growing into my name

January 10, 2004 — Leave a comment

keifel is my given name. it doesn`t mean anything, my mother came across a variation in a book she was reading, modified it and gave it to me with a plethora of middle names. which we wont get into, yet.

the root is germanic and properly pronounced like the tower Eiffel with soft `k`. however i didn`t find this out until i was almost 15. up until then, it was pronounced like `kiefer` [as in sutherland] but with an `l`, it also rhymed with gieffel, which if you don`t know was one half of the co-operative duo from sesame street, who got the nectarines.

i remember this because, as bad as we are as adults, no one tops meanness in children and teenagers. i think they pretty much have the market cornered. note to parents and would be parents, never ever give you child a name that can easily be made fun of, the trauma is irrevocable.

with this trauma firmly under my belt by the time i was ready to graduate high school i had dropped my given first name and had adopted my second name, anthony, particularly the diminutive, tony and with the rising popularity of tony! toni! tone!, i was, for a brief moment, not the butt of many jokes, at least about my name.

fast forward a couple of years and i`m older and somewhat wiser, equipped with the proper pronunciation of my name, an umlaut and a modicum of self confidence, i`ve grown into my name.

i`ve gotten older still and hopefully a little wiser as well, i`m at the stage where i`m proud of my name, it`s who i am, part of my character. even with the repeated and oft times phonetic spelling to ensure people get it right when i`m speaking on the phone and still having things turn up with all types of variations, it`s mine and i wouldn`t change it for the world.

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