Zubeneschamali (zubeneschamali) wrote,

Writer's Block: AKA

What's the story behind your username?
For some reason I get asked this question fairly often...wonder why? *eyeroll*

Zubeneschamali (ZOO-ben-es-sha-MAH-lee) is the second-brightest star in the constellation Libra.  It means "northern claw" in Arabic because for Arab astronomers, it was part of the constellation Scorpius.  (Zubenelgenubi is its sister star; its meaning in Arabic is an exercise left to the reader.)  In the Northern Hemisphere, you can see it in the summer low on the southern horizon; it's relatively bright, even in urban areas.

I think it was during the summer before my senior year of high school when I came across the name three times within a few weeks: in an astronomy day camp I was volunteering at, in James Michener's Space, and I can't remember the third time.  But the name stuck with me because it was so unusual and because at that point in time, I wanted to be an astronomer.  A couple of years later in college, this thing called the Internet got my attention, and when I needed a username for various listservs and such, I figured it was distinctive, memorable, and would remain relevant for a long time.  I was right.  :)

Of course, I stll need to sound it out in my head pretty much every time I type it.

Tags: meme, personal
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