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Friday, 12 February 2010

What’s in a name?

It probably confuses people when I speak about my wife as Maria or Charito, so I thought it was about time I try to explain why -  at least as I understand it!

First my wife’s full name prior to getting married was -

Maria del Rosario Egocheaga Casas

In Peru as with many Spanish names the last part of the name is the family name of the mother. So what we in the UK would call the surname would be the Egocheaga part. Peru is also a very religious country and as is the case with my wife people are given names like Maria del Rosario or in English – Maria of the Roses in fact her sisters name is Maria del Pilar and her other sister is Mary Luz.

So to differentiate between all of the Maria/Mary’s in the family they use the second part of the name e.g. Maria del Pilar is called Pilar. Maria del Rosario is called Charo! Hang on why not Rosario … well I’m not sure really, I know that Rosario is Rosary in English and apparently Charo is short (allegedly) for Rosario.

OK so far we have two names for my wife – Maria and Charo both of which she gets called by friends and family; however there is another one as well. This is the one that her close family call her and I call her all of the time. In fact I rarely call her Maria. It is Charito. Adding the – ‘ito’ bit to the end of names is a common practice and is a way of showing affection.

So the names that she uses and responds to are:

Maria – Used when first being introduced to someone or formally with work colleagues etc.

Charo – More familiar, used with people who have normally known her for a long time.

Charito – Affectionate name used by close friends and family and of course me.

Hopefully there should be a bit of understanding as to why she gets referred to by different names. I sometimes call her other names, but that’s another story … :-D

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