Baby names and why “Adrian” won

Me, 30 years ago

I love hearing stories from friends and coworkers regarding baby names. I was excited when I heard about one story today which inspired this post about how I came to be “Adrian”; of course more affectionately known to those close to me now as just “Chang”. My last name stirs up enough intrigue when I go for interviews, or meet people for the first time, but its the first name that is the focus of this post. The first names that parents debate over tend to fall into some or multiple categories:

  • Values you want that child to have
  • Tribute to someone you know/aspire to know (Martina Navritilova-Martina Hingis anyone?)
  • Sounds great with other combination of names (middle and last name)
  • Will result in minimal teasing
  • A name that is all of the above but also has cultural significance
  • and the list goes on…

It’s always great to hear these stories and what goes into naming a human being. This is the name that will follow them through childhood. It will be among the first words they will learn to write and say. My story still kills people when I tell it as it reveals a lot about my parents; their love for their children, their sense of humour and what matters to them. I grew up in downtown Toronto, near the intersection of Dufferin and Bloor off Salem Avenue. With the exception of one other family, we were the only non Italian or Portuguese family on our block. When I asked what other names I could have ended up with, my mother told me she wanted to name me one of two names – Bruno or Rex. Bruno. Bruno Chang. My mother thought it fit the area, was bold, represented strength, of course even she agrees now that Adrian is the right name. Rex was a funny one; the story on that was simple. She loved Rex on The Young and the Restless – the suave longtime lover of Katherine Chancellor and her nemesis (confirmed now to be daughter) Jill Foster Abbott. Rex Chang still beats Bruno, but I’m glad that Adrian won. It wasn’t until I turned 26 that I learned that Darryl was also in the mix — named after Darryl Sitler, hockey legend (and sex symbol according to an aunt and my mother as well).

The story about how “Adrian” won came from my dad who said one night while pregnant, my parents both were watching Jeopardy and a man named Adrian who happened to be black, won. Dad wasn’t having any of the other names and I was still nameless. It don’t actually know if that is any more truth or a lie to inspire great things, but I believe the story. I also thing that I get my competitive spirit from my parents and that story has as much to do with as anything — coaching on how to approach academics, sports (soccer), volleyball and now tennis. For those who are expecting, trying to conceive, adopt or are contemplating whether or not you are going to have children, I hope you get the opportunity to share that child’s naming story.

(If you liked this post, please “Like” the Facebook post or comment below. Don’t be a stranger; WordPress tells me what you looked at, but the who is still a mystery).


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