Wednesday, 12 March 2014

What's in a name?

The Potter's Shed
                                  picture source:

"What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet."
Romeo and Juliet (II, ii, 1-2)

Yeah, what's in a name? 

I was just setting up a new facebook page and for some reason my "name" caught my attention. Well, you may be thinking: What the heck...? Why did a name I've had since 2008 (when I got married) only now made me stop and think?

I was born Daniela Ribeiro Pesconi. As it's common in Brasil, Ribeiro is from my mum, Pesconi is from my dad. I couldn't be more proud of my name or the two fantastic people who chose it for me! 

I've wanted to change my name once or twice. The first time was when I got married. I wanted to take the "Ribeiro" out. I thought it was too ordinary a surname, not to mention the fact that my name would be way too long (imagine... THREE surnames!). 

After marrying, as it's common here in the UK, I "became" Daniela Arthur. I had to "legalise" my marriage in Brasil, so off I went to the Brazilian Consulate in London. I was surprised when the officer said I wasn't allowed to simply "cut" the Ribeiro from my name; I could either keep my maiden name or just add my husband's name to it. Frustrated, I opted for a "long" name.

Then decided I wanted to write. And I needed an "artistic name"... hahaha. That's when the double-barrelled name idea came from. And that's the name I want my children to have. I love it!

So, where does the guilt come from? Yes, because it can only be a tiny bit of guilt there, right? When I was setting up my page and inviting people to "like" it, I kind of became self-counscious about the name. Let me explain... my mum passed away last year (Letters to my mother), I've been grieving since then and still I don't even use her surname??? What are the other people of the Ribeiro family are going to think about me??? Just discarding my mother's name like this...? Tsc, tsc Dani. Shame on you!

I found myself needing, wanting to justify myself; to justify myself like I usually do about so many things. Like most people do, I guess. And I felt sad. Why do we have to justify ourselves all the time to a world that perhaps is not even paying attention to you? 

I LOVED my mother. I LOVE my mother. Like I've already said, I couldn not be more proud of her, who was the strongest (although very often misunderstood) woman I've ever known in my life, as well as my grandma ~ her own mother, as far as I can recall the stories my mum used to tell me.

So, again, I wonder... what's in a name? My mother's "Ribeiro" is not here, but her real name, "DELI", is engraved, carved in my heart and in my memories in a way that no other name is. I miss her badly, and just the thought of her name makes my heart skip a beat (I know, cliche...). 

Quoting Shakespeare again ~ and adapting it a little bit...

"What's in a name? That who we once called Deli
  By any other name would smell as sweet..."


p.s. and mother, I know you don't worry about this... you didn't use your dad's name either...
Amo voce pra sempre.

p.p.s. and yes, I guess I've "just justified" myself!  =P


  1. Sounds like you had a hard decision but no matter what your name is it doesn't take away from the fact that you clearly loved/love your mother very much :) #sharewithme

  2. It's a hard decision as some people take their names so seriously and meaning to them as part of the family and support. In ours I never had my mother's name and I am not double barrelled now. To me it doesn't make me who I am or who I love but I do know it's extremely important to others. There is nothing wrong with having a long name. I love it. Your momma won't think less from above if you don't use it. She knows you love her and you know it and that's all that matters. Thank you so much for linking up to Share With Me and introducing me to your lovely blog here. #sharewithme

  3. In my country when you marry you still carry your maiden surname as your new middle name. In here I am finding it weird that your middle name as your second name. All so confusing =P #sharewithme