AP Language and Composition
18 November 2012
The Inimitable Name
Gerringer Carrington O’Bryant, what a mouthful. The name’s uniqueness evokes a sense of history, tradition, even heritage. Surely a name such as this is derived from a rich family legacy passed down through generations. Countless times I have been told my name must have significance, as if destined for greatness, even presidential. Excited to understand its origin, I sat both my parents down and asked for its derivation. As they began speaking, my heart dropped, because they said, “Son, you are the first in this family to have this name. However, there is no true significance other than your mom flipping through the phonebook grasping at last names. The only true prerequisite is that it had to have the initials G.C.O.” After hearing this upsetting news, I realized my name has no true origin; it lacks the underlying significance associated with its grander; and ironically my name is as random as flipping open a phonebook.
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The words had barley escaped my parents’ mouths when I felt the utter disappointment associated with my name’s lack of history, absence of true significance, and the deprivation of no underlying origin. The devastation from my parents’ statement and my unwillingness to accept my name’s lack of value prompted my pursuit to find my name’s true meaning. I spent numerous hours scouring the Internet and publications to find at least a hint of meaning, yet I found nothing. I became more discouraged to learn even common names like John and Michael or James and Matthew have significant meanings, which are easily discoverable by a quick Internet search.
After much contemplation and prayerful consideration, I realized my name’s lack of history is more a blessing than a curse. Since it has no origin, I have the fortuitous opportunity to be the original Gerringer Carrington O’Bryant. Because my name has no true meaning, I consider it a blank slate to define without any preconceived notions or influences from others. I am blessed to have a lifetime to define the true meaning of my name, Gerringer Carrington O’Bryant.
Like an oxymoron, my name is unique and completely random. My parents told me the story of how they came about my name. My brothers and I were all given very similar names having the same initials, G.C.O. My mom knew she wanted a unique name for me like none she had previously heard. She flipped open the phonebook and searched the last names that began with the letter G. Seeing the name Gerringer, she instantly knew that was the one. Now I am very thankful for my name. It is not the easiest to pronounce; and as a result, I am called many nicknames. Many of my friends call me G for short, “Ger-Bear,” and “G-Man.” I consider myself very lucky knowing I am the only person with my name.
Gerringer Carrington O’Bryant is a mouthful. It is random; it is unique; it contains no history; it has no meaning; yet it is the best name I could ask for. I love the opportunities that come with my name and the conversations that can spawn from it. I am excited to create the true origin and develop the original meaning for the one and only, Gerringer Carrington O’Bryant.