What’s in a name?

Diogo - Marietta, Georgia
Entered on April 4, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
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What’s in a Name?

“My name is not Diago, nor is it Diego. If you don’t get it right, I won’t be your friend.”

That was my type of attitude in 1st through 3rd grade. I just didn’t get it! I went to an International School. I thought a bunch of French, German, and even Spanish kids could get it right.

I could say that my sister had it easy. She has the same name as a famous Brazilian model (Gisele Bundchen). Plus, her name is in French, which sounds pretty and chic.

I’m named after Diogo Cão, a Portuguese explorer nobody has ever heard of that found some river in Congo. I got upset at my parents after the first few days of school in America, “Mom? Why didn’t you name me something normal?”

She cried when she heard this coming from her 9-year-old son’s mouth, and for the umpteenth time, told me how I was named after a “successful” explorer. I didn’t care. From then on, I was going to be referred to as Eddy, my middle name.

I played baseball near my house, and since I knew nobody, I had them call me Eddy. I never grew sick and tired of the Coach yelling, “Ready Eddy?” Why should I? My name was normal now!

It wasn’t until one day, my mom called my Coach to say “Sorry Coach, Diogo’s going to be late for practice today.” I gave her a death stare. “Mom, now they’ll make fun of my name!” I went to practice, and all my teammates pounced me with questions “What’s your real name?” “Where’s that from?” “Is your name really Diablo?”

I realized what I had done wrong. My name was of course, very different to the American ears. But it was cool. I couldn’t believe it. My name that sounds like “devil” in Spanish is an interesting name.

So you can butcher my name all you like, but I won’t be your friend.