Sunday, April 18, 2010

Where Does My Name Come From?

Yes... I have a strange last name, "Wrinkle"; here is the onomastic source.

"Wrinkle" almost certainly started off as "Wrinkler", which was a mispronunciation of "Winkler", another strange — but not quite as uncommon — family name. As with a large portion of family names, Winkler is a job title. It comes from the verb "to winkle" which is an old British word for "prying off". This verb is derived from noun "periwinkle"... a mollusc that spends most of its life stuck to rocks along the shoreline.

Therefore, a winkler... a Wrinkle... is somebody who walks up and down the beach prying snails off of rocks.

(Obviously the Winkler clan of England and their descendants are people of the highest social status and noble birth.)

So where does my first name come from? Well, that's an altogether different story.

I'll let you choose from one of several possible explanations:

1. It's a nickname given during my college years by my too-frequent use of the phrase "Chill Out" when I departed a place, which, when too intoxicated, started to sound like "Jil Out." (I started saying that after watching an episode of 21 Jump Street.) People started calling me "Jill" and since I always wanted a nickname, I figured that would be a good one... but lost an L to give it a hip, Scandanavian look. (I actually used to write it J1L, with a number 1, but that just confused people. Then I wrote it in all lowercase "jil" which I still do from time to time. Then I finally just went to "Jil".)

2. I was a girl named Jill, who became a boy, but was too lazy to pick a manly name like Bob or Frank... and just dropped an "L" instead. My life as a housewife bored me, so I took hormones, grew a beard, lost my hair, and moved to Asia to find the perfect woman I never wanted to be.

3. Some people in Thailand adopted me into their "family", but couldn't pronounce the name I was born with, and gave me the nickname "Jiew". Since I was new to the country, and happy to be "fitting in" with the locals, I happily started calling myself Jiew... but my American friend's little girl couldn't pronounce that and thought my name was Jill, which all the adults thought was funny and started using it to tease me. Since I couldn't stop them from calling me Jill, I adopted it, but changed it to one L to differentiate between the girl's version.

4. I'm hiding out from my past crimes and using a false identity. But my real initials are J.I.L.

(OK... Those of you who already know any of my real names are not allowed to comment. Heheh.)

1 comment:

Mom said...

Very creative. Only a mother knows, but she won't tell.