Rodney reflects on his name and how it got it.
Set sometime mid to late Season 3, slight
spoilers for ‘McKay and Mrs Miller’.
Thank you to Jayne Perry for
The Ancestry of Meredith
By Leesa Perrie
My mother was proud of her Welsh ancestry. In fact, when she
in college, her parents paid for her to take a trip to Britain during
one of her summer vacations. She spent a couple of weeks
around the usual tourist attractions before staying in Wales for the
rest of the summer. She fell in love with the place, and had
intended to emigrate there as soon as she’d finished her
Of course, she didn’t. Instead, during her last
met my father, and in a moment of ill-thought-out passion, I was
conceived. My father made an ‘honest
woman’ of her;
in other words, they got married before I was born.
She never went back to Wales after that, and certainly didn’t
emigrate. My father wasn’t interested in leaving
and definitely had no intention of crossing the Atlantic. My
mother never forgave me for ruining her plans. Not that it was my
fault; she should have been more careful, but she was never one to
blame herself if there was someone else she could get away with blaming.
I know that their arguments were rooted in her desire to go to Wales,
as well as her frustration with becoming a mother so early in her
life. She’d wanted a career, but until I was school
she stayed at home. Even then, her work was not what
envisioned, having to be available to take me to school. No
childminders for me, my father said they were a waste of money and that
she would have to put her career on hold until I was older.
caused more arguments; especially as I was a
child who was always into everything, always asking questions, always
wanting to know how and why things worked; always demanding.
My father was proud of my intelligence, but after a while he started to
spend more time away from home, working, to get away from his genius
progeny. Away from the endless chatter and
my mother resented him for that too, leaving her to deal with me all
Jeannie was unexpected. Another accident that trapped my
even more, and yet she never seemed to resent my sister.
really, how everything changed. How Jeannie became the centre
They still argued, but less often.
As for me, I was the child no one really wanted. Too
but with no common sense and an inability to ‘fit
the crowd. Even the other brainy kids didn’t like
I survived though, building my own walls to keep the hurt at
My name didn’t help any. A traditional Welsh name,
keeping with my mother’s heritage. Masculine
now considered feminine by most of the world, though still a
boy’s name in Wales.
A cruel joke I suspect.
My father insisted on two middle names; one, Rodney, after a friend and
the other, Ingram, after some character from a book. I guess
could be worse, and at least Rodney is less embarrassing than my first
name, though still considered somewhat nerdy by some. I wish
could have gotten people to call me ‘Rod’; so much
cool. But then, as I am so painfully aware, I’m not
cool. Cold, some think, or even say, but not cool.
As for my ancestry, I’ve never been much bothered with it
myself. My mother came from Welsh stock, so what?
Canadian, and four generations so. My father came from
stock, but again, he was Canadian born and bred, and several
I’m not Welsh or Scottish, I’m Canadian and proud
it. Who cares where my ancestors hailed from? None
were Ancients, which is unfortunate as that would have been of great
use to me, but beyond that I have no interest in my so called
I certainly have no intention of visiting the lands of my
forefathers. Especially as Jeannie, who is more interested in
these things, and I blame that on Caleb as it seems the sort of thing
that an English major and vegetarian might be into, has discovered that
our Welsh family were originally from the Catalonia region in Spain,
not Wales, and that they had come over in the early 1800s. It
seems that shortly after settling in Wales they changed their name to
My mother had been wrong, too bad she never lived to find that
out. Or maybe it’s as well; she’d had too
shattered in her life, perhaps it’s a good thing she
around to have this one shattered as well.
After all, for all their inadequacies as parents, they were still my
parents, and I did care about them both; even if they sometimes seemed
not to care about me.
I cared about Jeannie too, even during those years when I cut her out
of my life. She wouldn’t listen to me, and I walked
away. Petty, yes I know, but also self-defence; I
want to see her start to resent her husband and her child the way
mother had resented father and me; didn’t want to see her
bitter about putting her career on hold.
I was wrong, and yes I’m big enough to admit it, to myself at
least. She never resented them, never grew bitter about her
decision. Jeannie isn’t my mother, and
with her life.
Of course, she’s talking about taking a trip to
I just hope she doesn’t fall in love with the
1) From the ‘Behind
the Name’ site.
Gender: Masculine & Feminine
From the Welsh name Maredudd or Meredydd, possibly meaning "great lord"
lord". Since the mid-1920s it has
been used more often for girls than for boys in English-speaking
countries, though it is still a masculine name in Wales.
2) It was recently pointed out to me
that in ‘Duet’ most of the degrees on
in his quarters have the name ‘Rodney Ingram McKay’
them. Hence the second middle name.