesn't really count with the double "e"s.

But Gina G totally counts, depending on if you remember that one hit wonder from the mid-'90s. (World's biggest tragedy is that this amazing performer stopped making music.)

At work GINA is best known as the acronym for the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act.

G-dawg is a common variant. But mostly people call me Gina or G, depending on when you met me and how you know me. If you met me through work you call me Gina. If you met me in college or high school you call me G.

If you know me through my kin you have completely forgotten that my first and middle names are actually separate and you call me Gina Lynn, with a southern twang, as in "Gee-na Lynn, time for supper!"

My birthday was last month and as I was chatting with my mom about the momentous occasion that was my birth we giggled at her first words to me, "A girl!! What am I going to do with a little girl?! Awww, she's beautiful." Then she passed out.

Then she said, "Your dad wanted to name you Clint. I'm glad you were a girl."


Anonymous said...

the term "pixie-like" comes to mind.......

Dan said...

"Clint" - That's pretty awesome.

Not sure what my name was going to be if I were a girl, but my dad wanted to name me "Dylan". After Bob, of course.

In the end though, I'm named after my dad. It just dawned on me that it must have been his second choice. haha.

Though Dylan would have been fine, being named after my father is perfect.