Friday, December 05, 2008

What's in a name?

People here have difficulties with my name. Ironically, they prefer William over Bill. There are even Peruvian guys named Willy. But when it comes to Bill, they stumble. I mentioned this to a Peruvian friend and he said, "They don't want to say your name because it means despicable."


"In Spanish, when you say Bill, it sounds like Vil, which means despicable or really bad. That's why people stumble. They can't figure out why a missionary would say, 'Hi, my name is despicable,' or 'Hi, I'm really bad.'"

I went home and looked it up. Here's what the dictionary says: From the dictionary:
Vil (adj) vile, despicable; el vil metal filthy lucre. It's obvious now that we can add to the list:
Devil -- which means from or of the vile, despicable.

People have asked me what my name means. Now I'm starting to understand why they're so interested. Ironically, one of the meanings of William is noble. As such, I'm thinking of changing my name to No-Vil.

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