No Relation


(From Oxford English Dictionary



  1. Verb: To engage in discussion.

“I’ve been withdrawn and taciturn, hardly able to converse with my readership for lack of words.”


Late Middle English (in the sense ‘live among, be familiar with’): from Old French converser, from Latin conversari ‘keep company (with’), from con- ‘with’ + versare, frequentative of vertere ‘to turn’. The current sense of the verb dates from the early 17th century.



  1. Noun: A situation, object, or statement that is the reverse of another or corresponds to it, but with certain terms transposed.

“Some people feel safe seeing the police, but many others feel the converse.”

  1. Adj.: Having characteristics opposite those already mentioned.

“Humans thought the world was flat, until the converse theory was proven.”

Converse. Like the shoe.

No, not “Congress.”

No, not “conVERSE, or “Conversay.”

I do wear a pair of Chuck Taylors, in red-orange, and yes they match my hair somewhat.

Finally, no, I am not the heiress of the Converse brand, but yes, I am an all-star. (In writing.)

Oh, and P.S., I don’t mind going through this every time I meet someone. I won’t get offended. You can ask me all these questions and more, and I will smile and pretend it’s my favorite topic.

I’m lucky my last name doesn’t also mean something gruesome, silly, or political. There are many wonderful people with unfortunate last names, or their parents matched their first and last names together so unfortunately it seems cruel.

Other than my Chucks boasting little to no arch support, I have zero resentment of my synonymous last name. And luckily, I generally enjoy having small chat with strangers, so my name provides a good opening.

Some more facts about my last name:

N as in “Nancy,” V as in “Victory,” S as in “Sam.”

I am the last Converse in my line.

My father and his brother both married women with the same first name, so there are two M. Converse’s in one family.

In high school, I wrote a weekly column in our newspaper called “On the Converse,” in which I would critique and lampoon a social norm or cultural fad. It made my peers so uncomfortable I was seldom invited to parties. These days I try to be a little more forgiving of what everyone else is into. Because I like parties.


In Conclusion

People have last names. Some of them mean other things. Sometimes those other things are not good things to be named after because they are not good things, or not good to be known for. But I am fine sharing the name of a fashionable basketball shoe because they’re cute, super American, and look really good with jeans. I would be proud to claim the same.

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