What’s in a (middle) name?

For all those out there without a middle name; “I feel ya!”

According to one statistic (chacha.com)96% of people worldwide have at least one middle name.

I have been forced to be creative when filling out online forms that require input of middle initial. When forced I list ‘j’ as a middle initial for two reasons: (1) I am a junior so it is an easy juxtaposition, and (2) I always liked the sound of ‘Elmer J. Fudd, Millionaire’ (mansion owner and yacht enthusiast).

Lacking a middle name, and being a junior, the family could certainly not call me by my first name, lest I be confused and/or mistaken for my father. So I grew up with the nickname ‘Teddy’.  Since my proper name is nowhere near Theodore, the origin of my nickname remained a mystery to me for many years. I thought I had it solved during middle school, when, as part of a genealogy assignment we were tasked to lookup the meaning of our names. I found that ‘Theodore’ meant ‘gift from god‘. Since my birthday falls very close to Christmas, I had found a ‘divine meaning’ in my parents choice of nickname.

Or so I had thought.

Many years later, as a adult I fell into a discussion with my mother regarding my birth and name, and the truth was outed:

It seems during my birth year the news was all abuzz about a Chappaquiddick scandal that involved the President’s brother and youngest of the Kennedy’s boys: Teddy.

My mom liked the sound of the name…

And from these scandalous circumstances, my moniker was born.


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