Thursday, January 29, 2009

How Esme Got His Name

This is actually a repost of my reply to Rebecca O'Connor's query: So what’s the story behind your parrot’s name?

My “parrot” is actually a chicken. He came to me as an orphan, just a couple days old. Of course, at the time, I had no idea if I was dealing with a he or a she, but thinking positive, I decided to assume it was she; plus, I very superstitiously figured it would help encourage development in that direction. Or at least wouldn’t hurt.

So this little cheeper looked like a penguin–black with white “diaper”–and I like Spanish, so I thought maybe Pingüino. Well, that’s as hard and awkward to say as it looks, so I needed something else. I looked up “tuxedo” in my Spanish dictionary: esmoquin. Hmmmmm, maybe Esme? Like the JD Salinger story? (Only now it would be with love and squawking?)

Names are important, though, so I had to be sure: I checked the dictionary again. Esmerarse: to take care; to do well.

And thus Esme became my first (but not my last) inappropriately named rooster. He’s a sweetheart who will ring his bell to get my attention, loves to play fetch, and follows me everywhere. Sometimes he’s just “Es” for short, but I can’t imagine him having any other name.


Not-So-Normal-Mom said...

Nice. ;-)

I'm only assuming that the author of the Twilight series stole the name from you for her character in the series. You should get some sort of copyright money...

feral chick said...

Nah, I'm sure the Twilight character stole it from Salinger.

But I should get money anyway! ;-)

Rebecca K. O'Connor said...

You're supposed to email me your address so I can send you a finch book, you know!