What's in a name?


Hello you,

I have to come clean. I am not really who I say I am...

Hold on a minute. I have got you (and myself) confused already. Lets start at the beginning...

Once upon a time,

well, a few weeks ago anyways,

I was in Italy, chatting to a friend in French and they said, kind of out of the blue, "I know your first name is Baya but what is your surname?" and, without thinking, I said "Rouzoul!"

Rouzoul, I hear you cry, but we thought your surname was ....

do you actually know my surname? And if you do, does it matter? I mean do you care?

Well, the French government does.

In France, you cannot change your name, unless you get married and if you divorce, you have to go back to your original surname. Your maiden name as they call it.

Le nom de Jeune-Fille.

And, since I have a new passport and I have been divorced for a while... my passport is firmly in my Nom de Jeune-Fille which is....

have you been paying attention?

Yes, you, you at the back of the room waving your arm in the air.


You win.

Only, well, the name had so many connotations. You know, it was my father's name and, well for historical reasons that did not feel so good so... I kind of used a made up name. Still not sure what it was?

Alright, I'll tell you - Salmon-Hawk

That was my made up name.

I liked if fine but it became a pain to remember to book everything under my real name, my legal name and then i realized that everything was in that name. I mean, who owns my house? Baya Rouzoul. Who pays taxes? Baya Rouzoul. Who gets free travel because she is old? Baya Rouzoul. What name is on my Bank Account? You guessed it....

But I have always resisted the change. If felt such a step backwards, such a big and yet silly thing to do.

Until, I spontaneously said to my friend, my name is Baya Rouzoul. Did not think of it. Maybe it was because I was speaking French? May be it was because I was in Italy? Who knows... but it had a huge inpact on me, because he said "O that is a beautiful name. Do you know if means "Messenger of the Gods" in Arabic?"

I kind of did know that but it had never hit me with the force it did then. So I had gone and invented myself a name that I thought was spiritual and deeply meaningful when in fact I already had a deeply meaningful name.

How to complicate my life by Baya Rouzoul. That is the title of my next book!

There is of course more twists to that story but I shall tell you more next time.

What is your name? and what does it mean for you?

Have you ever changed it or used another one?

I would love to know!

Love from



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