So this one time in the 8th grade, I wrote and typed a paper for class and forgot to include the “g” in my first name. The paper was supposed to be a comical, historical script and so we were warned they were going to be read out loud to the class. When it came time for mine, my history teacher very clearly announced, “Ah yes, here we have a paper from Moran Divona.” And when you say that name out loud, you’ll realize that “Moran” sounds like “moron.” Perfect. Nothing like a paper from Moron Divona.
Why am I telling you this story? To point out how clearly awesome middle school was? To encourage you all to drop consonants from your names to see what happens? Well, mostly just to provide an opening for our next post: introducing yourself to Italians.
Your name is the biggest part of your identity. When someone asks you, “Who are you?” the first response that comes to mind is “I’m Morgan.” One of the interesting things about living in a foreign country is that you’re exposed to a variety of names that are far different from your own or any names you’ve previously heard.
Some of my favorites include, but are most certainly not limited to:
And then I come in with, “Ciao, io Morgan.” Now, let’s make something perfectly clear here, I very much enjoy my name. You don’t meet a lot of Morgans’ in your every day life. It doesn’t have too many letters and it’s easy to spell. Overall, I think my parents did a wonderful job naming me Morgan. But Italians, as you can see from the list above, don’t have a whole lot of r-controlled vowels in their names. And so when I tell them my name is Morgan, their mouths immediately contort into strange shapes attempting to make that “or” sound (or maybe it’s just my pre-school students).
Rich is lucky because his name has an Italian match-up: Riccardo. He can introduce himself as Riccardo and people automatically know what his name is. It wasn’t until our landlord came along that I learned my name has an Italian match-up as well….Morgana. And when you google the name, “Morgana,” you get scary images like this one:
And so, when I introduce myself as “Morgana,” I sometimes get a reaction that says, “Why would someone name their child after a villian?” So, just to recap, if you forget the “g” in my name, it sounds like “moron” and if you Italian-ize it, I’m a villian. Totally winning.
There are some upsides here though people. For one, my personality is nothing like my alternate namesake so we’re working hard to neutralize the Morgana association with sorcery. Secondly, Rich and I have recently learned that “Morgana” is making a comeback here in Florence with a couple of more children carrying the torch. Give me a year and a half and Morgana will not only be everywhere, but her google images will look more like this: