John is a really old name with Semitic origin. It is a very common name in Europe and more countries all around the world. Traditionally John was the most common name due to the saints called John the Baptist and the apostle John. Also, it was a favorite name among the Greeks and during the First Crusade too.
My second given name is Anthony and it has a Latin origin. It was in use in the Roman world and it became famous mainly because of many relevant Christian saints.
The reason why my name is Juan Antonio is simple but it wasn’t like this from the very beginning. The first intention of my parents, called Juan and Antonia, was to have two children with their first names. Then, they called me Juan when I was born in 1985. At this time, both were working a bit far from their families and they decided to wait in order to have a second child. In the meantime, my father fell seriously ill and after several years fortunately he completely recovered.
In the late nineties they thought about having new children and they decided to stop just in case. At that moment my mother received some legal information from friends about the possibility to change my first name. Consequently, they suggest me the proposal and first of all I didn´t like it because I was used to with “Juan” and I was happy with my name. Secondly, I was attending a Catholic school where there were a vast majority of boys and they usually used whatever excuse to criticize others.
Finally, in 1998 they convinced me and changed my name with the aid of several witnesses according to the legal procedure. Nowadays, I think it was a good idea because my current given name is more complete with their names and not very simple.
Juan Antonio Corbalán Liarte
This article was written for the English course (C2.1) at the Official School of Languages «Jesús Maestro» in Madrid.