Shakespeare once asked the noted question, “What’s in a name?” If I was able to travel through time in a cool Back To The Future vehicle, I would meet him and immediately reply to the legendary writer, “Quite a bit, sir.” A name has the potential to bring folks together for many reasons. I can use a recent experience that happened to me as an example. As most of you probably know due to my large font size for my website’s title, my name is Tunisia. A few days ago, I met another Tunisia on Pinterest – Tunisia Nicole to be exact. She sent a private message, asking whether or not that was my real name. I responded with a “Yes” and an instant bond happened. As we were talking back and forth, we noticed that we had some very similar stories regarding people’s reactions to our unique name so I thought it would be great to collect those stories (the first five being hers and the last five being mines) and compile a list of ten funny moments that only people with the name, Tunisia can relate to. To all my fellow Tunisias out there, let’s compare notes! Have any or all of the following happened to you?
1. Having to break down my name phonetically so that people can understand how to pronounce it.
2. Attaching associations to my name so that people can relate it to something. (ie. Tunisia – like the country.” Immediately, people go “Ohhhhhh, what a pretty name!”
3. Having to inform the receptionist at the doctor’s office repeatedly that the name is not Tanisha or Tanesha. Even though I’ve been coming to the same doctor for 5 years.
4. I was once asked if I’ve ever been to Tunisia and if I know the name of my tribe. This luckily was an exception to the usual responses.
5. Having to repeatedly explain why my parents named me Tunisia. My answer: “My mom was a big history buff.”
6. Hearing the craziest mispronunciations of my name that are way off. One fine example is Tundra. I wish I could say that I only heard it once but I heard it a few times in grade school and it wasn’t the kids who were saying my name like that.
7. Realizing that everyone’s favorite song suddenly becomes A Night In Tunisia when they meet me.
8. I silently judge anyone who is Black and has no clue on how to pronounce my name but then I remember that if my name wasn’t Tunisia, I’d probably be tongue-tied too. Therefore, I silently judge myself for silently judging someone else. This is all happening in my head right at the introduction. They have no clue. 🙂
9. It’s pure amusement when I see the confused facial expressions when I say my name for the first time to someone.
10. Getting super creative when trying to explain how to say my name is fun! So far, “Tunisia… like ‘I need ya.'” works like a charm.
So that’s our list but I’d love to hear yours! Do you have a unique name and can relate to the struggle? Please share! The more, the merrier (and funnier). Also, if anyone has the name, Tunisia, please join us in our convo! We would love to meet you!