Michelina (Thanks Bibendum!)
This past weekend my good friend Gary and his wife Mikki were visiting SW Florida from Long Island. Although I have known them for many years, I really didn't know much about Mikki's real name, and I had never thought to inquire.
During our time together on Sunday, however, I was delighted to hear the story behind her name!
When her mother was still pregnant she was considering names for her newborn. One day, while driving, she noticed a large Michelin Tire sign and thought, "what a nice sounding name that would be!" That sign became the inspiration for Mikki's real name, Michelina!
It is interesting to note that her name is extremely appropriate. It is a feminine form of the name Michael, meaning "gift from God"!
Mikki comes from a Filipino/Irish background and many people were surprised that she did not have a name with more of an Asian flare. Her name can also be a bit challenging to pronounce.
Her mother's pronounciation was "Mick-a-lina", with a hard "K". But Mikki didn't like that. If her mother were ever angry or upset, hearing that hard "K" just sounded so very harsh. So, Mikki began introducing herself as "Mish-a-lina" (like the Michelin Tire Company) and that's how her name is pronounced today.
During her high school and college years Michelina opted to simplify her name and make it more chic and cosmopolitan. This name would be easier for everyone.
And, she's been called "Mikki" ever since!
So...the next time you see Bibendum (the Michelin tire man), take a closer look, and think of the woman who bears his brand...Michelina!