In honor of West Bank Mama’s “coming out” and Bec’s son’s brit, I’ll tell what happened at the brit of WBM’s oldest son back in the old country. Well, my husband thinks it happened at a different brit, but anyway. . . After the rabbi had named the baby and continued the passage that reads “zeh hakatan, ploni ben ploni, gadol yihyeh” meaning: “This small one, so and so son of so and so, may he grow big,” he read straight from the book and referred to the baby as “ploni.” Afterward, my husband and I always called WBM’s baby Ploni. Or maybe that’s what we called the other family’s baby?
There is a similar story in my husband’s extended family. The baby-namer read the above phrase, including the correct name, but forgot to add the honorific “hakohen” indicating the baby’s priestly lineage. When the father called it out, it came out “hacohen gadol yihyeh,” meaning “he will be the High Priest.” That branch of the family was always particular about its “kohen” status. The kid is a father himself now, and who knows what will be in the future?
To prevent this kind of error we would write the baby’s name on a piece of paper in advance. When we planned a Shabbat brit (unfortunately postponed) we joked about what we would do if we changed our minds at the last minute. . .