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Barend Sweefarend: What's in a name?

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  • Barend Sweefarend: What's in a name?

    There comes a time in every storyteller's life that he has to give his characters names.

    This is trickier done than said.

    For years now, Kevin's grandfather was simply referred to as Kevin's grandfather, or "Oupa". Nothing more was needed, as Kevin simply referred to Oupa as Oupa.

    But, now there are two reasons this person actually needs a name: First, the narrator of EENDAG needs to refer to someone. He can't just keep saying "Kevin's grandfather". It will get annoying if it happens many times in a row.

    Secondly, well I forgot the second reason now.

    But anyway, so I came up with a name....

    And for some reason, the song "Sweef soos 'n Arend" was in my head. I think that would translate as "Glide like an Eagle".

    Now what does a flying eagle have to do with a man who explores the world by sea? Well for some reason, I thought of The Flying Dutchman, and have been thinking since Kevin's father is a person who guards the world from the sky, he should be called "Die vlieënde Boer" (The flying farmer).

    And so, the connection with an eagle was made. Or something that flies. I'm sure you've heard of certain flying aircraft being referred to as Eagles.

    So, the phraze Barend Sweef-soos-'n-arend came to mind, to refer to Kevin's grandfather.

    Barend rhymed with arend, see, which is why the first name was chosen. Only later I learned that Barend refers to some kind of strong bear. Which is perfect since Kevin's grandfather was a brave bear type.

    Barend Sweef-soos-'n-arend was too long though. How to shorten it?

    Well finally it became Barend Sweefarend.

    That of course means that Kevin's surname will also be Sweefarend, since it would now be the family's name.

    So, as of now, Kevin's grandfather is Barend Sweefarend, and Kevin's father is thusly Barend Sweefarend Junior, and Kevin's brother is Barend Sweefarend Junior Junior. Kevin is called Kevin Sweefarend, since it's unlikely both brothers would be called Barend.

    Good, glad to know they now have names. I've been raking my brain for a last name for them for years. The best I could come up with is Van Rotswegen. Van Rotswegen will now be Kevin's mother's maiden name. She is Isadôra "Gramofoon" van Rotswegen. Or Isadôra "Gramofoon" Sweefarend, now that she's married to Barend Sweefarend and all.

    - See more at: Barend Sweefarend: What's in a name?
    http://www.mooiflieks.com
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