Stuff I Get Asked A Lot

How do you say it?
It’s easier than it looks. It’s just four syllables: Ray-din Sax-rude. The “E” is a little tricky…just pretend it’s not there. I myself tend to give it nothing more than dirty looks and grumbles about Anglicization.

Do you know you have the same name as…
The Mortal Kombat character? Oh boy, do I. Fun fact: it’s how I sniff out who are nerds and gamers. Their faces always light up when I introduce myself. It’s a joy, really…and a personal favorite nickname of mine!

Can I call you…?
I much prefer Reidun. Nothing more or less. It really isn’t that hard. Think of reindeer! Reindeer are from Norway! I’m Norwegian! There are reasons I don’t prefer any changes to my name. Given that it’s only two syllables that English speakers are used to hearing and using, please stick to it, thank you! There are many more complex, beautiful, “unique” names out there that require more attention…but this is the one I’ve got.

Where is it from? Your parents must have been really creative.
It’s Norwegian. All of it. It’s a long story about how I got it, I’m saving that tidbit for another time. My parents were/are creative, to be sure, but they didn’t even name me.

I love it so much! It’s so pretty and unique. What does it mean?
To be honest, I’m not entirely sure exactly what it means. There are a few possibilities. I do know it started showing up circa 1330 or so. One day, I hope to hire a genealogist to help me answer questions about both my family, ancestry, and given names.

Why haven’t you changed it, if it gives you so much trouble?
There are many reasons that would take forever for me to recount. In the end, it boils down to that, despite its challenges, I do love my name, and even if I did change it, I’d still have to answer for it. Nothing else suits me. I can’t even think of a name I’d love half as much as my own.

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