Pearl Legate

Pearl Legate

Pearl Legate. Now read it aloud.

When she was a young woman, my mom’s paternal grandmother, Pearl Lyle, met a man named Russell Legate. They fell in love and married, and she took his last name. Her new name was Pearl Legate.

Say that out loud.

Now, say it again faster.

If I gave that name to a character in a novel or short story, some of my readers would probably roll their eyes and think, “C’mon. Couldn’t he think of something more realistic?”

The preacher at her funeral didn’t have any problem finding jokes to make.

With a last name like Church, Megan and I won’t have any problem sabotaging our children’s social lives with cutesy names:

Christian Church

Mercy Church

Hope Church

Boring Church

Charismatic Church

Idonwannagodo Church

If any good ideas come to you, be so kind as to leave them in the Comments section. Maybe we’ll make you a godparent.

Comments Closed


  1. Bear
    Posted February 4, 2011 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

    Billleftfoot Church

  2. Betty Sue
    Posted February 4, 2011 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

    Wassup Church

  3. Lauren
    Posted February 4, 2011 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

    My grandmother’s given name was Myrtle Pearl Curl. At least she married out of part of it.

  4. Posted February 4, 2011 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

    Was her father, your great-grandfather, named Jerry?

  5. Posted February 4, 2011 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

    This one is strong. It definitely has that note of greeting and hospitality that we’re going for.

  6. Posted February 4, 2011 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

    This is very creative. I like the idea of combining two names, and an inside joke to boot, and afflicting my offspring with the result. A couple of my friends in grad school gave their daughter their last names combined without a dash to make a 16-letter long new last name.

  7. Posted February 4, 2011 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

    You could pull a Nicholas Cage and name your first kid Kal-el. Kal-el Church has some pretty challenging religious/comic book connotations.

  8. Posted February 5, 2011 at 10:44 am | Permalink

    You must have been reading my journal because Nicholas Cage is one of my heroes. And a hyphenated quasi-Hebrew or Arabic name would provide just the kind of irony that my child with very fair skin and bad allergies won’t appreciate.

  9. Posted February 7, 2011 at 8:56 am | Permalink

    How about Roman Church?

  10. Posted February 7, 2011 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    Ooooh. I like that. I could take it all the way with the middle name “Catholic.”

  11. Ben Howard
    Posted February 7, 2011 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

    Snake Church

    Cash Church

    /obvious Jesus Church

    Cowboy Church

    Barbie Church (this may be trademarked)

    Ash Church

    Abby Church

    I’ll stop there.

  12. Posted February 7, 2011 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

    Cowboy Church…is there any doubt that this child would go on to rule the world? He could hire his brother Cash Church to be the treasurer, and the two of them could work to stop their evil brother, Snake Church, from destroying mankind.

  13. Elisabeth Loyd
    Posted February 8, 2011 at 12:01 am | Permalink

    If you have a girl, you could name her “Sunday” like Nicole and Keith named their little girl Sunday Rose. Then she would be Sunday Church and never forget what day of the week to go to church. I know it’s not very funny, just couldn’t resist.

  14. Posted February 8, 2011 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

    Her middle name could be “Morning.” Sunday Morning Church could make all her friends in college feel guilty for attending Mattress Springs Church of Christ.

  15. Posted February 9, 2011 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

    Savage Church would be a great name right up there with Cowboy Church. The Savages (Native Americans) and Cowboys are known for their tumultuous relationship but they have a large place in American history. Also, who better to name your son or daughter after.

  16. Posted February 9, 2011 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

    Insensitive, politically incorrect, and potentially epic. That, and it would be an homage to my friend Eric Savage, perhaps the most overqualified hospitality customer service professional whom I know.

  17. Megan Pearl Church
    Posted April 10, 2011 at 10:54 am | Permalink

    Honey, You forgot to mention that my middle name is also Pearl. I think it adds a little something to the story.

    For those of you who don’t know, my maiden name before I married Austin was Ashburn. I always wanted to name my first born son Ashburn and call him Ash.

    Now that I’ve married Mr. Church, that will not be happening.

    Ashburn Church. It sounds like a hate-crime.

  18. Posted April 10, 2011 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

    Good point. We don’t need to make his life anymore difficult than it will already be with us as parents.