Friday, March 4, 2011

What's in a name?

My friend Belle brought up the subject of dealing with your name this morning and made me think about mine a little stronger. My personal situation is really kind of unique. You see my father was born as one of twins back in 1913. They looked nothing alike but when my grandparents came up with names they were stuck on "O's" that day.

My father was named Odie and my uncle was named Otha. My father's full name was Odie Langley. That's right, no middle initial. So when I came along they named me Odie Langley, Jr. Again, no middle name or initial. For the first 21 years I was know as "Junior". It really took me a while to get comfortable with being called Odie after I got out of the military.

Over the years I may be giving my information to someone over the phone and would receive mail addressed to O.D. Langley, Oddie Langley or even Otis Langley. I even got into the habit of saying after I had given my name, you know, like Garfield's buddy hoping they were familiar with the comic strip character dog with the red tongue.

I know there are other Odie's in the world but during my adult life I have known of only one other Odie anywhere near where I live and that is Odie Griffin in Rocky Mount, NC. If there is another I do not know of him. Over the years I have wondered if life would have been different for me had my name been John, Sam, Benjamin or some other familiar name? Just a thought.


  1. I really love your name. It sounds so unique, just like you :)

  2. Odie, I know just what you mean. For years and years I went by Kelly, a nickname. Took me a good long while to get used to Raquel, but that is what they call me a work. I was named after Raquel Welch, my dad really liked her. One of my mom's sisters still calls me Rachael. A lot of people do. I have to tell them - its Raquel like Raquel Welch. As for misspellings - oh yeah. In fact, when I got my high school diploma, they had misspelled it Racquel. I had to have them make me a new one and the lady asked me - well did you spell it right on the application? I just looked at her and said Ma'am, I have been spelling my name correctly for 14 years. Have a good one! Raquel (without a C) LOL

  3. I'm surprised your name was never confused with Opie, as in Opie Taylor from The Andy Griffith Show (Ron Howard). I think it's great to have a distinctive name, Odie, and I wish I had one. I don't know any other Odies and I can't imagine any as wise, as kind or as generous as you!

  4. I think Odie and Otha are awesome names. I have a pretty unique name [in it's spelling - only because it is the French derivation and we live in the US] and it has always aggravated me that people mispronouce it by calling me names with t's or c's in it - they are too lazy to look at my name and try - there are NO t's or c's in my name.

    All of my kids have simple names, but I still get "How do you spell that" - it's "Bob" for goodness sakes. grr

    Have a good weekend Odie. Hugs to you!

  5. Odie is a great name, it fits you!

    I was named after my dad and mom, being the first born and not a boy, my dad's name is James and my mom's middle name is Jo.

    Jamie Jo

    I really like the meanings of names. My name means "truthful one" (I've also seen it as it's meaning "supplanter" whatever that means) When I met my husband (we were a blind date)we looked up names and his name Thomas means "seeker of truth" The seeker of truth found his truthful one.

    Fun post Odie

    We named all our kiddos after Saints, I need all the intercession I can get!!

    One is named Bridget (the baby!) and I always hated that name as a kid, to the point that my mom wanted to name my sister that and I begged her and begged her, telling her how much I hated it. Then, a few years ago, I did a St Bridget of Sweden Novena (a year long one) and grew to love that name. Then when we found out were having another girl, we knew she'd be Bridget.

    If my mom would have named my sister that name, we wouldn't have used that name for our daughter. See? God knew that.

    sorry so long...and probably boring!

  6. I'm glad you told us all about your name, Odie. Really interesting, as was Jamie Jo's story. When I think of your name I think of a cuddley bear, which may be accurate! I love it.

  7. i like your name and think your dad (and you) got the best of the two choices. love jamie jo's story, too.

    i got my name from a combination from my great-grandmother and what my mom wanted. i might have to tell the whole story over on my blog, but in a nutshell, my GG (great-grandmother) wanted to name me after a little girl she had watched (who died); her name was Gail Marie. My mom wanted Teresa so GG got to pick one of the two. It's Gayle (after my Aunt Judy - middle name Gayle).

  8. I have no idea what the story is behind my name. I can't believe I never asked why I was named Karen. But I know the perfect person to ask. Dad?

    Oh, Bouncin' Barb, your comment is so funny. I love that song..

  9. I like to hear the background on how names were chosen - especially the more unique names!

    I have always loved my name and the fact that NO ONE else had it. I was named after my great-grandpa Alex and have always been proud of it.

    I was a little bummed when my name appeared in a baby book (after 25 years of it being non-existent), but had to laugh when it turned out that Alexia and long been known as a brain condition that cause you to not be able to read!!! And I have been a reading food since I was taught! Haha!

    Anyways, I'm glad that you have such a unique name! It definitely does fit you!