Saturday, 19 November 2011

Misa and Taro

Not very long ago I heard that an acquittance of our family had given birth to twins. I was itching to discover what names she had chosen, so I was delighted to bump into her yesterday in Tescos with her little ones, Alexandra 'Alexa' Misa and William Taro. For a woman who has pink hair streaked with purple highlights (sometimes blue) and who is very flamboyant, her first name choices were more conservative than I expected. We got to discussing them, and I asked if I could share her little munchkins' names here.

Misa, pronounced Mee-sah, is a Japanese name with a number of meanings, my favourite being 'beautiful bloom'. But Japanese names tend to be more complicated than Western ones, with meanings changing according to the kanji that is used. I unfortunately forgot to ask her what the name meant to her and her quarter Japanese husband. 
Misa seems to be a shorterned version of Misaki, a popular girl name in Japan. A source puts it at the number 9 spot in 2010, although I have been unable to find official statistical information. Both forms are the names of Japanese actresses and anime characters. Interestingly, Misa is also the word for mass in Spanish.

Taro means 'eldest son' or 'first-born son', which fit rather well since William Taro was born two minutes before his lil sis. There are a number of carriers of the name, such as Taro Aso, former Japanese Prime Minister, Taro Shoji, a singer, and TarĊ Okamoto, an avant-guarde artist. It is also a suffix, making part of names like Kotaro, Shintaro and Rentaro.

With names such as Arlo getting a lot of attention, I think Taro is a great choice. It sounds fresh, current and not at all obvious. The only obstacle in its way could very well be the similar sounding Tarot, a name connected with fortune telling, which might not be everyone's cup of tea. 

Misa and Taro were fantastic middle names to spice up the delightful but traditional Alexandra and William. They were also a great way to honour the dad's Japanese heritage.

Image: Both paintings are by Edward Atkinson Hornel