And what’s with all the money oriented names? “Goldman, Goldstein, Goldberg.” And then we wonder why Jews get a bad name for chasing money. For the less ambitious we have Silverberg, Silverstein, Silverman. But you know what you’ll never find? Bronzman, Bronzberg, Bronzstein. Bronze is just not good enough for us.
Talking about bronze — the truth is I never really understood why they even give out a bronze medal at the Olympics. Who wants a large chunk of bronze? Is that athlete really gonna walk around sporting his new bronze necklace? If I came home with a piece of bronze jewelry for my wife’s birthday I’d be in serious trouble! I actually tried asking for bronze jewelry at a store once, but the only thing the guy could show me was an Olympic medal pawned by an athlete who wanted something more worthwhile. I just didn’t think I could go home and present my wife with a bronze medal; “here honey, you come in third place in my eyes.” Really, I think we should change the status of the medals to diamond for first place, gold for second and silver for third. I bet a lot of world records would be broken if they started giving out huge diamond necklaces as awards. (At least in the women competitions.)
Either way, back to the names, I just wanna know how the selection process worked. Did you get to choose your own name? I know someone named “Yoselovsky”, why would he choose that? His decendants are now stuck forever with that name — what are they supposed to shorten it to “Yosel”? or “Ovsky”? The people at Ellis Island couldn’t even come up with a good substitute.
Or maybe it’s bestowed upon you by a special tribune? How did they decide which name to give you? The guy that gave “Tuchinsky” his name must have been in a pretty bad mood. (Yes, I’m going to get fired for making fun of the Editor-in-Chief’s name but I couldn’t help myself.) Also what happened if there were many brothers, did they have to have the same last name or could everyone choose their own? What if they already lived in different places when names were given out and they couldn’t decide collectively? A lot of us could be related and we don’t even know it!
I really wish I would have been given the chance to choose my family’s name. I would have come up with the coolest choices, like Yaakov Warrior or Yaakov Gladiator. (Although whoever is named Wolfson — his ancestor did a pretty good job. But maybe not as good as Wolverine.)
This is the exact reason my wife insisted on being the one who names our children — because apparently “Hercules” didn’t sound Jewish enough, and “no baby of hers” would ever be called Torpedo.
Although maybe I can try and convince her at least to legally change our last name…