More Than You Ever Wanted to Know About Echo
For those of you wondering how the heck I got this weird name, well, hmmm, I’ve got
lotsa stories to tell.
First and foremost, you have to know that I have sisters named Azure and Amber. Amber
was a pretty unusual name when my mother bestowed it upon my sister, but it’s become
pretty common since then (early ’70s). But I certainly doubt that Azure and Echo will
ever end up with that distinction!
My brother’s name is Marte. It’s pronounced the same as “Marty,” so we consider his
name fairly tame. Figures. The one guy in the family gets the best hair, the longest
eyelashes, and the most normal name. Sheesh. <g>
One question I often get is, “Were your parents hippies?” Well, no, believe it or not,
Funny thing about that question, though…once I was on the phone with a librarian I’d
never spoken to before. I introduced myself, and she interrupted with, “Oh, what a
wonderful name; were your parents classical scholars?” Classical scholars?! Huh?! “Uh,
no, they were hippies.”
Azure has a different kind of problem–people are always using a more “exotic”
pronunciation and putting the accent on the last syllable. So, when attempting to
explain to people how to say her name, she says, “Azure. You know, as you’re doin’ your
homework, as you’re drinkin’ a beer, as you’re takin’ a dump…”
But the real truth is, we’re all named after sluts. No, this isn’t something my parents
actually sat down and planned (“Oh, Cassandra, I’ve got an idea–let’s name our
daughters after sluts!”), but hey–with names like ours, it pays to have a sense of
humor about ’em! So humor me, eh? <g>
The name Echo comes from a 1962 Warren Beatty/Eva Marie Saint movie, All Fall Down.
Apparently Eva Marie Saint played Echo O’Brien, this older woman who seduces Warren
Beatty. (At least that’s how my mom tells it, although the synopsis I read says she’s
seduced by him.)
The name Amber comes from the book Forever Amber. Renaissance slut, what can we say?
<g> What I want to know is what happened in the mid-’70s to bring this name to
popularity? Did they remake the movie or show the original on TV or something?
Finally, the name Azure comes from a hooker on Kojak (now *there’s* a blast from the
past!) who died in the first five minutes of the show. Her name was Azure Dee.
Look, we girls had to come up with something to explain the weird names. This was the
best we could do. <g>
Now for more name fun. (Not that you’re interested, but I am, so there!)
I’ve actually met quite a few Echos throughout the years. There was a librarian in
Richmond, Indiana, who was named Echo. We moved to the outskirts of Richmond when I was
in the second grade, and the bookmobile people who came to our school were just amazed
that there was another Echo in the world (and one who was a diehard reader even at that
young an age <g>). They mentioned the librarian Echo every time I boarded that
bus for the next four years. (It got old after awhile, can you tell?) But I did finally
get to meet her. Much more memorable for me than it was for her, I’m sure.
There was a girl named Echo who was in high school in my hometown (Anderson, Indiana)
about the time I was in Franklin at college. I never did get to meet her. So, if you’re
reading this and you’re the Echo from Madison Heights in Anderson, drop me a line,
Also when I was in college, my hairdresser set another Echo and me up with back-to-back
appointments one Saturday morning. Talk about funny! The poor receptionist was
thoroughly confused. (The “other Echo” got her name from the Clint Eastwood movie–was
that the one with the monkey? Dunno, but I always avoided it on principle. <g>)
I’ve “met” a couple of Echos online, too. One guy in Atlanta’s ex-wife is named Echo,
and so is their daughter. I chatted with her online once. Another is a woman in Chicago
who has a sister named Amber (hey, wait, MY sister is named Amber!). She’s a teacher
and goes by “Miss_Echo” online. (And that’s what my students in Japan called me.) And I
ran into an Azure on a gaming site–her parents named her that because of the color of
her eyes. How cool.