New Name

This weekend was the Twin Buttes, ND Pow Wow. The grandson of one of our dearest friends received a new Indian name during the festivities. His new name is Four Bears.  (The Mandan Four Bears, not  the Hidatsa Four Bears. They are two different people. Our nearest reservation is comprised of three tribes, the Mandan, the Hidatsa, and the Arikira.) The Mandan  Four Bears was a tribal leader who attacked the Assiniboine enemies with the strength of four bears. It is a very strong name. He may need a strong new name to carry him through the struggles of late adolescence and early adulthood.

I have known of such naming ceremonies, but I was surprised to find that such ceremonies can occur throughout the life span. I think that is wonderful. The name that fits you at 20 might not be the  name that fits you at 60. Names are important. They indicate who we are. I may need a new name to carry me through the last two years of my work. It may help to get me to the finish line of a successful retirement.

What name best describes you now?

40 thoughts on “New Name”

  1. I like the idea of having a name change throughout your life. How appropriate!
    My pirate name was ‘Captain James Flint’, because I was bossy and quick to flare. yep, seems about right.
    Could also be ‘HopAlong’… or Gimpy… ‘
    or Sleepy… Some days Grumpy.
    What’s a name to mean Mostly Optimistic usually?

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I have conflicting thoughts about name changes, partly stemming from my boarding school days. The nuns discouraged any sign of vanity or undue self-possession. I grew up having been taught that changing your hair style, or even your clothes, too frequently was a sure sign of vanity. At the time it would have never occurred to me to change my name, but I’m pretty sure the nuns would have disapproved of it. In retrospect, I also realize that had my name been one of which the nuns disapproved for some reason, they probably would have renamed me.

    I’m not particularly invested in my name, at least not enough to want to change it.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. At St. Anne’s of the Sunset I had a kindergartener named Desiree (French for “desired”), and starting in 1st grade she would have had a nun at least every other year through 8th grade. I wondered how they would like this name… if they’d manage to call her something else.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. And that’s probably why they didn’t rename me. Had my name been Irish Wild Child, it’s anybody’s guess what I would answer to today.


    2. There’s a long tradition of nuns getting new names when they join a religious order, and I think many of them choose their own, so they should not object if other people adopt new names.

      Found this on a site called “A Nun’s Life”:

      In Scripture, there are many times when a person takes a new name. For example, Abram was given the name Abraham and Sarai the name Sarah (Genesis 17) to indicate that God had called them to a new place in their relationship with God and in their role in human history. Jesus called Simon to follow him and gave him a new name: Cephas which translates to Peter (John 1:42).

      Liked by 2 people

  3. “Gimp” was appropriate for about a year after I fractured my hip. Thankfully that no longer applies. Am thinking about what my new name would be now……….

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Answering tim, I am in what I hope is my new forever home. It’s another senior community, but seems to be a classy one. I look down on the intersection of West Seventh and Shepard Road, if you know St. Paul.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. West 7th and Shepard Road intersect? That doesn’t sound right. I’m having a hard time imagining where you are.


        2. That’s what I was going to say…there’s no intersection of the two, at least not till West 7th turns into Highway 5, and Shepard Road turns into Mississippi River Boulevard. But that’s not an intersection, really, it’s a cloverleaf.


        3. I’m obviously wrong, and Linda is probably right. I just got here and haven’t studied maps. The street address is 2235 Rockwood Ave. Today I got my new phone number. Most of you would contact me by email, and that address hasn’t changed in over a decade (although I’ve pingponged all over the map).

          Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve actually had name changes in my life. My birth certificate has Sherri as the first name and Lee as the middle name. I decided in 8th grade that I wanted to be Sherri Lee and use both of my first and middle names similar to my dad and my grandmother who used their first and middle names. However no one except my mother would call me both names so when I changed schools a year-and-a-half later I started spelling it as one word and then I had success. Made it legal when I was 19.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I knew a young woman who renamed herself in high school. Sarah decided she preferred to be Daisy. Her parents refused to go along with this, and her school took a tough line. She was Sarah to them, like it or not. So she fought back by refusing to answer to Sarah. She would only speak to those who called her Daisy. And that worked.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Transgender people, of course, frequently change names to reflect their new identity. It makes perfect sense for for them to do that, but I know a couple of parents of transgender children, and I think the name change is kinda hard for them to get used to.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I also know the parents of a couple of transgender young adults, and it’s really hard to imagine what they’re going through. It’s so much more than a change of name. One mother recently expressed how much she misses her daughter and the mother-daughter relationship she had with her. She says she dearly loves and is very proud of her child and their accomplishments, but struggles to figure out what that new reality is.

      The other parent that I know is the dad of two kids. A boy and a girl, now both in their early twenties. Turns out the boy is gay, and the girl identifies as male and is going through gender reassignment treatments. My friend and his ex are both very supportive of both of their “kids,” but this is a whole new reality that most parents have never really dealt with before.

      Liked by 2 people

  7. Today’s Washington Post carries a fun article about a young woman who refused to change the odd name she was given. She just claimed her PhD, so she is now Dr. Marijuana Pepsi. All her life people have urged her to switch names. She stubbornly and proudly kept it, using it as motivation to succeed. Shades of the Johnny Cash song, A Boy Named Sue.

    Liked by 3 people

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