Names.org has launched its listing of the preferred child names in West Virginia for 2022 based mostly on Social Security knowledge and suggestions on its web site.
For boys, Liam tops the listing, adopted by Waylon, Asher, Elijah and Oliver. “Liam” surprises me since I don’t know of any offhand, however then once more, I don’t know many infants.
For ladies, the primary identify is Amelia, which is a gorgeous identify. I had a grandmother named Amelia, however everybody knew her by her nickname, “Meno” (MEE-no).
Which brings me to my identify—Hoppy—which, as you may need guessed is just not my formal identify. Harvey, my given identify, was handed down from my grandfather to my father to me.
My brother, Nick, who was almost four-years-old once I was born, was a fan of the fictional cowboy Hopalong Cassidy, who glided by Hoppy. The story goes that Nick needed me to develop as much as be a cowboy (sorry to disappoint), so he began calling me “Hoppy.”
And it caught. I’ve at all times been Hoppy, and I’ve spent a lifetime explaining my identify.
I struggled with the identify as a youngster once I was making an attempt, maybe too onerous, to slot in. I must clarify to every trainer in entrance of the entire class that whereas my actual identify was Harvey, everybody referred to as me Hoppy.
Most folks don’t get it on the primary crack upon introduction. “I’m sorry, what did you say?” “Is that ‘Happy?’” Or they may repeat it again to me slowly to substantiate, “So that’s H-o-p-p-y?”
Or they may ask what “Hoppy” is a nickname for, which results in the story of its origin, which may really be an excellent icebreaker.
However, simply the sound of the phrase “Hoppy” implies a sure lack of seriousness. It is a reputation extra suited to a birthday clown, or your pet rabbit or frog, so it has at all times felt like a clumsy match given my occupation.
The information appears extra suited to names like “Frank” or “John,” maybe an occasional “Oliver,” in case you are on the international desk. “From Beirut, this is Oliver Cambridge Stevenson reporting.” Meanwhile, “Reporting from Toddler Talent Show, I’m Hoppy Kercheval.”
I really feel like CNN reporter Poppy Harlow could also be a kindred spirit. Her CNN bio mentions nothing about her identify, nevertheless it does listing her vital journalistic accomplishments together with masking main worldwide enterprise occasions and interviews with heavyweights like Warren Buffett.
It could be humorous if I met her. “Hi Poppy, I’m Hoppy,” after which I might snicker. However, given her credentials and accomplishments, I could be met with a icy stare.
A number of of my good pals name me by my given identify—Harvey or Harv. They do it as a type of joke, or time period of endearment, as if my actual identify is my nickname. Years in the past, Jimmy Stewart made a film the place his character insisted he had an invisible six foot-tall rabbit as a greatest good friend. The rabbit’s identify was “Harvey.”
I simply can’t win.
But being “Hoppy” is just not so dangerous. People bear in mind the identify, and the informality matches properly in West Virginia the place so many people are on a primary identify foundation. Some pals and associates are even comfy sufficient to name me “Hop,” which should be a nickname of a nickname.
Frankly, it has taken a lifetime to get used to the identify “Hoppy” and introductions can nonetheless be a bit awkward. Perhaps that a part of my life would have less complicated if I had been a “Liam” or “Waylon” however then I wouldn’t have had the Hopalong Cassidy story to inform.