Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Just Curious: Your Name!

I find names (and naming) fascinating. The one thing that most clearly identifies us to the world is something we had nothing to do with! Our name is, in a sense, "who we are" and yet we didn't choose it, we received it.

Which brings me to the question(s) that I'm curious about:

How did you get your name? And, do you like it? 
(For those of you who want to protect your privacy, please feel free to answer as much as you can without revealing your actual name.)

My parents were going to name me Audrey (Mark if I was a boy). But when my mother was seven months pregnant, she saw a movie on TV called Flight from Ashiya. One of the characters was named Leila (pronounced "Layla"), and my mother loved it. It's an Arabic name, and my Middle Eastern father readily agreed to the name switch. So, Audrey was out and Leila was in!

I can't say that I love my name (partly because the way it's spelled makes it prone to mispronunciation, partly because I always have to spell it for people, and partly because I just don't really like the sound of it), but it is definitely me, and I can't imagine having any other name... even Audrey, which I actually prefer!   :)

Oh, but I do really love the song "Layla" -- the Eric Clapton Unplugged version. Baby Boomers usually assume that my parents named me after that song (well, the older version, by Derek and the Dominos).

Now, tell me about your name!


  1. I was named after St. Catherine of Siena. My parents named us all (my 4 siblings and me) after Saints. I don't particularly love Catherine or Cathy...but I can't think of any other name that I'd prefer! I do like that there is meaning behind our names and I'd like to keep the tradtition of including a Saint or Bible name going in my family...hence, Noah Michael will be the name of our first born coming in February.

  2. My mom had a elderly neighbor growing up named Marie and she really liked the name, but actually preferred Maria. So, I was going to be Maria, but then as the story goes - my grandfather (her dad) was a bit concerned about the name Maria because "we are not hispanic" LOL! So, it was back to Marie. I love my name because there are a lot of Marian feast days and I always feel a special connection to her on those days.

    However, having a first name that is a very COMMON middle name has its funnier moments. Often when I introduce myself, the other person will say (if they are a girl) - "Oh, my middle name is Marie". Sometimes I want to say "yes you and half the girls in this country as well!", but of course I don't. The craziest one I heard was when someone asked me my middle name (and that name was kind of a popular back in the 60s and 70s). She then looked at me and said "Well, why didn't your parents name you "Blank" Marie instead. I was dumbfounded. I stammered out...well, I like my first name and I am glad they did it the way they did. Seriously?

  3. Hi! Great idea! would love to hear the stories!!

    My name is Eloísa (written with an accent on the i). The Spanish version of Eloise or Heloise. An not very common name in Spanish. It comes from Luisa, Luis and means "Famous Warrior". As a saint the only thing that its known is that she was a martyr and a virgin.

    I am the 5th in a straight line of Eloísa´s. =)

    My great grandmother was the 1st (in the 1900´s it was a popular name), then she had little girl who died as a small baby with the name of Eloísa Micaela, then my grandmother (creepy to name another child with the same name, but it was the custom at the time), then my mom and then me. So I am Eloísa V. =)

    In Spanish the short version of my name is Elo so a lot of people call me this.

    My DH loves the French version, Eloise, so he calls me this and therefore his whole family so my nickname is this.

    So I go by Eloise, Eloísa and Elo. And my father and his family calls me Schatzie. Little treasure in German.

    Confusing at times to go by 4 names, but I have grown accustomed.

    The funny thing the 2 last Eloísa´s have not wanted to name their babies with this name, but it has been the husband´s. In my case it was my father who made the decision and not only for my mom, but actually because he loved his MIL dearly and this way could both honor his wife and MIL.

    I have no pressure from my mom to name a child with this name, yet I know I will struggle if I ever have a daughter. =)

  4. My mom got Kaitlin from some cheap romance novel. Pretty exciting huh?

    I went by Katie for most of my life-but actually prefer Kaitlin. One of my very first blog posts is about the switch from "Katie" to "Kaitlin".

    I do have a pretty cool "God moment" with my name that involves its meaning: Pure.

  5. My parents named me Amy, which they only did because they liked it, so no real significance. I'm adopted so they knew I'd be a girl (was almost a Wendy). Strangely enough, my foster family also named me Amy - both families found out later that they had picked the same name. Amy means "beloved" so I like to think that even though my parents didn't really mean anything by it, God did, since it really helps me to remember the "double naming" when I'm feeling down (which is way too often, lol)

  6. My parents had originally planned to call me "Rhende," after my mom's best friend on college. (It's pronounced "Rendy".) When I was born, they decided I didn't look like a Rhende (thank God!).

    My mom said she wanted to name me Jo, after my uncle Joel. My dad wanted to name me Anna, after his grandmother. They argued about it for a bit and then came up with JoAnna (hence the capital "A").

    I didn't like it very much as a kid, but now I do. It's odd but I've met so many more Joannas down here in AZ than I ever did when I lived in ND or MN! When I started working at my current job, there were three of us named Joanna and we all sat next to each other... it was too funny.

  7. I'm #10 in our family and, had I been a boy, it would have been a 5b/5g split. On the morning of my birth when my Dad told my siblings that I was a girl and they'd named me Colleen they were quite disappointed. Not only was I a girl but they didn't like the name Colleen. They wanted me to be named Maureen. It was still early and the paperwork hadn't been filed so he headed back to the hospital and had them change my name to Maureen.
    I like my name but not the nickname Mo. I have other nicknames that I do like.

  8. I'm an Allison but called Allie. I was named after the Allie in the TV show "Kate and Allie", but my parents thought that giving nicknames as proper names was weird, so Allison it was. I rarely see people spell Allie with the 'ie' (lots of one l, y's, just the i...), so the spelling confusion that ensues is probably the biggest annoyance. However, the guy who assigned freshman roommates at my undergraduate institution had a sense of humor and paired me with the "Kate" in our class.

    I love Allie - it's fun, spunky, and adventurous. Allison though...it sounds kind of uptight/snooty to me. One of my friends in undergrad went on a campaign to have others call me Allison (he did, despite my wishes), and it's growing on me. He's convinced me it's a cool, vintage-y name!

  9. ok i had to comment after that last one...essh!

    Alison's the name and its pretty awesome I have to admit, mostly because its spelled as its pronounced (its AL-ison, not ALL-ison), so I agree, names with extra letters are a bit snooty :P

    But really, I don't know why I'm Alison other than my parents like the name. I think its unique too because its one of the few female names that doesn't end it an "e" sound (at least amount my generation).

    My middle name was my great-grandmother's name and after many years I have grown to love its uniqueness too. When I was younger I hate it though because it had way too many letters and I always forgot how to spell it! I definitely want to give my children a story with their name. So, come on already, slowpokes!

  10. *among and *hated. apparently i still can't spell!

  11. Oh what a great "Just Curious"! Well, my name wasn't supposed to be Sarah. You see, my mom had no clue she was pregnant with twins. It was her first pregnancy, and she and Dad decided if they had a boy they would name him Graham (love that name). If a girl, her name would be Sarah Elizabeth... the only two girl names in the world my parents agreed on lol.

    My parents were shocked when my twin sister was born and was "too small." The dr looked at Mom and exclaimed, "There must be another baby!" 8 minutes later, I arrived! But now they had a name dilemma.

    Trying to make it simple, they initially were going to name their firstborn with the first name ("Sarah") and their second born (me) with their chosen middle name "Elizabeth". But after a week of interacting with us using those names, they decided that no, I "looked like" the Sarah and my twin "looked like" the Elizabeth. I have no idea what they mean by that haha, but now that we are adults, I can't imagine it any other way. :-D

    The tradition continues... my twin and her husband will ONLY name their kids AFTER they are born. They will pick names they like but often times, when the baby arrives, he or she "looks like" another name to them.

  12. My name is Nicole...hahahaha Don't know why I find that funny...It means victory of the people? Whatever that menas, it's greek...

    I was going to be called Bridgette and of course I love that name more then Nicole. My family calls me Nikki and for some reason I think that is more fitting then Nicole...But outsiders calling me Nikki is odd... ;)

  13. Okay, my name Danya ("pronounced like Tanya with a D" - something I say at least once a week) is my parents whim. Quite simply, they heard it somewhere and liked the way it sounded. I do like my name but I hate having to correct people constantly over it. Sometimes out of sheer exhaustion I just don't bother correcting them - but then they'll end up calling me some strange derivation for years and it gets even more embarrassing. The worst thing I've been called is "Damya" ummm, that's not quite it people! I really like names with meaning so that's what we've done for our kiddos (well most of them anyway).
    The background on why my parents chose such an edgy name is that they are from VERY small, adjacent German towns. All the folks there have the same 10 last names basically (since most are related). So, if they all named their child a more common name, "Mary" for example, there would be about 20 Mary Rademachers. Even my cousins that still live in those towns are very creative (sometimes TOO creative for my taste) with first names.
    I'm so glad you posted this because we are in the process of selecting baby girl's name and it's not easy! Maybe I'll get a clue here!

  14. Leila! I was born Audrey too! But, when I was adopted, my Mom and Dad changed my name to Jody. My mom's name is Judy; they thought it would be cute to have a Judy and a Jody. It was! But, growing up there was a TV show with a Jody (boy character) and then, horrors of horror, a new boy came to my school (who was geeky) named Jody! So, I didn't like having a name that could be a boy's name. When I was a teen I dropped the "y" and started writing my name with an "i" to make it more feminine. Jodi Foster was a big hit then, so it worked. Then, when I needed to apply for a new Social Security card, (as an adoptee, my card had my original name on it) I discovered my Mom and Dad HAD actually spelled my name
    J O D I. 13 years of agony for no reason! I asked my Mom about the tragedy, "Why didn't you tell me my name was spelled with an "I" all along?" She replied, "It was a mistake, I wanted it to be spelled with a 'Y'" So, that little mistake stuck and I felt righted by the universe! Today, I have a Christmas ornament, hand made by my Mom, a red bell, sewn with the my name JODY and the year 77' on it. It's my favorite ornament! People look at it and ask me, "Did your Mom spell your name incorrectly?" No, I explain, it was when I still thought I had the male version of my name. It makes me laugh every Christmas!

  15. I guess I was named after my mom's uncle who was French, Rene. I like my name now but I didn't when I was little. I wanted to be "Becky" or "Katie" or something prettier. Also, my dad wanted to name me "Bonnie" which I love for other, more "mature" women, but would not have wanted for myself! Thank goodness I ended up Renee!

  16. Oh, and the fact that "Jodi" Foster was a tomb boy didn't make me too happy. GRRRHHH...

  17. Oh, I can honestly say, I hate my name! And, it really does affect how you feel about yourself to a degree. As a 40something woman, I still cringe when I have to tell someone my name. The only thing I like about it, is that my mother spelled it a little differently than the norm. I am trying to type it now... it hurts... Annita... ah!!! On one baby name site, it was said to be in fashion limbo! ;)

  18. I hope Barbie answers this. She has a cute story.

  19. My parents got my name (Casey) from "KC and the Sunshine Band".

    Good grief! What a namesake...lol

    They didn't even like disco, but thought it was a cute name for a girl. Also, my mom told me that after I was born she found a list of names under her hospital bed from a mom who'd been in that room previously. "Casey" was first on the list. A "sign" if you will...

    I was going to be "Courtney" (eh.) or "Chad" (no thanks).

    I'm glad my name won out. I like it for the most part. It's just unique enough to not hear every day, but not so out there that people think my parents were out of their mind.

    There are some cons:

    I wish it sounded more feminine.

    That...and the the trauma of NEVER having pens/license plates/paper/stickers/etc with my name on it. (But, I'm sure a few of us can relate to that).

    Oh and being called "Casey Kasem" by the school bully.

  20. I CANNOT even believe I'm the FIRST Jennifer to be answering this post. And, NO - I was not named after the Jennifer in Love Story - as many of my peers must have been. My great-grandmother was Genevieve - but my mom didn't care for that name. Big Nana's nickname was Jennie - that and "wine" were the only words she could write in English! - so when I was born they named me Jennifer but only ever told Big Nana that I was Jenny. She was thrilled - she passed away when I was 17 months old, so I never really knew her. My middle name was the same as every woman my age whose middle name isn't Marie - c'mon - you know - LYNN! No significance there - at all. . . In high school I dropped Jenny in favor of Jennifer.

    And then, what do I do - I MARRY A GUY NAMED MICHAEL. How boring and predictable do we sound? Jennifer and Michael. Poster children for 70s naming trends. . .

    My husband and I wanted Biblical but not wildly common names for our kids - our firstborn - Rebecca - shares my middle name - so Lynn, in her case, IS significant. Daughter #2 is named after two great-grandmothers - Anna Josephine. My son is Daniel - and he and his Daddy share Anthony as a middle name. So on the first day of kindergarten my firstborn had another Rebecca Lynn, two Michaels, two Jennifers, and one Anna in her class. Anna was one of three Annas in her preschool class.


  21. OKay, now I have to post. MY name is Rebecca Lynn.

    I've been Becky, then got to be a teenager and wanted a cooler spelling so changed it to Beki.(Which I deeply regret) Yeah.... anyway, now everyone calls me Rebecca unless they're family or I've known them forever.

    I'm not so crazy about it. My dad has another daughter with the exact same name. He swears it's coincidental. I just wish my name was my own. I was supposed to be Kendra (which I'm not crazy about) but dad convinced mom to change it at the last minute.

    It's a good name. I just wish it weren't mine.

  22. Oh, and the kids?
    Cullen and

  23. My mom being convinced that I was a boy let my dad pick the girls name ~ Joy ~ she later admitted that at the time she did not like it as it sounded too much like the other hippie names of Peace & Sunshine happening at the time but now could not imagine me being called anything else.

    My dad later admitted it was the name of a girl he dated in college ~ not a great romance but it remained a name he liked.

    My middle names are my grandmothers: Marie and Hazel

    I do like my name but do often have to explain that it is not short for Joyce.

  24. My name is Karey and I'm *always* spelling it for people, although I don't ever mind if it's misspelled :) (that's actually why I don't use my first name on my blog.. because the spelling is kind of rare).

    As for how I got the name/spelling, my parents had picked the name and then, right around the time I was born, the movie "Carrie" came out and they didn't want anyone thinking I was named after it, so they changed up the spelling. I guess I've never liked my name but I don't spend too much time dwelling on it. Although I did always wish I had a name that could be shortened to a nickname.

    On a sidenote, there is an extremely accomplished screenwriter who shares my first and last name (maiden, that is), including the rare spelling. I thought that was the coolest thing growing up and I even wrote to him. He was super nice and when I was in college he asked me to write an article with him for Rolling Stone about what's in a name, since we shared one and were so different. But 19 year-old me didn't quite get what an amazing opportunity this was and never did it! What was I thinking?! To this day people ask my mom if I'm a Hollywood screenwriter when they see my name in huge letters at the beginning of a movie!

  25. My mom was in the hospital having me when my Aunt says to her "you gotta hear this song" It was Rhiannon by Fleetwood Mac and my parents loved it. Rhiannon was my name. The problem with this name is the song is about a witch, my parents have a bad habit of not listening to the WORDS of songs. When I was in Jr High, I was at a local bakery and the woman asked my name and I said it was Rhiannon to which she commented that "that song is about a witch" (sigh) Thanks mom. Haha, Grant LOVES to tell people that I'm "named after a witch" But seriously I LOVE my name, it's unusual and pretty. I wouldn't choose any other name.

  26. My dad always loves to tell this story (and actually talked about it in his speech at our wedding reception)- I was named after his "Mother in Heaven and mother on Earth." My dad's mom was Rebecca, so I am Mary Rebecca.
    I now have two nieces with the middle name Rebecca. (Kierlyn Rebecca (they came up with Kierlyn after they saw a golf course named Kierland) and Madeline Rebecca (love that name!))

    I know my full name doesn't sound that good "sounded out"- Ma-Ree-Ree-Becca... ;) but I really love it. My sisters called me Becky when I was little, and sometimes ppl in my family call me Mary Becca (all of my aunts still use my middle name with my first name because I have an Aunt Mary. Does everyone have an Aunt Mary and an Uncle John or does it just seem that way? hahaha)...Growing up sometimes I thought Mary was sort of "lame" but then I'd kick myself for thinking such a thing when our Lord's mother was Mary. ;) As I grew older of course I appreciated it more and more and felt very blessed to have the same name.
    Maybe I should go back to being Mary Becca :) My gma was very special to me, maybe God-willing I can pass her name down to one of our children someday :)

  27. I love reading these... :)

    Marie - Not to annoy you, haha, but my middle name is Marie *however,* I love it because as insanely popular as Marie was for a middle name, I rarely meet another "Sarah Marie." There were times in my childhood when I wanted Marie to be my first name! Love it as a first name!

  28. My name is Brenda Nicole and I HATE my name. What generation does "Brenda" fit into anyway? It wasn't the late 70's I don't think. My Mom always said she liked the singer Brenda Lee but please,Lord, that can't be why you would pick a name, could it?

    They were so unoriginal and I rarely meet another Brenda who loves her name!

  29. I was born Annette but called "Annie" since they brought be home. Named after the grandmother of our Lord.

  30. My name is Karen Nicole, although when I got married I dropped the Nicole and now use my maiden name (Taylor) as my middle name.

    I'm not fond of my name at all. Karen just seems so old to me. I have never met another Karen my age. I kinda feel like it's a make up name. Karen is actually a spin off of Katherine. I believe it is the Danish version and like Kaitlin, it means "pure."

    Nicole I was ok with. Although, I think next to Marie and Ann, it is definitely one of the more popular girls names. Especially for those of us born in the early 80's. I actually went my Nicki until I started school. My Nana didn't care for Karen and started calling me Nicki immediately after I was born. However, when I started pre-school, there was a little boy in my class named Nicky. I decided it must be a boys name so there was no way I was being called that anymore! I declared that everyone was now to call me Karen. :)

    There isn't much rhyme or reason to my name. My dad picked it and although I don't care for it, I'm glad he did. If my mom would have had her way I would have been Jasmine Nicole or Lacretia Ray. Yup, you read that right, Lacretia! To make it even better, she picked that name because she was angry with my dad. Sheesh!

  31. My full name is Mary Katherine (very Catholic right? I have friends who tease me by saying Sister Mary Katherine haha) and for awhile when I was little I was Mary Kate, but when Mary Kate & Ashley became popular my parents shortened it and just called me Kate. I like it but there are always plenty of other Kate's and Katie's in school. Oh, and my best friend is named Ellie, so people have mentioned the Kate & Allie show to us :-)

  32. Like Second Chances, I was supposed to be "Bonnie" until it hit my mom that my initials would be BM (as in bowel movement). Granted, I have a ton of friends with those initials, and I would never think about that except for this particular story!

    My dad picked Lisa because he liked the way it sounded. He wanted me to be Lisa Katrina, but mom won with Lisa Katherine. I like my first name, but it always sounds like a fake name when I say it. Maybe everyone feels that way when they say their own name out loud? Lisa... Lisa... Lisa... yep... fake name.

    If I had been a boy, I would have been James Robert. I tease my mom that, since we're Texan, she really would have been naming me Jim Bob. This freaks her out. :)

  33. Catherine Grace - Catherine was a great aunt and Grace was my paternal grandmother.
    Also, I was #9 and they had run out of names.


  34. This is such an interesting post! I love hearing everyone's story. How funny that so many of us aren't wild about our names. I'm inclined to say I hope my kids don't feel that way, but I've grown to appreciate mine over time, so I think it's okay.

    My given name is Catherine, my maternal grandmother's middle name - and also my mother's preferred name for all her baby dolls! =) My mother was a relatively new convert when I was born (it's now been over 40 years and she STILL claims she feels like a new convert!), and she was a big fan of St. Catherine of Sienna, too. I was always partial to St. Catherine of Laboure, so I chose it for my daughter's middle name.

    I didn't care for my name growing up (I would have LOVED to be a Michelle or Amy or Kristin. I thought if I had to have a name no one else my age had, why couldn't it be as "exotic" as my cousin "Renee"?!), but at the same time, I wouldn't have changed it, either. It really does become part of you. Now that it's in my daughter's name, I'm much more fond of it.

  35. I honestly don't have any cool story with my name. My parents picked Megan when there weren't very many Megan's, but then apparently every third pregnant woman decided to name her little girl Megan or Meghan or Meagan. I was Megan E. from Kindergarten through 5th grade. I was so excited to just be Megan in 6th grade.
    Some of my friends call me Meg, and I have always liked that, but it doesn't really matter to me. :)

    Mary, I have an Aunt Mary and an Uncle John! :) My grandparents had 9 children really close together, and my Grandpa always says that if they had known that they were going to have that many kids they wouldn't have wasted four good names on the first two! John Michael and Kevin Anthony.
    So their kids names are as follows: John, Kevin, Alice, Jim, Rich, Katie, Tim, Mary, and Tom. :)

  36. My name is Irene. My parents were going to name me Donna, but then my father had a dream where a woman told him the baby had to be named Irene. Later we found out that my grandmother, who died when my mother was only 2 years old, used to rock my mom to sleep singing "Good-night, Irene, good-night." Cool, huh?

  37. I'm named after my father's middle name, and I'm kind of indifferent toward it. When I was little I hated it because there was a boy in my class with the same name who was really mean and farted all the time! And, this is going to sound really weird, but sometimes I feel like it's not really my name! Like when I'm in a different room and somebody calls to me, I kind of think, "Oh, right, that's my name!" lol I don't know how to explain it.

  38. My name is Bonnie Lorraine - I guess I am indifferent to whether I like it or not it's simply my name.

    I am the 7th child of 9 all beginning with B. My parents gave me my mom's name for my middle name.

    The other B's? Bradley, Brenda, Bruce, Barbara, Bryan, Bernard (goes by Bernie) Bonnie (me), Beth and Blaine.

    Funny story with a question.
    I was baptized Bonnie but when it came time for Confirmation our parish priest said my name COULD NOT be Bonnie and I HAD to have been baptized Bonita so that is the name he used along with my chosen confirmation name. So was I confirmed?

  39. I actually don't know why my parents picked my name. My dad picked it apparently. I think at one point Christiana was up for debate, but I am glad they chose Christina instead. I can't think of another name I would prefer, so I'll keep it ;)

    I picked my son's name after DH, his second middle name (yes, he has two middle names) is after Saint Gerard Mejia whom I was praying for his intercession when we conceived. :)

  40. My name is Katy Eileen. Not Katherine or Kaitlyn, just Katy. My mom liked the first name and Eileen is my paternal grandmother's name. She died when my dad was 10 and I have 3 other cousins with Eileen as a middle name. 95% of the world calls me Katy. My aunts and uncles will call me Kate, Kate-o or Bateface. I don't understand the bateface, and that nickname hasn't been used since I was really little. My youngest sister has the best name story. Before she was born, we decided her name would be Madelyn Jane. However, after the birth, my dad was asked to fill out the birth certificate. Since he didn't know how to spell Madelyn, he changed her name to Rebecca Lynn, like the country song by Bryan White. My mom wasn't mad because she really liked the name Rebecca, there was just already a cousin with that name.

  41. I'm Jennifer Joy!!

    Jennifer was the most popular name in 1977 after all, but my parents had had it picked out since they started dating at age 14! My mom's middle name is Joy and hopefully I'll have a little girl someday to carry that on as well. If not... my niece is Maricel Joy, named after both of us!

    Fun story about the name. My mom is Wanda Joy. I have no clue where my grandparents came up with Wanda. Sidenote: Her sisters are Carna, Marvel and Neva! Anyway... my grandmother really liked the name. Her mother, my mother's grandmother, apparently did not. She wrote my grandmother a little note stating that while Wanda Joy was nice, Jennifer Joy would have been much nicer. Ouch. My grandma gave that to my mom after I was born. :) So... my grandma did love my name, but she never spelled it right. She always like Jennie... so she always always spelled it like that. I loved my grandmother so much, that I just chalked it up to it being our little thing and I loved it.

    Now... I do go by Jenny or Jennifer, it depends on where I'm at. At work, I'm Jennifer. My dad calls me Jennifer and my best friend calls me Jen, but most call me Jenny. I like both and I do love my name! :)

  42. I am a Rebecca Marie & have always asked my mom how I was named. No interesting story ever came in reply :)

    I always have dreamed of having a French name like Genevieve or Blanche. The first Becky I met up with in my school years was in senior year so I always considered my name somewhat unique. I was always called Becky at home and Rebecca at school until 2nd grade. Tried to do Rebecca when I lived in Boston but I never answered to the name so Becky I am and Becky I shall remain. My nickname is Aunt Thelma Lou but that is another story...

    I do have a beautiful niece Rebecca Lauren who we call Becca.

  43. Ooh I'm right after Jenny! Who is your best friend that calls you Jen?? Why do I not know this?

    My name is Elizabeth Anne, after Mary's cousin and Mary's mother - so I love it! I probably wouldn't choose the name Anne and would like something more interesting for a middle name, but I do love both saints. I really connected with the name Elizabeth and my patron saint a few times. I remember hearing the reading at mass when I was finally pregnant with Madeleine - "Elizabeth who was called barren is now in her 6th month" - I was in my 6th month ;) Then once I was at a Eucharistic procession when I was pregnant with Madeleine. She must have been sleeping, but the priest came around to everyone holding the monstrance and I got to touch his robe. As soon as I touched the robe, she went nuts, and I felt like Elizabeth when John the Baptist leaped in her womb. And I prayed to St. Anne to conceive and now I'm about to have my third child. It's interesting that both my patron saints suffered from infertility ;)

    Can I tell you my kids' name stories?? We found out that we were having a girl and we started talking about names. Ken suggested Madeline one day. I said, "Eh." I do NOT like the nickname Maddie. But the next day I woke up with a Rich Mullins song in my head - he never recorded it but I had heard it on a concert DVD. It was called Madeline's song, and written about his friend's daughter. I hadn't heard the song in probably 7-8 years but I remembered the chorus.

    "Madeline fusses, Madeline laughs. The Angel who watches says 'Hey look at that'
    There's your faith, mountains will shake.
    Cause God gladly bends just to hear Madeline when she prays."

    As soon as I remembered that song, I knew that was her name! About 3 weeks before she was born we decided to spell it Madeleine, after St. Madeleine Sophie Barat, and I LOVE IT. We had picked her middle name Margaret, after my mom, my grandma and my great grandma before we even got pregnant.

    When I was pregnant with John Paul, Ken gave me naming rights for my birthday present. (Best. birthday present. EVER.) I really struggled with his name, because if he hated it it would be all my fault! But when I was about 37 weeks pregnant I heard a homily on JP2, who I got to see in person and really effected my whole life. I knew right then that John Paul was his name. We also chose his middle name, Landon, before he was conceived. That is Ken's dad's name. I have several items blessed by his patron saint, and also have pictures that Ken and I personally took of his patron saint. I think that is pretty amazing.

    Number 3's name is really special too, but it's a secret for a few more weeks ;)

  44. My parents named their five children after saints...I never liked my name growing up and I always wondered why they named me after this particular saint. I still don't get it. I think it was pretty random...honestly.

    My dh gave me a cool Bday gift last summer. It was a little statue of the saint that I am named after, a prayer card and a little story about the saint. No one has ever given to me such a gift. I have it sitting on my desk at home and I look at it often thinking...This is who I'm named after.

    Neat question!

  45. OH MY GOSH after seeing this last post I feel really bad!!! I forgot one of my nieces with the middle name Rebecca...and she lives here in town and I see her all the time! Lauren Rebecca! (The opposite of your niece, Sunshine :))... whoops! I can't believe I forgot that!

  46. Beth LeaShea (pronounced la shay). My parents didn't have a girl name picked out. I was supposed to be James Robert (Robbie). Whoops! Didn't work out that way. They weren't prepared, so I became Beth after my nursey nurse. LeaShea was taken from the man that married my parents (he had a daughter named Lea Shae.

    I ALWAYS hated Beth growing up. Always told my mom I was going to change it when I got married. It's so PLAIN! One syllable. I always get asked, is it Elizabeth or Bethany. Nope just PLAIN Beth. HA!

    It's grown on me now. :)

  47. My name is Ladonna. My parents originally had something else in mind (Paula or something like that). But while my mom was pregnant with me, my parents were listening to a record by an obscure Evangelical singing duo called Tim and Ladonna Johnson. My mom suggested a last minute switch, and my Dad went for it. The name means "the lady" in Italian (or so I hear - I'm not Italian). I think my name is just OK. I don't know if I really like the way it sounds, and I'm tired of people mishearing it and thinking my name is Madonna or Lavonna or whatever else. I don't spell it with a capital D (LaDonna) and it annoys me when people assume that I do. At the very least it is original - I have only ever run into one other person with my name (in person that is, there are a few on the internet).

  48. I guess I wasn’t alone in disliking the name my parents chose - but I do appear to be unique in that I changed it when I when I was about 22. My parents were young when I was born and they fought about what to name me. Dad wanted Natasha and I forget what mom wanted. Ultimately they settled on Lisa Denise, after each of them, Elizabeth and Dennis.

    I always hated the name Lisa. Not only did I feel it didn’t suit me, it was a popular name and there were always at least two of us in every class.

    Once I made the decision I wanted to change my name it took me a few years to decide what name to choose. Once my mom knew I was going to change it she would bombard me with lists of her favorites. Chandler was a favorite for a while, I even toyed with Sonora. I met a woman named Alisha and her husband called her Eli. I liked that – but I didn’t want a nickname – I wanted a full name. Ultimately I decided on Elisabeth. It honored my parents original desire to name me after my mom; spelling it with an “s” allowed Lisa to be a legitimate nickname since I knew my Dad wasn’t going to give up Lisa easily; My Grandmother was Angeline Elizabeth and my mom was Elizabeth Ann – so it had heritage and most importantly – I could use Eli as a nickname – which I do!

  49. My parents were in theatre when they were young. I was named after an actress (in film or theatre, I can't remember) named Kristen Lynn Banfield. I've never been able to find out who she is or what film she's been in...and my parents don't remember.

    I don't know if I like my name or not...I just know it is SO much better than my parent's first choice, after my great grandmother....Olga. :)

  50. We were just talking about how we are all called by name today - the Gospel reading is Jesus calling Zaccheus (sp?) by name.

    My name, very obviously, is from The Sound of Music! My parents wanted a nice German sounding name, I believe, and so that's what I got (much better than Brigetta or Gretyl in my opinion).

    I do like my name! I didn't always growing up - I got a lot of "Pop goes the Liesl!" - which my name is said with an "s" sound and not a "z" sound anyway, but... it's unique. I've met very few people with that name and so people hardly ever forget it! I do get a lot of mispronunciations but it's fun!

    Funny story, when I was little, I thought that we had a "kid" name and then we changed our names when we became grown ups. So I decided that my grown up name would be Elizabeth! Haha. I later discovered that Liesl is the German derivative of Elizabeth! How weird is that?

  51. When my mom was pregnant with me she wanted to name me Georgia and my dad wanted Michelle. They finally settled on Kayla after my mom's friend Kay who died in high school, but they decided to spell it Calah because my mom swore that she had seen that spelling in the Bible somewhere. When I was about thirteen I decided to look it up. It was a city that was destroyed for sexual immorality.

    I never really minded having to sound my name out or spell it for people, but I always disliked that it started with a C instead of a K (since I like the letter K better). But I love it now because after we got married, my husband and I had the exact same initials. CMA. Cool, huh?

  52. I truly am loving all these responses!! So interesting, every one!!

    Bonnie, I think you are truly confirmed (God sees the person, not just the name); Rhiannon, I actually heard that song in a store yesterday and I wondered in my head if that is what you were named after!! Had no idea it was a witch!; Little JoAnn, I thought your name was JoAnn!

  53. I stumbled upon your blog searching for more information on making a first confession. Your blog looks very interesting and this post is a great place for an introduction.
    My mother picked my name (I'm the second born and my father picked my sister's name) and I love it. My mother was raised Catholic, but converted to protestantism as a teenager. Even though she was protestant at the time, she named me after a favourite saint of hers, Saint Francis of Assisi. Where I'm from, we call him Sint Franciscus and the female form of the name is Francisca. As I already had an uncle called Francis, my parents decided to name me Ciska. Now that I'm converting to the Catholic Church, I'm very thankful that my parents named me after this amazing saint. No need to say, but: I love my name!

    I'm trying to bring Kate home. Please help me find her family.

  54. Leila - I was joking - I know I was confirmed. It became a running joke at our house since it was one of the few times I knew my mom was mad/disagreed with something at church.

    Do your kids ever say things to bug you?
    In our house how I say potato is one of those things :-)

  55. Calah - my new sister-in-law's name is Cayla! I've never met another "Kayla" with a "C"!

    Mary - I too have many Aunt Mary's and Uncle John's but most are "Greats". Lol.

    Some name trivia: "Back in the day" it was more desirable to name your child a "common name," so the top names were often shared by as many as 1/4 of their peers (Mary's, John's, etc). Nowadays, the trend is towards "unique" so statistically, even the most popular names are only shared by a small percentage of the population!

  56. Jamie Michelle after my dad, James Michael. I love the significance and the name. If it wasn't my name, I would have named a son Jamie. I think it is cute for boy or girl.

  57. Bonnie, oh, ha ha!! Sorry! :)

    And I forgot to mention: I do have an Uncle John! And I had a great-aunt Mary! (I also have a son named John and my mom's name is Mary.)

    I've noticed a lot of Aunt Carols, too!

  58. Sarah - you would NEVER annoy me! I was joking about the middle name thing, I didn't mean to offend anyone. I have loved reading all the posts. Such great name stories!

  59. Now a bubble post on why we chose our Blog Names is in order!!!

  60. Marie - no worries, you didn't offend at all! Like so many ladies, I just felt the urge to be like OOOH that's MY middle name, and realized how old that must be haha. These stories are so fun!

  61. My mother is Irish, my dad Italian he wanted "Angela", she wanted "Brigid" so they consulted a Catholic baby name book and came up with the Spanish spelling of the name Leticia which stands for the joys of the Blessed Mother, in the Litany of Loreto, Causa Nostrae Laetitiae, (which translates to Cause of Our Joy). Leticiaa goes very well with my married name Velasquez, and with my olive complexion and fluent Spanish, I have a hard time convincing people I have no Spanish blood! God has a brilliant sense of humor, NO?
    By the way,I love the name and those are the names of my blogs!


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