There comes a point in most kid’s lives when they ask their parents about the origin of their name. A name is a very serious issue in a kid’s life. The name cant be too strange sounding, but it also can not be too common. Kids are known to make fun of other’s for their names, making up cruel rhymes. On the other hand no kid wants to be a multiple in a class with the same name. I once had a class with 3 Jessica’s, to differentiate between them we had to use their last names initial.
I remember the day when I asked my mom the meaning behind my name. It went something like this….
“Mom why did you name me Tina?”
” I don’t know, your dad and I just really liked it”
(I was disappointed with this answer so I pushed further).
” Why did you like it? Was I named after anyone? Does it have a meaning?”
(My mom thought for a bit and then smiled)
” You were named after Tina Turner”
(Yes Tina Turner the singer! Famous in the 80’s for her hit song “Rolling down the River”)
Four letters! No ancient history! No biblical reference! Not a family name! Tina is a name derived from another name, Christina. Tina is usually a nick name or a shortened version of a longer name.
At the time I was so disappointed in the explanation behind my name. A singer! I know I was the fifth child out of eight kids but I still wanted a name with meaning. I was a kid and the thought of being named after some singer was a bit disappointing. Especially because Tina Turner was my parent’s music.
From a young age I was quite dramatic. I used to spend hours pretending to be a princess or queen in Renaissance England. Princess Tina, just did not sound right! I wanted a long historical name, like Elizabeth, Alexandria, or Guinevere.
I am embarrassed to even say this now, but I used to lie as a kid. I told everyone my name was actually Christina! That Tina was just my nick name. I don’t know why this issue was so important to me?! I think I just wanted to feel special. To have some larger meaning.
I don’t know exactly when I started to appreciate my name, I think sometime in my teens. I realized the benefit of having a short name that everyone can spell and pronounce. I was always the only Tina in a class. I have met a few other people of the same name but most of those people only have Tina as a nickname. Even Tina Turner, the Tina I was named after, was not named Tina at Birth. Tina is her stage name, her real name is Anna Mae Bullock. People actually chose to have my name. It must be pretty special.
As I went to college and started to travel, and then married my Indian husband I soon realized that I may have been destined for this name!
Tina is universal. I have never met a person that could not pronounce it. That is not the case for many names. When I traveled to Peru during college and worked at an orphanage my name was easily said by everyone. The kids there called me Tia (aunt ) Tina. It was also funny because in Peru the word for basin is la tina. So the kids all thought it was funny when I would be washing their clothes in the basin! Tia Tina washing clothes in la tina. They all got a good laugh out of that one.
In India, Tina is a common nick name. When I married my husband and then traveled to India I never had an issue with people not being able to say my name. Indians would actually say, “oh your name is Indian” and then they would smile. Having a name that is used in so many different countries makes me so happy. I can relate to all cultures, even if it is just a name..
I believe that everyone has a path in life and are blessed with skills and attributes that help them on their journey in life. I honestly believe that my purpose in life is to be a ambassador among people. To meet new people and break down cultural barriers. To travel and better understand the people and the world.
My name allows me to stand out in a crowd as well. I don’t like to blend in! In a class I always want the professor to know my name. I have made up little ways for people to remember my name. I would introduce myself, “Hi my name is Tina, T is for talkative, so just remember talkative Tina”. They always laugh and no one ever forgets my name.
As a kid I was silly! I did not see the beauty in the name my parents gave me. My name may be short, but it has given me a voice around the world. It has united me as well as set me apart. I have realized that my name does not need to have a historical meaning. I give my name that meaning! .