My name is Sherree. The name is french, I’m not. Please note that there are two “R’s” and two “E’s” in my name. There are no “I’s” or “Y’s”. It is not pronounced “Sherry.” Thinking phonetically, it would be “Suree.” Considering the inspiration, it should have been “Cherie.”
I am the eldest of three girls. I have the “unique” name, if you will. My sisters have everyday normal names that are easy to say and spell. They don’t have to worry about people mucking up the pronunciation or dropping letters. Lucky them. *sigh*
My parents lived together out of necessity, not exactly love. They were young, did what young folks do when they “think” they’re in love and had to get married. The times back then didn’t allow them to live together. She was pregnant (but you knew that, right?).
In preparing for the birth, I imagine the “name” discussion. I do know if I had been born a boy, my name would have been “Stewart.” My mother told me that. Although I’m not exactly sure how it would’ve been spelled, I do know that being called “Stewie” or some such thing growing up would have been terribly painful. Did I mention that I really don’t like that name? I don’t, and I mean no offense to those men who carry that name with them. It took them about five minutes to come up with that name. (Well, not exactly five minutes, but it didn’t take much discussion, from what I understand).
Apparently the quest for a name for a girl was a bit more of a challenge. Not content with the “1000 Names for your New Baby” book, they pursued other avenues to pick a name for their child, if “it” turned out to be a “she.”
Believe it or not, they turned to past romances in their lives for inspiration. Really? Who does that? My parents. “Yep, a couple in love”, (she says sarcastically).
It seems my father had the more interesting romantic background. Of course he did – he had been in the Navy. He had “been” places, “saw” things, and had “more” relationships. It brings new meaning to “ship in every port” for me.
Somewhere in his travels, my father made a stop in France. I love France, I’ve been there. The food, the clothes, the architecture, and the countryside are fabulous. The people, not so much. (That’s a story for another time.)
Apparently, the inspiration for my name lived in France. I have no clue who she was, what she did or where she actually lived. All I know is that my dad had some sort of romance with a woman whilst in France and that’s how the talk of my name began. For all I know, my inspiration might have been a courtesan (I’m being polite here) or a very nice young woman.
I can’t imagine the discussion between my parents (oh to be a fly on THAT wall), but do know that somehow my father had his way with the name and between the two of them, they came up with the spelling.
In an effort to be more unique (apparently Cherie wasn’t unique enough back then), they butchered the name Sherry. They wanted the french pronunciation, but not the traditional spelling. So, they dropped the Y and added two more “e’s.” Sherry became Sherree. There is an accent over the “ree,” but I’ve never used it. A bit too pretentious for me — to be honest.
I sometimes think first time parents want to make a statement when they name their first child, boy or girl. When my mother was pregnant with me, the most popular names for girls were Deborah, Mary, Susan, Patricia, and Debra. In looking at the most popular names for boys, Stewart doesn’t even make the list (oh so glad I’m a girl!).
When looking at the girl names, you really can’t make a statement with any of those. So, in an effort to be different (I’m sure they thought they were oh so clever), they gave me a name that when looked at, people would more often than not pronounce (and spell) as “Sherry,” until I put my foot down in junior high school. Even today, people don’t see “Sherree,” they see “Sherry.” It just curls my eyelashes.
When people ask me my name and how to spell it (at Starbucks, for example), I tell them “Sherree, spell it anyway you’d like.” It’s easier that way.