My name is not actually “Sonnyboo”. Nor is it “Sonny” or any variation therein. I was born Peter John Ross on January 24th in Reynoldsburg Ohio, a suburb of Columbus. I am the 4th child in a family of 4 kids. My mother named the other 3 so my dad finally got to name me for once. I was named after “Pete Rose” and “Johnny Bench” of the baseball team the Cincinnati Reds from their heyday of the BIG RED MACHINE. When I was a kid, I was called by friends & family “Pete”, but never “Peter” unless I did something very wrong and got caught. So by the time I lived in Wadsworth Ohio, I heard my name as “Peter John!” a lot when the police would bring me home in the back of the squad cars, quite a bit more often than maybe I should have, but I was young and most of what I did was harmless.
When we moved to El Paso Texas, I was addicted to the music of the Sex Pistols, and although my preference was for bassist Sid Vicious, I was subbed “Johnny Rotten” for my behavior by friends and teachers, and the family still called me “Pete”, but I didn’t spend as much time with them, so it was always “Johnny Rotten”.
Moving back to Ohio, to Pickerington, no less, for my last 2 years of High School, I felt like a different person, but somehow similar to whom I was, so I went by “John”. Somehow, people wanted to specify which John, so it was “JohnRoss” almost like one word.
Shortly after high school, I worked at a movie theater, and quickly rose into management, as in an Assistant Manager! The company policy required that I be called “Mister Ross”, but I was all of 18-20 years old, and so I said to the staff, “just call me ‘Ross'” and that has been my name ever since. I don’t know why, or how, but that has been my pseudo preference ever since. It’s just kinda been how I am addressed and what I respond to, but to be honest none of those names really match. I don’t know what name I would choose now.
When working as a broker for Bank One, I even had my name plate say ” ‘just ‘Ross’ ” plus another one that simply says “Ross, as seen on TV” which was a joke then, and not so much these days, although whenever I tell my parents I’ll be on the local news, they ask me what I did wrong this time.
Professionally I go by “Peter John Ross”, cursed with three first names like a presidential assassin, but I can tell my friends or people who know someone who knows me if they refer to me as “Ross”. If I get an email or a phone call asking for “Peter”, I assume it’s a bill collector or telemarketer or that I’m still in trouble so then I kinda hide. Old habits. Some people think I hate my names or that it irritates me. I don’t hate being called “Peter”; I just don’t really know who that’s supposed to be. If you want to gauge whether or not I like you, I’ll tell you to please call me “Ross”, otherwise. The big clue that I don’t want to talk to you, I’ll let you keep calling me “Peter”.
That is the etymology of “Ross” as my name. Not really all that interesting if you think about it.