Saturday, April 28, 2012

A Boy Name Sue? Or a Man Named Erin.

While at work the other day I was looking at a list of work responsibilities and duties for all employees and noticed a name that I'd not seen before.  The first name was Erin and the last name doesn't really matter so I will not post it.  However, upon seeing the name Erin I thought to myself, "Who is this woman and why have I not seen her yet?"   New employees are always  coming and going and there always seems to be some new faces to learn and some new names to know.

So on a break that day, as I was sitting with a bunch of guys, some new but most of whom I've been working with for a while, I asked out loud,"Do any of you know who this new girl Erin X is?" And then, from the end of the table, I heard a deep male voice say, "That's me." It's a good thing that the Kinks song LOLA wasn't playing at the moment as it would've really freaked me out.  But I looked at the guy and laughed as I thought that he was joking.  He wasn't.

I said, "Really?  Your name is Erin, spelled that way instead of A-A-R-O-N?" And he said, "Yeah.  My mom really wanted a daughter and named me Erin even though she got a boy."  Several things raced through my mind as he offered this up.  The first was that I was amazed that he would tell us all that.  The second was what kind of sick mom names a boy Erin just because she wanted a girl and instead got a boy?  And thirdly, at what point in your life, if you are a man named Erin, do you go and legally have your name changed to AARON or whatever else you want it to be instead of Erin? And why hadn't this guy already done that?  He seems to be in his late 30s/early 40s, so he's had a boatload of time to mull this over.  And unlike the song A BOY NAMED SUE the name doesn't seem to have made this guy tougher because of all of the crap he would catch from it during his life.

I've met men with names that work for women as well regardless of the spelling.  I've known Robins and Adrians(yes I know a few women who spell it this way instead of Adrienne)and Kellys and obvious ones like Bobby, Joey, Ronnie and others.  But had never met someone with a name that, sounds the same, but  could be spelled two different ways with one being masculine and the other feminine.  So meeting this guy has shown me something different in life.

Regardless of how his name is spelled, he's a decent guy and a hard worker with a good sense of humor.  Other than that I don't know too much about him, but I will say this about him, he certainly has given me a lot to think about.

And I keep thinking.


Anonymous said...

I actually know of two male Erin's indirectly through work, and just to compound this further, I am a male Chelsea.

Anonymous said...

Yooooooo! My name is Erin. Not only am I a dude; but I'm African-American. And weird; but, that's the exact same reason for my naming. My Mom was betting on a girl. My Dad use to tell me, "Just be glad your Mother didn't want to name you Tamika." I like to think his intent was to teach perspective. But weird all the same.
Any ways... When I was in a kid my parents sent me to Catholic school and for whatever reason, I got jealous of the kids that had biblical names, like John, or Matthew. So, I just took to spelling my name A-A-R-O-N. It got to the point that the school told my Mother I would have to stop or she would have to change my name, legally. I, being a brat, insisted on the name change, and my mother took me to the social security building and legally changed my name. Less than a year later, I began an endeavor into Atheism, which result in an my reverting back to my birth name, in defiance of the church. Again, my mother, God bless her soul, took me to the social security building, and legally changed my name. Ah, the passions of youth.
Any way, that's what my mother named me, and up until I just did this google search for my name and it's gender classifications, I really didn't realize my name was that gender specific. I mean...some of my mail come addressed "Mrs. Erin X"; but people don't seem to be shocked when they learn my names Erin; and again, I'm a black guy!

Anonymous said...

My names Erin and I'm a lad! My mum named me after some old king she read about named Erin the Just. I've had a lot of Shit in my life for my name and have to deal with comments about my name whenever I meet new people. But now I've learnt to be proud of my name, there's also the fact that I could most likely beat the sense into most of the people who are... "impolite" about my name. so people generally learn to accept it quite quickly and never mention it again.

Here I Stand said...

Thanks for your input Erin and Erin. Thanks for sharing your stories and how you've dealt with people being insensitive about it. Glad that you both are proud of your name.

Peace be with you both!

EMDgaming98 said...

finally I found more male by the name Erin. I was named Erin not because my mum wanted a girl its because I was named after Ireland and some others maybe as well. At least I know I'm not alone out there :).....well in Ireland I don't know so if anybody that reads this are from Ireland...ill be glad to hear it if you are

Anonymous said...

My middle name is Erin (first name James), but have always gone by Erin. Just so that we can keep the numbers growing. :)

Erin González S. said...

My name is Erin too, i´m a eighteen year old mexican guy and my mom don´t gave me this name because she wanted a girl, she didn´t know that was a name popularly used on girls.
here in mexico is a very rare name, practically I don´t know any other with the same name.
I grew my hair a couple of years ago, despite this and my name I feel masculine like a regular guy; the long hair only make it better :)
I feel really proud of my name and until now I didn´t know of other men with this name.
We should make a legion or something.

Here I Stand said...

Thanks for posting Erin. It seems that there are more men named Erin than I ever thought. Wear your name with pride and you should definitely start a club.

Be Well!

Anonymous said...

You ask why he wouldn't change his name to Aaron but there are two very legitimate reasons as far as I see it.

1) Erin (Celtic) and Aaron (Hebrew) are actually different names with different meanings and origins. They are NOT simply the male and female versions of the same name, despite what many people think.

2) Way more importantly though, changing your name requires taking some sort of affirmative action. My response to that question is always "Why would I?" I grew up with the name Erin (and thus identify with it more than Aaron) and I am confident enough in my masculinity that it doesn't bother me that people see the name and assume a female. Just have a good sense of humor about it and it even acts as an ice breaker when meeting people since it gives you something to talk about. Plus it is a great way to screen telemarketers... incoming number I don't recognize asking for Ms. MyLastName? "No sorry, she doesn't live here." Same thing for junk mail. it's great!

Here I Stand said...

Thanks for the input Erin. I appreciate your take on a truly unique name. Wear it well and again, thanks for enlightening the rest of us as to your experience with Erin.

Anonymous said...

My friend's older son Aaron named her younger son Erin. It was very confusing to have two of them with such similar names. Here is food for thought. I knew someone named Robert Robb, he was called Rob Rob. Now that is just plain mean.

Anonymous said...

This irritates me so much. I'm an Erin, the female kind and only kind in my opinion. Erin is a female Irish name. Calling a baby boy Erin is just as bizarre as calling him 'Sarah' or 'Melody', or something else extremely feminine.

I've never met a male called Erin here in Australia, and I think the issue here is because you guys in America pronounce the name 'Aaron' incorrectly. Aaron isn't pronounced the same as Erin.

Aaron should be pronounced like this:

A (the same way you pronounce 'apple')
Ron (as in 'Ronald')

Erin should be pronounced like this:

Er (sounds like 'air')
in (as it's spelt)

In saying this it's of course up to the parents what they name a child and how they pronounce it and then the individual when he/she grows up if they want to keep it that way.

But all I have to say is if my parents had have named me such a masculine name, such as 'Ronald' I would be changing my name as soon as I could!

Patryce said...

Actually, I read Erin is a unisex name because it means "From Ireland" or "Ireland". Aaron is Hebrew and has no correlation to "Ering

Anonymous said...

It is not just a girls name. Its a boys name too. Why would that irritate somebody..seriously

Here I Stand said...

I've learned a lot from the comments posted here. Thank you all for educating me and anyone else who's read this post.