When I was little girl, I came across an old Polaroid photo of my Grandpa Bernie, during World War II. He was with two other soldiers, his buddies, and one of them had given him the picture. And written on the back of the photo, were their names and my Grandpa was listed as “Gibby.” I asked my mom why Grandpa was called Gibby and not Bernard or Bernie. And she told me it was based off his last name Gibson. A nickname his friends called him, and I was fascinated. I thought it was so cool. And my grandpa was an awesome guy.
Flash forward nearly 3 decades later, I was disappointed that my grandfather was no longer alive to meet the wonderful man I had married. We were pregnant with our first child, a boy. One day, we were eating at a bar like establishment that had a Gibson Guitar on the wall. And I pointed to it and suggested that we name our son that. My husband paused mid-bite. At first, you would have thought I had said let’s name him River, or Moon, or Apple. I explained about the time I found my grandpa’s photo, and the nick-name Gibby, short for Gibson. My husband is a fan of playing the guitar, and so after a bit of thinking and sipping his beer, he was completely ON BOARD.
We began sharing the name with family and friends and it was received with some mixed responses. My mom, for some reason, particularly didn’t care for it. “Are you sure you don’t want a traditional name?” NO, it’s unique. There will more than likely be no one in his class or school with that name. Not like the several Michaels or Johns. And not only was it unique, it was specific to our family, named after his great-grandpa. Besides, it wasn’t so weird or uncommon to take a last name as a first name. People did it all the time with names such as Taylor or Tyler.
It was interesting to see other opinions. One person asked, “Why would you name him after a cocktail?” to which we responded, “Isn’t that drink ‘the Gibson’ named after someone? It’s based off a person’s name.” However, anyone that was musically inclined, a guitar enthusiast, thought it was clever. Further, on one of my husband’s business trips, we found there is also the Ormsby Guitars. That’s our last name, and so our son’s first and last name, are all famous guitars. Hahahahah. That wasn’t our intention, pure coincidence. And no, our kid is not into playing instruments. (yet, my husband thinks there’s still hope)
One LAST GREAT thing…when my son was 3 and his sister 1, we decided to take a trip from Southern CA to Chicago to see extended family. We were at the John Wayne airport, in Orange County, and I was holding my daughter and my son was walking off – I called out to him and I always did it funny to get his attention… “Gibby….Gib AAYYY” and a gal sitting near me, looked up and said,
“What his name?”
and she had papers she was shuffling and working while we waited to board the plane. I had Gibson come say hi to her and told her about the history of his name. And she said, “I’m writing a script for a new show, I can’t tell you what it is – but it’s big. I would LOVE to use this name as one of the characters. Would you mind?” I told her sure and got a kick out of it and then forgot about it… UNTIL, a handful of years later, my son was playing little league, and his coach heard me say “Gib AAYYY” and he laughed, “Oh, like that show.” – what show? He replied, “The one where they yell Gib aaay all the time. My kids watch it.”
The Nickelodeon Show, ICarly ran from 2007 to 2012 and was filmed in Los Angeles. My son was born in 2003 and we traveled to Chicago in the summer of 2006. THAT SHOW’s character of Gibby is named after my son! People don’t believe me when I tell them. IT’S THE TRUTH. This is not a fictional piece. I’m telling you about my life right now. The show was popular and my daughter watched it. It ran for 5 years.
In response to FOWC Challenge Word of the Day – Unique