Magnificent Crazy Names

Omaya - Scottsdale, Arizona
Entered on April 19, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: family
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I believe crazy names are magnificent. Living life as an Omaya is fabulous!

“Hello, my name is Omaya,” is all I need to say to begin a conversation with anyone I meet for the first time. That line instantly elicits a process that usually flows through three stages: (1) “Wait, say that again.” (2) “Interesting/Wow/Pretty.” (3) “What does it mean?” First of all, I would like to point out that my mother’s name is Waltraud and my father’s is Hikmat. There was no way that I was going to get off easy and end up with a name like Jane Doe. Instead, my name’s roots stem from Arabian and German grounds, tweaked to my parents’ liking.

I’ve learned that crazy names in my family is something that is passed down to subsequent generations just like our recognizable traits for having ears that stick out and noses that have a slight crook right at the bridge. My grandfathers are Amixtocle and Nabih; my grandmothers are Waltraud and Habiba, and I am not kidding.

I presume my grandparents enjoy their crazy names as well. Why else would I have uncles named Aristotoles, Arcangelo, Themixtocle, Alfio, and Radames? When my Aunt Amneris says her name on the phone many people mistake her for saying, “Hello, I’m a nurse,” but she is not. Having to constantly instruct how to pronounce our names is a small price we have to pay because we don’t have good ol’ Aunt Bettys in the family. Instead we do have my Aunt Amneris, and I think her name is absolutely lovely.

Crazy names are magnificent. They are magnificent because they are obviously unusual. As a result, I view my name as an original work of art that symbolizes me and only me. My name itself is entirely distinguishable in a crowd. Because my last name starts with an A, my name has always appeared first on roll call lists at school. I know that when a professor hesitates right before reading off the first name on their list it is because of me. They have never seen Omaya before and cannot simply rattle it off like they are accustomed to doing. They have to think about it, think about me, and absorb the unusual sound. From that first instant, my name affords me a memorable quality even when the only word I have uttered to my professors up to that point is a simple “here.” The only time my name blends into any mix is when I am with my family peers, my cousins: Athena, Ramsey, Gianinna, Shajira, Arisztid, Cassieopaeia. The list goes on; I will make it go on.