Home > Daily Prompt > What’s in a Name?

What’s in a Name?

Daily Prompt: Say Your Name – Write about your first name: Are you named after someone or something? Are there any stories or associations attached to it? If you had the choice, would you rename yourself?

Alistair. That’s my name. My first name in full.

It’s rarely used. It’s quite long and cumbersome. Three syllables. I tend to shorten it to “Ali”, hence my blog name, draliman  – Dr. Ali (man), as I explained here.

I don’t think there’s a particular story behind my name. I seem to recall my parents telling me that they quite liked it and I ended up with a hybrid spelling. My Mum is Scottish and the true Scottish spelling is (I think) “Alasdair”. My Dad is English (aargh, sorry Dad, Cornish!) and a more English spelling is “Alister”. I ended up with a mixture of the two (but still a perfectly valid spelling).

Obviously people spell it many ways. I’m not generally too bothered unless it’s an official document.

My parents are pretty much the only people who always use my full first name. And, funnily enough, me – when I’m on the phone. You would too, if your phone calls always went like this:

“Hi, Ali here!”

“Hi there, Alan!”

At school, the bullies called me “Roland”, after a character in a BBC childrens’ drama of the time, Grange Hill.

Me and Roland

I’m on the right, taken in Germany in 1985.
Photo of Roland copyright BBC, I would assume.

Do you see the resemblance? If I could find a picture of me at school (my Mum has all of those), you’d see that we’re almost the spitting image of each other.

Damn those NHS spectacles (and all the chocolate bars I ate).

I wouldn’t change my name. Because it’s me.

I could always go by something macho like “Jake Bullet“, mind.

  1. May 28, 2013 at 8:44 pm

    Your glasses aren’t nearly as bad as the bug eyes I used to have to wear.


  2. May 29, 2013 at 6:04 am

    I actually like your name! And were we to chat on the phone, I’d definitely call you Alistair, too! Just remind me where the tense belongs incase it’s not with the first A 🙂


    • May 29, 2013 at 6:27 am

      Yay for liking my name 🙂
      Emphasis is on the first “A”!


  3. May 30, 2013 at 7:08 pm

    OMG! You look adorable! Ah.. chocolate… so delicious… so evil 😦

    But your glasses are very fashionable right now. I am getting rid of my contacts soon (me eyes are turning into sand cookies) and I am thinking something similar but then white and more pointy. 😀


    • May 30, 2013 at 7:22 pm

      Thanks! Some of the Germans thought I was a girl :-(. Maybe they needed the glasses more than me!
      I wore contacts for a few years, but I was attending a lot of lectures and kept falling asleep ;-). Nasty and painful with contacts in. I soon switched back to glasses.


  1. August 22, 2013 at 6:36 am

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