What’s in a Name?…

‘What’s in a name? That which we call a rose, by any other name would smell as sweet….’
Shakespeare: Romeo and Juliet Act 2 Sc 2 1.43


As I was walking the dog the other day I noticed a particular road name…Vallescura which means ‘dark valley’ and I thought to myself that I wouldn’t want to live down that street. But, if I hadn’t understood the meaning it would be okay, as it rolls off the tongue nicely – vàl.leskoora (hope that helps with the pronunciation).

I looked around at a couple of other names, Vicolo della Rana frog alley,


and Via Mangibove Eat Ox Street, or it could mean Oxfood Street! Yes, that must be it, Oxfood Street, Petritoli, but it’s only a tiny little alleyway, not a Selfridges or Debenhams in sight!


My mother called me Ninette after the great ballet dancer and founder of the Royal Ballet, Dame Ninette De Valois, at least that’s what she told me, but I think she found it in the back of a dictionary.

Dame Ninette De Valois
Dame Ninette De Valois I met her once and she signed her book for me…I told her that I had never met another Ninette and only knew of her. I’m sure there are many others called Ninette though.

It didn’t go very well with my surname, Hatch, people tended to slur one into the other…Ninettatch… and Ninettartley isn’t much better! I never had a second name and always wished I had so I made sure my children had second names and in some cases three, just in case they wanted to change them. You have to be so careful, to make sure the first name goes with the second and what the initials spell out, what nickname’s might be thought up.

My sister didn’t have a second name either she was Jean Hatch, I think Maria in the middle would have been nice, Jean Maria Hatch. My brother, of course, had a middle name, Anthony Peter Hatch. He always was the favourite!

I would have chosen Claudia or Katherine as my first name and put Ninette in the middle, only because Claudia Hatch is so much easier to say. I do like my name even though it has been fraught with problems. Most people get it wrong to begin with. I get called, Ginette, Annette, Lynette, Nannette but hardly ever Ninette. I have been known as Largette after a few pints of Stella but that was in my younger days!

My dad told me a story once about a girl he knew who had the surname Rose and the parents called her Wild. When she married, her husband’s name was Bull…. I think my dad made it up…

It’s strange how so many people don’t like their given name, what about you? Do you like your name? If not Which name would you have chosen?