Friday, February 15, 2013

What Is Your Name?

 


After my back-to-back meetups with Megan and Meghan, I realized that half the bloggers I know are named Megan.  At least it seems that way.  I have yet to meet a blogger named Gertrude, Edith, Myrtle or Gladys.

Okay, those are names from my parents' generation.  As jarring as they sound now, they were popular back then.

One of my favorite names from that generation was Toots.  I had a great-grandmother in Brooklyn named Toots and every time my straight-laced mother said we were going to visit Grandma Toots, my brother and I snickered.  The name seems so comical.

When I was young, the most popular girl's names were Susan, Karen, Lisa and Mary.  Today, the most common names given to girls are Isabella, Emma, Olivia and Sophia.  Interestingly, you can see the most popular names of each era on the government's Social Security website.

Do you like your name?  Is it a common one?  Do you feel it captures who you are?

I have a friend named Sage who is incredibly smart, which shouldn't be a surprise since her name literally means wisdom.  She rarely meets another Sage which must be nice.  I feel sorry for the Megans who, in school, had many classmates with whom they were often confused.

I have stories about my names, both male and female.  When my father was born in Germany, his name was originally Rolf.  He immigrated here in 1950 and changed his name to Ralph.  I was named after him, so I am Ralph Jr.  My family decided, instead of using Sr. and Jr., to call my father "Big Ralph" and me "Little Ralph."  Nothing is more embarrassing to a teenage boy than to have your mother call you Little Ralph.  I hated that!

When I started blogging three years ago, people asked if there was a female name I liked.  I chose Ally, short for Allison, 'cause it fits me.  It just does.  It's been an easy name for new friends to use but some of my older, real-life friends have a problem with it.  They want to start calling me Ally but their minds have an ingrained habit of calling me Ralph so they start out saying, "Ra...." before consciously switching to Ally, which ends up sounding like "R...ally."  I laugh at that and now they jokingly call me Rally.

41 comments:

  1. Hahah, Rally is a great name :D
    My name is a stupidly common one and I don't really like it that much altho it doesn't capture who I am and in Japan I became Lala-chan ;P.
    I like my 2nd name tho, it's a finnish one : Hannele. Not very common.

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  2. My real Name is Jasmin. It fits me pretty good I think.
    When I was a little Girl I hated that name. I don't know why anymore, but now I really like my Name. I have my Nickname(Mini) from friends of my family(they gave it to me when I was a baby) and just everybody started calling me that way.

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  3. I like Ally!

    My parents let my sister pick my name, she chose Wendy due to her love for Peter Pan- it means "friend". In a way it's fitting because I'm a sucker for free spirited, adventurous guys. ;)

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  4. Rally :) Cute! My name was originally going to be Robin then my parents switched it at the last minute. My generation had a lot of Ashleys, Taras, Tracys, and Tiffanys :) Happy Friday! Heather

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  5. Judy after Judy Garland I suppose. I've always hated it. But I'm stuck. If I were to pick another name I would choose Jessie. I think it sounds wild and free. And it could be a man's name. I think I must have a little extra dose of testosterone because I'm not reluctant to do things men usually do. I'm good at fixing things in the house, driving and backing, and figuring things out. Also being an only child I was my dad's only son and he was an engineer so I helped those things. Jessie would be my inner child.

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  6. Rally's great especially for a petrol head like you!
    I'm Victoria as my mum was obsessed with Victorian furniture. x

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  7. Names are so interesting! I think Ally suites you very well. I like my name because it's short and simple - it is just Beth, I'm not an Elizabeth or a Bethany. My parents didn't want me to be named after anyone and we had an Elizabeth in the family already. They almost named me Lisa but changed their mind last minute and I'm so glad!

    I think some of the old fashioned names are coming back into popularity a little bit - I have a friend who named her daughter Evelyn (my grandma was named that!) and another one who named her daughter Gertrude (they call her Gertie for short).

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  8. Rally is fun for a nickname! Different, and upbeat. As for all the Megans, I saw a teenage girl wearing a T-shirt with the names of her team-mates at school - there were five Courtneys and a couple of Chelseas, but they were all spelled differently! It must drive their teachers mad.

    I've always liked my name because it's not too common, but not strange. And it can be long (Valerie) or short.

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  9. Rally is a cute nickname! I never know what to put on the address label when I mail you stuff...I think I've mailed things to both Ralph and Ally. Your mailman must be confused :)

    I loved my name back when I was a kid and no one had it. Then Friends used the name for Rachel's baby and suddenly there were little Emmas running around everywhere I looked. Kind of a bummer.

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  10. I've always liked my name - everyone knows it, but few people have it.

    Rally is cute!

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    1. Sheila is a great name -- and, I hear, a generic term to describe women in Australia. (Bruce and Sheila)

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    2. Yep it's used but not so much anymore, as in .. 'hey Bruce there's some sheila out the front want's to know who owns the cool Shadow!'

      It's very ocker and I think Aussies are getting better at not using such broad slang.

      As name I love it!

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    3. "Ocker"?! Not only do I love slang, I especially love foreign slang. I had no flippin' idea what this word meant so I headed to Wikipedia which amusingly explains:

      The term "ocker" is used both as a noun and adjective for an Australian who speaks and acts in an uncultured manner, using a broad Australian accent. The typical ocker is "usually found in a blue singlet and rubber thongs with a tinnie in his hand propping up a bar".

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    4. Haha, wiki can be so acurate! I do hope that your readers realise that a 'thong' in Australia is footwear not underwear :-D

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  11. Elle is the name my friends call me, and since i want my blog readers to consider themselves my friends, elle it is. my nerve damage has kept me away from visiting blogs, but i'm back and am getting all caught up on yours! :)

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  12. Names are an interesting thing. My husband and I were just talking about this in the car last night. I was telling him about a woman I met in my neighborhood, actually I've met her several times out walking. I was describing some stories she had told me and in the end he asked me what her name was? I told him we hadn't really formally introduced ourselves yet because the conversation was so engaging that the name thing hadn't even come up yet. Then I told him, "Besides, names are just a label. It's not who the person is."

    I know that a lot of people would disagree with me on this, and I do try hard to remember a person's name when I meet them, but our names really are just a label and not necessarily what we would prefer to be called if we were to choose a name we like best. I always hated my weird name as a kid, but it's okay to me now. If I was able to choose a new one I would like to be called Alex.

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  13. I like my name a lot (it's feminine, everyone can spell it, it's first known English use was in Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice - which I find rather wonderful), but I do wish it wasn't quiet as common as it is in this day and age. When I was born (in 1984) the name Jessica was only just beginning to become popular. Little did my parents know then that my name would go on to be the most popular girls names of the 80s and much of the 90s.

    ♥ Jessica

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    1. I've always loved the name Jessica for its beauty and femininity.

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  14. Rally is cute ;)
    I think my name is ok although when I was in high school I wanted to be called Laura.
    My mom was going to name me Maria Alejandra and then she changed her mind. Thought Lorena would bring me good luck.

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  15. 'Nother Megan chiming in here. I do wish I had a more unique name. I wish my mother had stood up to my Nana and named for her properly (Malverie Mae) rather than just her middle name. She hated her first name with a passion and went by "Mae". I suppose I could, but I never had nicknames, never went by Meg (anyone who's my close friend knows better than to call me that), never wound up being called anything other than Megan.

    I added my middle name to my blogging platform as a way to distinguish my "Megan" in the sea of the vast internet.

    I've never found a name I identified enough with to actually go by it. I have a few handles - Mars, Antares, Ecc3ntric, Lena, but they're as various as my own ideas and need for them.

    I do like my "boy" name - Spencer. My mom knew I'd be a girl though so it was barely even a half formed idea. I think Spencer makes a cute girl name too, uncommon.

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    1. Spencer, I was thinking of working you into this discussion because of the similarity of your name to the other Megans, but felt it would be too much Megan for one post. :)

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    2. I don't blame you. That is a lot of Megan. ;) And considering I'm a double Megan (Megan Mae Gann) then it really starts getting confusing.

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  16. first time commenting here, have to say i enjoy reading your blog.

    i find names and the identity they give you very interesting, especially if you use a name you've chosen instead of the name you were born with. my name, katya is one i've always loved, though i don't like my last name because no one can ever pronounce or spell it right.

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    1. Hi Katya, nice to meet you. Welcome!

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  17. Cassandra. They are everywhere. In High school I had three different classes that had three Cassandras each and they were all different people. Luckily none of us had the same last initial. And everyone who shortened it to Cassie spelled it with an ie. My mom spelled it with a y so that's how I always spelled it. I love Ancient names, like Astrid and Marella and Embla.

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  18. I hated my name when I was a kid, I always thought it was course and not as pretty as all the Meagans and Sharons (there were more Sharons in our school than any other name). And I hated that Brenda was so uncommon, I wanted to fit in. I have known exactly three Brenda's in my life and one of them was my ballet teacher, so although I couldn't dance myself, the fact that she was a also a Brenda added a bit of gracefulness to my name, I started to like it a bit after that.

    The origin of Brenda comes from the Norse 'Brand' which means sword or sword fighter. So Brenda's are warriors. Interesting as I hate conflict and will avoid it if I can, I will admit that I have a bad temper if it gets loose tho ;-D

    My second name is Elizabeth and I wished it was my fist name for a long time, it's such a pretty name and regal.

    The name I usually use on most online things is Annastasia, it comes from an online game I used to play (where I met my husband believe it or not). I was starting a healing character and couldn't think of a name til I thought of one of the nun's that I was nursing at the time, she was a wonderful caring spirit but had an inner strength to her that I admired .. her name was Anastasia.

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    1. Annastasia -- sounds so regal. Like a Russian princess from the 19th Century. When I hear Brenda, I can't help but think of Rhoda's sister (played by Julie Kavner) in the spinoff from the old "Mary Tyler Moore" TV show.

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  19. Thanks for the shout out, Ally! :) I do love my name, mostly because I legally changed my name after leaving my abusive family many years ago.

    I did keep my old first name, which was/is Angela. So, my legal full name is Angela Sage Grayson. Some people call me Angela, and some people call me Sage. I love both names.

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    1. Interesting. I didn't know that about you. Both names are beautiful.

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  20. Ha, I've never met a Toots, sounds cool! Names are so interesting, especially how it suits a person. I grew up hating my full name because it was a looong family name, but love my name much as I grew older. My Nan's name was Edith.

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  21. I joke that my name came from a fight between my parents. They agreed on a name, but argued on spelling... Caryn vs. Karen. In the end they compromised on Cara, which I believed for years that neither liked, but at least could agree how to spell it. I oscillate between loving and hating it.
    We keep a list in my phone of names we like for any hypothetical future children, but we never seem to stick with any one for more than a few weeks. It is so hard picking a name, given its relative permanence. My family has been known for choosing slightly avant garde names (at least the names my cousins choose for their kids), but often for all the same reasons... it is a name that works either for male or female, so regardless of gender or orientation, the kid can grow to suit it.

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  22. Rally is a cute name, specially since it has a story behind it. I like my name. I never wanted anyone else to have it except me. Now I see more 'Tanvis' but not in my generation.

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  23. i hated my name growing up. rebecca. there were four of us in my graduating class. i was a tomboy, so i always liked girl names that had boyish nicknames...samantha (sam), alexandra (alex), etc... i wanted to change my name to K.C., my mom was pissed, lol. worst is being called becky, but my immediate family and a few high school friends call me that. the rest call me beck/becks/becca.

    lots of "different" names these days. i actually think simple ones like jane and lucy are really cute!

    [oomph.]
    mobile morsels

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    1. Poignant story. Was it fun growing up in Stonybrook Farm? :)

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  24. Hey, Rally is unique! Plus, you get the distinct advantage of being able to make it sexy by rolling the R. :-)

    My name is Jamie and it seems to be one of those that are both common and not so common. It isn't an unusual name, but I just don't know many Jamies myself.

    -Jamie
    ChatterBlossom

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  25. rally and little raph both are so cute names! :) my name is indi, it's common on my country, but they're rather use "ie" or "y" instead of "i". indi means gift (Latvian). and yes, i love my name, because i feel like i'm a gift for my parents, lol :p

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  26. I like Rally.
    Growing up...there were lots of Lisas; it was a name that was new and emerging as a popular name. One grade school year there were three other Lisas in my class. It's funny, many people would ask me (back then--not now, because the name is commonly known now)how to say my name...they would say 'Leeza' or 'Liza'.
    I hated the name then, but I've grown to like it.
    My nick name growing up was "Liza Jane"; all of my aunts and relatives on my mom's side called me by that name.....I miss it.

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  27. I'm sorry I giggled at your "Little Ralph" childhood name.

    My name is really Lynnette, but my parents always called me Lynne, expecting me to pick up the more grown-up (at least to them) Lynnette when I got older. Never crazy about either, I wish I had announced I was going by my middle name Jordan as soon as I could talk. Hmmmm, is it too late? :)

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  28. Selina Deborah. Simply because my mum didn't know what to call me, she literally stuck a pin on some names. However, both names suit me very well. Selina means moon and connected to the deity of the moon and Deborah is my Hebrew name and it means honey bee. I'm a night owl and I love honey so in the end, although I didn't get the same consideration and care over my name as my siblings, split second random naming hit the nail on the head

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