Sunday, November 4, 2012

Rose as a Homonym


I don't know exactly when Rose Season is, here in California, but I have a hard time remembering when it isn't.  This variety seems to be especially prolific right now. 

Rose is a multiple-meaning word.  In addition to being a flower, it also happens to be a name.  Specifically, it is a part of my name (the middle part).  When I was a child, I was very proud of the fact that Rose had been my paternal grandmother's name, and that I had been named after her.  Adele Rose. 

Yet somehow, as children can do, I didn't like my name.  Not so much the Rose part, but the Adele part.  I found it daunting that people had difficulty remembering, or even pronouncing my unusual name (which was not, in fact, pronounced A-dee-lee).  And since Rose was the name that generally got tacked to the end of Adele when I was in trouble ("Adele Rose, put down that book, and clean up your room!!"), it was lumped in there with my general name displeasure.

It was a very easy name to have fun with:  Adelaware punch; The farmer and Adele. The all-time classic (from a beloved Uncle):

Adele Rose sat on a bee, and Adele Rose.
(Spoiler Alert: I absolutely love this one. Now.)

What I longed for in those days was a simple name, like Cathy/Kathy or Lynn. These were the two names most well-represented in the 3rd grade at my elementary school.  So, it was at about that time (3rd grade) that I launched my campaign to change my name to Kathy Lynn.  My mother, always the agreeable sort, said "Of course, honey!  You can change your name to anything you'd like.  Just as soon as you turn 18."  (Well played, Mom.) 

As you have likely figured out, by my 18th birthday, I had grown into my name, and learned to appreciate its unique qualities.  Now, I'm proud of it.  Lately, I've even experienced feelings of possessiveness, when people learn my name and say "Oh, like the Adele.  The singer!"  Um... No...  I'm the Adele, thankyouverymuch.   

So, today, on my 51st birthday, having been adjusting to my name since the 3rd grade, I'd like to thank my parents for their forethought in not naming me Kathy/Cathy Lynn.  These are fine names, attached to some very wonderful people.  But they're not me.  I'm an Adele.  Adele Rose.  And I've learned to love my name as much as I love the people who gave it to me.  



12 comments:

  1. My friend, Rose whose full name was Rosemary, but shortened... She thought her name sounded 'old' in ref. to an old lady... To me, Adele sounds classy,and yes its not common... Mine is Christine and I was not fond of it.. My mom told me that when she named me, Christine Jurgenson had had her sex change.. (male to female, that is)...

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    1. Now, that's a good story! But do you love your name now? I've always loved that name. I have a theory that we all grow into our names as we grow up. What do you think?

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  2. I may be pronouncing your name incorrectly. Is it add (just add milk) uh - lay...or uh - dell? Either way, great story and happy birthday.

    I did change my name at 18 from one my grandfather chose for me based on A San Diego weather girl.

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    1. Hi P.A., Thanks! And it's Uh-del. :-) I like that spelling. It would have saved me a lot of hassle in the 60's!

      Now, that's a very good story!

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  3. Happy Birthday, Adele!! You've a beautiful name and your parents were wise indeed! Love the story and sweet rose photo:)

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  4. Somehow, I didn't have a chance to look at blogs yesterday. So belatedly, may I wish you a 'Happy Birthday for yesterday and many more, Adele.' BTW, Adele is truly a lovely name and unique because you are the only Adele I know :).

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  5. Ah! I'm sorry I missed this yesterday! Happy birthday, Adele Rose. And I know exactly how you feel about your name.

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    1. Well, I'm sorry that I somehow didn't see your comment (or LOL's, above) until this many weeks later! I shall blame it on the aging process! I'll bet you do know what I mean, and I think we are both lucky!

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  6. Happy belated birthday! Adele Rose is truly a lovely name.

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