What’s in a name?

March 13, 2011 at 3:51 pm (It's all about me)


Before we get into this, yes, I’m in Hawaii while you read. But that last post was so serious and, frankly, angry, that I wanted to lighten the mood while I’m off in paradise (avoiding tsunamis). I stole borrowed this from Ashalah.

1. How did your parents decide on your name?
Per Jewish tradition, I was named after a deceased relative. My mom tells me it was the woman who taught her to shave her legs. (Seriously.)

2. Do your initials (First, Middle, Last) spell out anything fun/funny?
Nope. But the last two are right next to each other in the alphabet, so when I say them all together in my head, I tend to keep on going until I hit L-M-N-O-P. Mostly because it’s fun to say L-M-N-O-P.

3. Did you take your middle name from childhood or did you take your maiden name as your middle name? (If unmarried, what do you plan to do?)
I haven’t decided how I feel about taking someone else’s name. I mean, I’ll still be me, right? I’ll need to think about it. Whatever happens, there is no way my middle name is going away because I love it way too much. It’s unusual and yet fits so well with my first name (Sara).

4. Are you or will you name your children thematically (ie. same first letter, all of same origin…)
Seriously, children? We haven’t even been on a first date yet and you’re asking me about kids? I guess I should have known you moved this quickly when you asked if I planned to keep my name.

5. Did you decide on baby names as a little girl? Did you stick to them or change your mind?
I chose names for myself, as in what I wished I’d been named. And somehow it was always a very feminine name that could be shortened to a boy name. Like Stephanie/Steve. This must have been the fabulously chic heroine of a John Hughes movie or an ’80s cartoon or something. I don’t think I was sophisticated enough at eight to come up with this stuff on my own.

6. Does your family have any names that have been passed down through generations?
Well, yeah, most of them. (See that thing about Jewish tradition and dead relatives above.) I do think it interesting that my dad’s sister and my dad’s brother both named a child the same thing. My cousins have different middle names and so are usually referred to by both. I think it made them sound more interesting even as children.

7. Do you look at the meaning of the name or just the name itself?
My name happens to mean princess, but it’s biblical. It seems unlikely that the ancients would have come up with a name that means “evil cattle thief” or something, so I think I’d be safe that whatever I liked for more rational or aesthetic reasons would mean something positive.

8. Do you name pets with human names (Sally, Henry) or with pet names (Fluffy, Mr. Bo Bo)?
Both. My  dog was Harold (I really wish I could show you a photo of him because it was the best dog-naming job I’ve ever done. He was a Harold.) Another dog was named after my cousin. She didn’t like that. But others were named silly things instead of real names.

9. Are there any names that you have an affinity or dislike for based on a childhood experience/someone you once knew?
I’m more likely to go in the other direction. I assume that I’ll like Kellys and Davids because I always have.

10. What are some of your favorite names? Why?
I really love the name Elena (long A sound for the E), but can’t use it because of that rule about relatives with the name you like having to be dead. I certainly don’t wish my relative with Elena in her name dead, so any possible future girl babies will have to settle for something else.



1 Comment

  1. Amanda said,

    Name-changing after marriage is political for women, whether we like it or not. You would certainly smell just as sweet (it’s not creepy for me to say that, right?! just building on the allusion/quotation!), but either way, you will communicate something specific to world. So then it becomes about how you feel about that communication.

    Also, I was thinking about “Elena” for some future daughter, and I’m *not* even kidding! What a coincidence…I wonder if that is indicative of this name being more popular than I imagined. I’m already crabby about “Sophie” taking off. That’s my BF’s grandmother’s name and MY grandmother’s middle name…it would have been perfect. Boo.

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