Sometime soon Mie and I are going to have to finally decide on a name for our art project. We've been using the "working title" of Gargle, courtesy of Mie's father, but that's probably not going to win her many friends in school so the pressure is on for something a tad more appropriate.
Since both Mie and I have three letter names, a few friends suggested we come up with another three letter name. My friend Jim who was a fellow computer science student back at my University went a step further and suggested a recursive three letter name, such that the initials were also the first name. For example, Amy Michelle Yaginuma = A.M.Y..
I liked this idea, so I wrote some quick ruby code to spit out all possible three letter permutations ending in Y:
for letter1 in 'a'..'z' for letter2 in 'a'..'z' puts letter1+letter2+'y' end end
Then I manually took out all the results that simply wouldn't do (like Cqy), yielding a number of normal names (Amy, Fay, Guy, Ivy, Jay, Joy, Ray, Roy) plus plenty of words that would be more creative names (Any, Ary, Bay, Boy, Coy, Day, Fey, Fly, Fry, Gay, Hay, Hey, Icy, Key, Lay, Nay, Pay, Ply, Pry, Say, Shy, Sky, Spy, Sty, Thy, Toy, Way, Wry, Yay). There were also a lot of results that were simply valid utterances although neither name nor recognizable word, such as Axy, Bly, Cey, Ely, Emy, Kny, Koy, Oxy, Pey, Qay, Rey, Umy, Vay, Yfy, etc.. There were a ton of these.
We're not into normal names so that cut out the first set, and yes, I fully expect the "why couldn't you give me a normal name" conversation years from now. You'll appreciate it one day, now go do your homework. Out of the second set, the closest Mie and I could come to an agreement was Sky, but we both thought that was still a little too much of a common hippie name. Personally, my favorites were Sky, Spy and Fly. I thought Yay would be funny for about a month, but figured I'd be made to regert it at some point. Bay is cool on one level, as it ties to San Francisco in a way, but I didn't like the sound of it as a name. Ary was too geeky even for me. I love the irony of Boy, but even I know that would be a mistake. Shy is nice, but could end up being a personality affector in one way or another. I also liked Qay for some reason. Eventually it occurred to me that Qay was the name of a club Mie and I went to the first time I visited her in Tokyo (Mission: Woo). But I just checked the photo record and it was actually called Cay. I kind of like that too.
So that turned up a lot of of possibilities, but nothing really grabbed us. Mie came up with a mutation of the algorithm, which was to make the name have more than three letters, but still be recursive. For example, Brandy Rand Yaginuma = B. Rand Y.. This would greatly increase the possibility space, but we haven't come up with any good ones yet.. I might have to write some code again to help out. Actually Mie's first example of this algorithm was Kinky Ink Yaginuma, which segues into our other category of attempts.
We were watching Born Into Brothels, a great documentary about children of prostitutes in India. One of the kids names was Kochi, which Mie really liked. Of course, this might have something to do with her blog being named Kokochi. A few days later we were out in North Beach and ran across an exotic dancer named Aiku, which Mie also liked. I suppose it's pretty sad that our short list is partially culled from films about prostitution and fake stripper names.
Another restriction Mie has placed on the name is that it must be easily pronouncable
to a native Japanese speaker. This has nixed a few names so far. I've recently started to like Xeni (yes, I got the idea from that Xeni), which is pronounced "SHEH nee", but Mie says that will turn into Jenny in nihongo. I like the idea of X Y as initials. Xeni Zenith Yaginuma! Or how about Wind Xeni Yaginuma, W.X.Y.?
Incidentally, I've always thought Danny and Quinn set the bar when they named their daughter Ada after the world's first computer programmer Ada Lovelace. Great name, great legacy. Geek power!
Mie and I both like the idea of using a place name as either a middle or first name. That way we could rationalize making a family trip there some day. One of these days we'll sit down with an atlas and scour the possibilities. We could also use somewhere we already know and love, like Pai in Thailand.
My friend Sean has been helpful. Before we knew the gender he came up with several names that would be appropriate just in case the baby turned out to be an hermaphrodite. I forget most of them, one was Bevmo. He always goes one step further than the average joe. His more recent suggestions include Feral Yaginuma, Tobor Isrobotspelledbackwards Yaginuma and Cataract Condoleeza Yaginuma.
Um, so as you can see we're not making a lot of progress. We still have at least a few months to decide though. And of course we could always do what our friend Lani did. She refused to name her son when she left the hospital, only settling on Nicholas after getting to know him for a couple of months. That actually makes a lot of sense.
And then there's the important thing with any name in this day and age: is the .com domain available? . Perhaps we should just name her Daughtr .
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