This story is part of a series on aptly named people. To read the previous stories, go to our Aptonyms page.
Name: Linda Savage
City of residence: Snohomish
Occupation: An etiquette specialist with Final Touch Finishing School and a substitute teacher in Granite Falls
Q: How did your name direct your career path?
A: I probably would say that since first impressions are rather crucial, I didn’t want people to associate my character with my last name, and because it has negative connotations for some people, and so I would say I’ve strived to learn more about skills that would be beneficial to me both professionally and personally so that when people meet a Savage, they might have a positive first impression.
Q: Would you change your name if you could, and why or why not?
A: No, I don’t think I would. I’m very happy with my name. I’ve got a 17-year-old son and he plays sports and he loves the name. He has “Savage” on the back of all his gear. I’m very proud of my family. People do have a hard time spelling this name. I get “Sausage” a lot or “Sauvage” with a “u” in it.
Q: If you could choose another career, what would it be?
A: I like doing presentations, and I also like doing research so I’ve thought it would be fun to be a librarian. But I’ve also continued to explore ways that I could continue to use the gift of being able to stand up and communicate ideas. Where most people would rather do anything else but stand up in front of people, I like it. Maybe my last name in some ways has empowered me.
Q: How do you know when someone has picked up on the fact that your name is an aptonym?
A: I get smiles. I get smirks. I get a lot of behind-the-hand whispers, mostly with kids. I may, in a couple of classrooms, tell the students, you don’t want me to go there, to live up to my name, but that would only be a teasing type of thing.
Q: How do people react to the combination of your name and job? Do they get it? Any funny stories as a result?
A: A lot of famous people have the name — actors, wrestlers, a hockey ump over here in Everett, there’s a shock jock Michael Savage on the radio, so I’m asked a lot if I’m related to any of those folks.
I’ll joke with the younger kids sometimes, and we’ll talk about how it means something wild or uncivilized, and I’ll ask them, “Don’t you think it’s kind of funny someone who has last name like that is going to teach you about acting civilly?” and they will say, “Yes, Mrs. Savage, that is strange.”
Theresa Goffredo: 425-339-3424, email@example.com.