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Strange thoughts after 400 pages of case law [Nov. 18th, 2003|11:36 am]
[Current Mood |intrigued]

Reading cases today, I came across a plaintiff named Richard Gini. That didn't seem right. I did a quick check in Yahoo's PeopleSearch. 70 randomfirstname Ginis popped up as a result of my query.

I had no idea that my chosen name is also a surname. In the times when I have Googled it (that egotistical desire to find out how often you come up on the internet), I have never come across an entry that struck me as a last-name-Gini person.

I'm sort of weirded out by this. I know that there are lots of people who have last names that could be first names, and even people who cause confusion with the interchangeability of their monikers (is it Cameron Leonard or Leonard Cameron?), but my name is so unusual that I have rarely run into anyone who had it as a first name. Now I find out that some people have it as a last.

I am curious as to the ethnic origins of this tiny appelation. From whence did it spring? Was it an Ellis Island misspelling, or a foreshortening of Ginweiczeski or some other equally impronounceable ancestor? Or is it a common family name in some obscure country whose citizens have for the most part eschewed emigration to the U.S.? Is the whole clan the decendents of someone who grabbed at those four letters as a likely alias back in the days before Social Security Numbers and forms of identification? They certainly haven't thrived in the way that Browns and Johnsons and Smiths have, no matter from where they arose.

And why do I feel this odd kinship with them? It's not like there's any real connection - a person named John Snow claiming to be related to Robert Frost would have as valid a claim. Yet it's rather like the way that all Volkswagon camper van drivers nod and wave as they pass each other on the highway. When you're part of that group, you feel a little glow - even if you're driving your other car (the sensible one that doesn't break down every two weeks). You nod anyway, and try to project a telepathic connection - "I'm really one of you."

I'm really not. But a part of me thinks I am.

[User Picture]From: gailg
2003-11-18 10:09 am (UTC)
I feel that way about people named "Gail" (or various spellings) because it's not a very common name. I also feel that way about people named "Mara" even though it's my middle name and I don't pronounce it the same way most people do (for most, the first 'a' is like the 'a' in "ma"; for me, it's like the 'a' in "hat").
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2003-11-19 04:02 am (UTC)
I have the same reaction on the rare occasion that I run into a Gini. Or even a Ginny or a Ginnie. We are few and far between.
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[User Picture]From: scouseboy
2003-11-18 10:18 am (UTC)
Have you read/seen any of the comedy book/program Are You Dave Gorman?

He talks about the kinship he feels with other folk named Dave Gorman.

It's hilarious. I recommend it.
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[User Picture]From: brujah
2003-11-18 12:49 pm (UTC)

heya =)

Thought you might get a kick out of the fact that there is a mineral compound that's your namesake ;)

General Giniite Information
Chemical Formula: Fe++Fe+++4(PO4)4(OH)2·2(H2O)
Composition: Molecular Weight = 729.17 gm
Iron 38.30 % Fe 9.85 % FeO / 43.80 % Fe2O3
Phosphorus 16.99 % P 38.93 % P2O5
Hydrogen 0.83 % H 7.41 % H2O
Oxygen 43.88 % O
______ ______
100.00 % 100.00 % = TOTAL OXIDE
Empirical Formula: Fe2+Fe3+4(PO4)4(OH)2·2(H2O)
Environment: In a pegmatite.
IMA Status: Approved IMA 1980
Locality: Sandamab, near Usakos, Namibia.
Name Origin: Named by Paul Keller for his wife, Gini Keller.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2003-11-18 07:08 pm (UTC)

Re: heya =)

Tee hee! Thank you!
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[User Picture]From: salix_03
2003-11-18 03:36 pm (UTC)
alan berliner did this thing where he mailed like 50 other alan berliners and they all had dinner together and he made it into a sbs documentary.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2003-11-18 07:10 pm (UTC)
There was a Dave Johnson gathering last year or so, like 500 of them. I wonder if they were inspired by that?
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[User Picture]From: salix_03
2003-11-19 12:05 am (UTC)
maybe? you should organize one!!!
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2003-11-19 03:06 am (UTC)
Yeah, I'll work that right into my schedule.

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[User Picture]From: peterke
2003-11-18 04:24 pm (UTC)


Gini is a common family name in France.

Ginny or Ginnie are petnames for 'Virginia' and Virginia is the feminine form of the Roman family name Virginius which was possibly derived from Latin virgo "maid, virgin". According to legend, she was a Roman woman killed by her father so as to keep her a virgin. Virginia, the American state, was originally named in honour of Elizabeth I, the Virgin Queen.

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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2003-11-18 06:35 pm (UTC)

Re: Gini

I am a Virginia, and it is a nick, though a rare spelling, at least in the U.S. I had simply never seen it as a lastname before. It's a common last name in France?
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[User Picture]From: kagomeshuko
2003-11-18 11:37 pm (UTC)

names and mondegreens

My last name is Delaney. I do feel a strange "kinship" towards others named "Bridget Delaney." I feel like I'm sing from John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt when I find out somebody else is Bridget Delaney - hey, that's my name, too!

About 5 years ago, it became really popular to use "Delaney" as a first name. It feels really strange when I find out my last name is being used as a first name.

And, in the spirit of our first correspondence about mondegreens, I have my own mondegreen story:

This morning, it was raining. When my dad and I got into my truck, the song playing on the radio went, "Listen to the rhythm of the falling rain, telling me just what a fool I've been." That was pretty funny. We didn't have a song about sun when we left, though. It was "Turn, Turn, Turn."

Anyway, a song was playing as I drove home, and I had never understood the words. I never assumed what they were saying, either. I asked my dad what the words were and he told me. They're "Spill the wine. Dig that girl."

However, about a week ago, I found I had the song stuck in my head. I didn't know the words, so my mind started to make up the words. Those words suddenly became "Little white Tic Tac girl." So, I have my own mondegreen story for certain now, even though I never really thought those were the words.

Stein Auf!

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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2003-11-19 03:04 am (UTC)

Re: names and mondegreens


I never did get around to seeing "Mr. Gripper," which is a bummer.
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