Tuesday, June 23, 2009

My Namesake

Thanks to a dear friend of mine, I can now finally see the woman that I was named after! Perhaps I was not Googling thoroughly enough. 
Here's the backstory: I have the same initials as my father, K.W. When I was born in the early 60's, my parents wanted to give me an "unusual" name, one that was not common. They went through the Kathys and Karens and Kellys, etc. That still was not eclectic enough. Then (as my Mom says the story goes) they remembered a show with a woman named Kyle MacDonald. It was during the 50's. That was the jackpot, and Kyle I became. 
All my life I have had to explain to ignorant people that yes, I am a woman and no, my parents didn't want a boy, and yes, it's a girl's name and no, I wasn't named after Kyle Rote or whoever.
When I explained about the show with Kyle MacDonald on it I would get blank looks, even from those old enough to remember the 50's. I was beginning to think that this woman never existed. 

The spelling of my name (it's 4 letters!! how can you mis-spell it?!?) was mangled during my grammar school years. Cile, Kile, Klye, Cyle, the insanity goes on and on. 
When I was working in customer service and would leave messages for others during the course of my job, it never failed that people would call back asking for Kyle, "I'm returning HIS call". 

Lately people have been calling me Kylie, a mispronunciation on their part, since there is no "i" in my name. If that was how you pronounced it, I would be spelling it KyLee. That looks pretty cool, actually. 
I would never think to change it, because then I would not share my initials with my Dad. There are some folks who, after hearing my name and seeing me, a woman, tell me that my name is cool and unusual. To be sure, there are more girls named Kyle now than there were in the 70's & 80's, but not enough to make it commonplace. 

I have reached a grudging acceptance of my appellation as I reach middle age. It is still pretty unusual, and lots of names nowadays are unisex.
 I would rather be a girl named Kyle than a boy named Kim, that's for sure.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

We would be remiss if we didn't thank the Robins, Lyns, Kims, Shirleys. That's right one of the greatest sportswriters of the 20th century was Shirley Povich. If the last name sounds familiar it is because he was Maury Povich's old man. He said that it was quite a common MALE name in New England. Don't get me started about that weirdo area of the nation. Anyway, what's in a name. Where it proudly. When I think of Kyle I think of you. It truly makes you one of a kind.