A Tale of Me

I was noodling around on the Interwebs this morning and discovered that there is a definition, or rather six of them, for “Eda” in the Urban Dictionary. Let’s focus on definitions one and three. They make me feel like this:

120623_1433~01

I don’t like number two—I’m no ditsy girl. Four and six are not very nice. Five doesn’t make any sense.

Eda is a great name, but it wasn’t so great to grow up with. When I was little, the big boys on the school bus would call me Eda Benita Banana and ask, “Where’s your banana buggy?” Hurtful words when you’re only seven. My mom told me about Sticks and Stones, but it didn’t really help. For years, I tried to get people to call me Jo, a shortened version of my middle name, but that never caught on.

Most Americans can’t even pronounce it right. (Eda. Long E, short A. What’s so difficult about that?) They assume I don’t know how to spell my own name and give me one of the following variations: Ida, Ada, Etta, Enid, Edith, or the soul-crushing horror of Edna. (No offense to anyone called Edna. It’s a fine name, it’s just not MY name.)

But living in Japan is a whole different story. My last name has too many R’s in it to be of any use at all, but everyone can say Eda. It’s actually a fairly common Japanese family name, so people feel perfectly comfortable calling me Eda even in formal situations. So I am called Eda-san most of the time, Eda-chan by friends, Eda-sensei if we’re being really formal.

The one thing I don’t like is when people call me Eda without an honorific, and then speak to me in Japanese. If they’re going to speak to me in English, that’s another story, but without the honorific, it just doesn’t sound right and is borderline insulting.

I really have been living here too long, haven’t I?

Update May 29: There was a daily prompt about first names today, so I thought I’d link back to this.

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9 thoughts on “A Tale of Me”

  1. I had to change our house name for the very same reason – telephone call were sucking up my day. It’s supposed to be bad luck to change a house name but at least my bad moods diminished. I think Eda is a nice name. Where is it from?

    1. German, originally, although Germans I’ve met tell me it’s spelled Ida.

      You named your house? How did that lead to telephone calls?

      1. many houses in the UK don’t have numbers – so it was called ‘Timbertoft’ when we bought it. when giving my address over the phone i would get croft, loft, tops etc etc so we changed it to the much more generic – The Lodge.
        Now we’ve both learnt something 🙂

  2. I think you’ve been here an awesomely long time and that it’s brilliant that you are affronted if your name isn’t given its proper respect if Japanese is being spoken. That is a beautiful thing.

    By the way, in school my brother’s friend called me danana banana and sang the damn song … danana banana fee fi fo fanna danana. So, I feel your pain with Eda. lol

    1. Thanks, Diana! You make me feel all warm and fuzzy.

      Boys suck. I think they should all be locked in a closet until they’re at least 25. Maybe longer.

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