The name game…

“I don’t like my name. You can call me Anna from now on.” My daughter Laken announced when she was about five. “Why? You have a beautiful name.” I thought so, since we’d chosen both of our daughter’s names with care. Being identical twins, we wanted them to have something unique to represent their individuality. Granted there was the whole ‘Sissy fiasco’ when both were called Sissy so much due to our families difficulty in telling them apart that they started daycare each believing that their real name was Sissy, really confusing their teacher… but that’s another story.
But I could understand. When I was little I didn’t like my name. No one could pronounce it or spell it right; I used to wish my name was Lisa. I knew if I’d only been named Lisa, like four of the popular girls in class, things would have been different for me.

Lisas

Me

It wasn’t until I started high school that I began to appreciate my name. Now my name would seem mundane compared to the wide flux of names today. The majority difficult to pronounce and impossible to spell but all proclaiming the originality of the person they represent.
Because names are important. Most think of a particular name and an image develops in your mind. That’s why I have an impossible time choosing names for my characters. Some writers choose names based on their meaning, their heritage. Me, I choose a character name based on what image comes up in my mind when I think of that name. Think of the Twilight characters, what if Bella and Edward would have been Bertha and Eugene?

Since the ‘Anna Phase’ only lasted about a week, I think my daughter has accepted her name and even though many still spell my name wrong I love it and wouldn’t change it.
What about you? Do you love your name or would you share what you would’ve like to have been named or what‘character name’ would represent you?

7 thoughts on “The name game…”

  1. barbarabarbara

    My daughter’s name is MAELYS and as a child, she so did not like being different–now she loves it! Thanks, Maureen, for a thought-provoking post.

  2. Vonnie DavisVonnie Davis

    I have always hated my name. I’ve been called Bonnie, Connie, Ronnie, Fonnie…arghh!! I was determined to write under a pen name, so that I could escape the Vonnie moniker. I’d decided on Renee. Trouble was I’d already been blogging and being on facebook under Vonnie. Would my little following know who Renne was? My agent suggested I stick with my real name. I wasn’t happy, but I have. And so I am Vonnie with a “V.”

  3. ElaineElaine

    I never used to share my middle name; named after my grandmother.
    L. was all I ever revealed.As a child my ruthless brother would make up rhymes for everone’s name. Mine was especilly gross..it rhymed with horse poop! Now when ask since the age of maturity set in I claim it…Lenora.

  4. Lynne MarshallLynne Marshall

    My mother wanted to name me Terry, but her good friend, who was also pregnant at the time, named her daughter Terry first, so I got stuck with Janet. Not crazy about that name. When I sold my first book to Mills & Boon they asked me to pick a pen name – said to think of something timeless and International. LOL. My middle name is Lynne and my last name is impossible to pronounce. Chose the name we use when we make dinner reservations for my last name. Went round and round with friends about what to call myself. Should I go with Lynne? One friend said – I don’t care if you call yourself Kiki Lynne, just pick a name! I thought Kiki was kind of cute. LOL. Went with my middle name. But honestly, all my life I’ve wonder how it would have felt to be called Terry.

  5. JodyOdyJodyOdy

    My mother named me Joann Nora because she thought it was a timeless name (Nora was my grandmother’s name). However, my grandmother began calling me Jody when I was just 3 months old and I’ve never been Joann since (unless my mom was mad at me) LOL I wished I had a more feminine name than Jody and wished my name was Amy. Naming each of my kids was difficult. Amanda doesn’t like hers because there are too many Amandas. Brianna changed the pronunciation of hers from Anna sounding to Onna sounding. Kerry was the only one who was happy. Thanks for posting Maureen!

  6. MaureenMaureen

    So nice to hear how so many people have had the same issues lol. I’m so glad you shared.
    Maureen

  7. LaVerne ClarkLaVerne Clark

    Ooo – I HATED my name with a passion! I happened to go to school about the same time they re-ran the show, “Laverne and Shirley” and guess what the kids taunted me with : ) I was forever getting asked, “where’s Shirley”, which as I got older, would respond dryly – “thats original”. I wanted to be called Sarah. Now I’ve gotten older, I actually like my name. I don’t know anyone else with it, and there are lots of Sarah’s. Still love that name though.

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