On July 23rd, 2009, I officially changed my name from Ari Gordon-Schlosberg to Ari Gesher.
It's legally documented here.
I like my original name. It seemed a bit of a burden at first, but I've grown
into it and it's a pretty distinctive moniker. However, it's not without it's
problems due to both its length and its hyphen. None of these would have been
an issue 100 years ago, but in this modern era of automated data systems, it's
a source of headaches.
- It's too big to fit in most standardized forms, database fields for last
names, or even in one line on a California driver's license.
- Lazy, sloppy programmers all over the world have decided that the hyphen
is either not a valid character or should be used as a word boundary. For
example, AT&T had me as first-name-Ari, middle-name-Gordon-<hyphen>,
- Disagreement between systems:
Checking in at the airport using a credit card?
Forget about it. There are more ways than you would think that the version of
the name on the credit card and the version of the name in airline's computers
can disagree. Yes, I tried all my credit cards.
- People think that you didn't hear them right when they asked you for your
last name and start looking for you filed under S.
- You're misfiled under S.
- No one can spell it on sound and it's a long one to spell.
- People think that your first name is Gordon or, uh, something.
- It leaves B.I.G.S. as the only
Gordon-Schlosberg in the whole world. He likes to be special and I like
giving him stuff.
I was preparing to get married to Nicole Scher. We got to talking about what
we wanted to do with her name when we got married.
- It was somewhat important to her that we have the same name.
- It was very important to her that she have the same name as her kids.
- She didn't want to be Nicole Gordon-Schlosberg. Her initials would be N.A.G.S
-- instead she's just N.A.G. (Yeah, I don't know why that's better, either).
Given that and the fact that I've always liked the idea of a couple choosing
their own name together, I agreed that we should take the third path and come
up with our family name.
I've learned to live with the pain, but why would I want to do that to
my kids? (Hi, mom & dad!)
Well, it's the name that my brother chose when he moved to Israel with his wife.
They wanted a Hebrew last name so they built an acronym of their names. His last
initials were G.S. and her's was R. In Hebrew that's גשר, pronounced "GEH share",
which also happens to be the word for 'bridge'. A very fitting name for immigrants
and nicely distinctive and affected, just like it would be if you took the name 'Bridge'
So a similar construction works for me and Nicole. I get the same גש that my brother had
and we merge with her name, spelled in Hebrew: שר. Collapse the ש characters and you get גשר.
The bridge idea works for us, too -- we're bridging two families into our own as we come
Ari is also Hebrew. I think it's pretty neat to have a fully Hebrew name.
And now I have the same last name as my little brother.
(And yes, you can still call me 'regs')