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Great, Now I Need a Whole New Last Name

My last name is “Bedell,” and that’s always something I’ve been pretty comfortable with. In my family, we pronounce this name, “Beh-DELL,” with the emphasis on the end. To me, it sounds kind of regal, even when telemarketers in the US used to get the pronunciation all wrong, asking for, “Mr. Beddle,” with the sound at the end all crammed in together.

The name is actually a bastardization of the name “Beadle,” which my Scottish (or Irish, or whatever weird mix of people who live on islands and talk funny, make up the soup that is my genetic makeup) ancestors came over, some wires got crossed. “Beadle,” which means, “an officer belonging to a court, university, ward, or parish,” somehow got corrupted, and we became “Bedell.” You will also note that, yes, my ancestors were likely cops.

Anywho, this is all fine and dandy, but I could never figure out why Mexicans had such an easy time spelling my last name here, often leaving off only the final “L,” especially considering how many times I had to spell it and re-spell it for people in the States. It only took me a year and a half of living here, but I learned why.

The fact is, in Spanish, “Bedel” means janitor. The horror! No WONDER everyone had such an easy time spelling it! My name is Malcolm Janitor! Augh!

So, obviously, I have begun the search for a new name, so that I won’t get snickered at by front desk clerks at hotels anymore. Granted, that’s due mostly to my routine pillaging of the minibar and questionable late-night Pay Per View choices, but still…I can’t give ’em any more ammunition. So far, I have considered and discarded “Malcolm Hefe,” tinkered with the idea of “Malcolm Rey,” and thought long and hard about my personal favorite so far, “Malcolm Sabroso!” The exclamation mark there wasn’t just to indicate the end of an excited sentence. No, it would actually be a part of the last name.

Obviously, I need some help choosing my new identity, and I leave it to our readers to help. Just remember, it’s Jillian’s last name now, too, so choose carefully. Because “Jillian Janitor” just doesn’t have a good ring to it.

There Are 7 Responses So Far. »

  1. I vote for “Malcolm Gooooooooooooooooooooooooooool”

    When I got married I tried to talk my husband into us combining both our names. Problem was that he wasn’t too in to “Kasperaddy” or “Gadspersetz.” Go figure.

  2. Hey I’m mexican and I didn’t know bedel was janitor. “conserje” it’s the most commonly used word for janitor, at least where I lived and other places in mexico.

    You should keed your last name, it sounds good ins spanish too, and no wonder why people pronounce it right, in spanish you pronounce the words as you spell the letter.

    The letter “A” is always gonna sound the same, unlike english where you have “apple” and “amy” with letter “A” but different pronounciation.

  3. I think you should pick something a little more exotic, and what with the popularity of three- and four- last names these days, perhaps you can peruse Mexico Way’s list here: http://mexicoquoteunquoteway.blogspot.com/2007/08/palabra-tu-madre.html
    I like Malcolm Palabra a el Pajaro Grande, but, you know, there really are a lot to choose from.

  4. Who needs a last name at all? You can both change your names to Mallian or Jillcolm.

    Or how about Malcolm Maximus?

  5. My friends Allan and Debbie changed their last names on the event of their marriage to de La Best. No joke. Thought that might help with the process.

  6. I hereby declare my new name, “Malcolm Palabra a el Pajaro Grande, and I will now refer only to Jillian as, “Jillian Tres Sabanas estan Perdidos en el Viento.”

    Thanks Joyce, great linkage!

  7. this is an easy one–Mom came with an awesome last name, Lyon. Malcolm Lyon. Uber-Scot!

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