wings and things

My name is “MING!”

on March 7, 2014

If we had had more than one child we probably would have become more accomplished at the name thing. Alas, Ming (as our only child) inherited a bunch of names that make him sound/seem like a bit of a superior-being-weirdo – poor kid!

His first name is Menzies (pronounced Mingus with a soft ‘g’ and soon shortened to ‘Ming’). This name was chosen by Anthony, whose uncle on his mother’s side, had a Scottish name in the midst of which was ‘Menzies’.

His second name is Brinsley, named after my father, and his father, and his father. Many of the children, my brother, Brin, included, and grandchildren, have ‘Brinsley’ inserted somewhere inside their names. My father, Brinsley, died suddenly, when my brothers and I were still teenagers.

Ming’s third name is Barr, named after Anthony’s father, so his whole name is Menzies Brinsley Barr Goyder. It sounds rather impressive doesn’t it (and pretentious!)

It is very hard to get the pronunciation of ‘Ming’ from ‘Menzies’ however Ming has no patience with anyone who calls him MENZIES!

We should have just called him ‘Schnooks’ or something simpler – argh!

54 responses to “My name is “MING!”

  1. Rachel's Ramblings says:

    I feel his pain, or I should say my kids do!

  2. Fascinating. I’ve been curious about this name and of course would never have gotten the pronunciation without your explanation!

  3. Rhonda says:

    We grow into our names don’t we? Can you look at him and imagine him with any other? Nah…he’s Ming and always will be. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  4. I did wonder about his name… nice to hear where it is derived…. Diane

  5. susanpoozan says:

    Very interesting, pronouncing Menzies like that is easy for those with a Scottish background!

  6. I love it! Ming is such an interesting musical name to me, to know the true name is interesting as well. As one named with a strange name ( no I won’t tell) I can also sympathize with Ming and the no tolerance for the Menzies.

  7. mimijk says:

    “Schnooks’ is endearing – that’s what I tell my boys (because I call them ‘schnookie”..

  8. Colline says:

    What’s in a name? As Shakespeare suggests, it is the person’s essence that makes a man. And I like that from all these names, one has been created to describe your son – Ming.

  9. FlaHam says:

    Julie, Hearing the history of his name is wonderful, and speaks volumes to both your families. But I too would shorten it all down to Mings!! And I sure as hell would hate to have to sign that name again and again on legal documents, after the 3rd signature it would look like Gutsy signed. Still a wonderful story thanks so much for sharing it. Take care, Bill

  10. You can always tell a sassenach over here by how they pronounce Menzies ๐Ÿ˜€

  11. lensgirl53 says:

    I love to know the origin of a name. I particularly like the name Ming…as well as Brin. Ming will have to be patient with we “Yanks” who would definitely pronounce Menzies incorrectly…we are very phonetically prone…LOL…..xo

  12. KDKH says:

    I can’t blame him. Mispronounced, it probably sounds a lot like “menses,”‘a totally different issue.

  13. I know that it wouldn’t change anything but at least he wasn’t given a girl’s name like I was given a boy’s name. I was blessed with Laurence Anne Henriette, beautiful in French horrible in English..

  14. It is a unique name for a unique person and that you and he should be proud. ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. bluebee says:

    “Schnooks” is good, haha. Try putting Ming’s full name in Slate magazine’s Travoltifyer


  16. At least he is able to shorten his name to Ming, at least his name has some meaning behind it and isn’t just some weird name that means nothing to anyone. Many children go through a stage when they don’t like their name even if they have a normal easy to pronounce name like Kathy-Lee

  17. It will always be a good way for him to weed out any callers who want to sell him something. They will use (and mispronounce) Menzies.

  18. Lisa Rest says:

    I think it’s fitting to go from four names to a one-syllable one. Four names sounds very continental to me. But then if he ever grows tired of Ming he has other options already at his disposal… ๐Ÿ™‚

  19. my kids are Adam George Geauvreau Karry and George Tyler Geauvreau Karry–do you see a pattern here–both my husband’s dad and my dad were named George–my dad did not particularly care for the name George so he went by his second name Ed–Tyler also uses his second name except when he wants to sound official–their third name is my last name–and they are darn lucky I did not hyphenate their names like I did mine–it takes me forever to sign my name on documents–there is my story and I am sticking to it
    btw–I love Ming’s names, and all his other names–he sounds very royal

  20. Huh? I like all those names. Menzies’ goes so well with mensa. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  21. Funny. ๐Ÿ™‚ So for short he is Ming BBG. Or perhaps MingBrinB G. .

  22. Judith says:

    Bet he’d love Schnooks:) Here I thought you were going for Oriental–a Zen thing:)

  23. I’d say distinctive and memorable is not a bad place to start, especially when he has the personality to back it up!

  24. viveka says:

    Menzies Brinsley Barr, some name to live up too … a bit strange that he has two middle names that starts with the same letter … but the names has a good ring when saying them. Wonder that Ming will name his son ????? when that time comes.

  25. Lynda says:

    Julie, you have demystified a family idiosyncrasy from my mother’s side. My grandparents were Scots-Irish and I always thought they couldn’t spell! Especially when it came to naming children. Now I know better. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    As for Ming, I believe any other name for him would fall short of his character.

    Menzies Brinsley Barr Goyder, definitely!

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