Monday, February 18, 2013

On Names We're Saddled With...

HALLIE EPHRON: True story --
A local nurse read a baby's name off a chart.  La-a.
Nurse says to the mother, "That's a nice name. Lah-ah."
Mother says, "It's Ladasha."

Of course, grammarian that I am, I would have wanted to correct her, because of course it should be Lahyphena.

And why not? In this day and age where we had Kei$ha and an artist known as ...

But mostly I thought Wow, Neat -- think of all the possibilities:
La, ("Lacomma")
.an ("Periodan" if it's a boy - "Dotan" is it's a girl)
Suz& (Suzampersand)
Ma~ (Matilde)

Let's hear it for names that give life to keys that would never otherwise get struck!
This is heady stuff for a girl who grew up hating that she had a name no one else had, yearning to be Carol or Barbara or, please pretty-please, Elizabeth?

Did you love your name, or not so much. If you could have named yourself (I know, I know, some of us have), what would it have been?

HANK PHILLIPI RYAN: MATILDE!!I will laugh for the next five days. More to come.

RHYS BOWEN: Those were terrific, Hallie. I've just been looking at my keyboard and realize we already have Mark and Asterix--and I've just noticed something I didn't realize I had... I have a Euro symbol. How about that? I feel very cosmopolitan.

And I remember mentioning once that Hashtag sounds like a word from Mordor. I think if I were going to be a recording artist I'd call myself *--as in Rising Star.

And I grew up hating my name too. So glad to have become Rhys which sounds serene and friendly.

HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN:  We have numbers, too!
 Like I could be reporter K8 []. (Kate Bracket) 
Or a rock singer, / (Slash, right?)
Or at the doctor, have a :oscopy.

My name is Harriet which I hated until last year, now I love it. My father wanted to name me "Harmony" (He was a music critic back then.) Luckily cooler heads prevailed. I always think if I *had* been Harmony, I might still have wound up H&K.  (Okay, that'd be HANDK, but I'm all 4 it.)

LUCY BURDETTE: My brains are leaking into my current novel so I'm incapable of coming up with anything too clever--just admiring your stuff, ladies!

I was named Roberta because my father was so desperate to have a son and shocked that it was me instead. (His name was Charles Robert.) There were two other choices, Priscilla (no offense, but thank you god on that one!) and Janet Susan. My mother's name was Janet, my older sister's Susan Janet. They weren't reaching too far, were they?

So I was called Bobbie right up until I went to graduate school and returned to Roberta. I can tell now which era my friends and acquaintances are from.

Did you know there is a Facebook page called "is your name Roberta?" Every member of course is named....Roberta!
But now I'm having so much fun being LUCY!

ROSEMARY HARRIS: I didn't like the name Rosemary very much when I was growing up. No one else had the name except for the gal with the bow on Dick van Dyke (actually she was Rose Marie) and Rosemary Clooney. Not exactly the women you want to be lumped together with when you're 12.

Then there were the clever souls who said " Rosemary's baby!" Wow. Brilliant.

Older friends call me Rosie or Ro, which I like. Looking around the keyboard I don't see any symbols that would work for me - but I do like the idea of Control. ;-)

DEBORAH CROMBIE: I hated Debbie when I was growing up. My mother swore she didn't name me after Debbie Reynolds, that Deborah was a biblical name. Well, so it may be, but my parents weren't churchgoers, and I never believed her.

For a while in grade school I tried to get people to call me "Denny" --heaven knows why--but it didn't work. It wasn't until I was a published author that I insisted people stop calling me Debbie. I actually like Deborah, and Deb, and best of all Debs, so now don't mind my name. But I cannot think of a single clever way to punctuate it.

(I would have loved to have been called Hallie, or Hank, or Bobbie, or Rhys, or Rosemary, or Julia!)

JULIA SPENCER-FLEMING: I confess, I love being a Julia. I highly recommend it as a name. As for L33T names, I can see P@ (my brother's name) Ma~a, as in the Australian national song, and &rew, nicknamed &y. We could eat <> soup while reading Marx's "ic Materialism and listening to Rosemary Clooney sing , ona my House. I know it's an old song, but I'm su%amental.


This is all taking me back to the summer when our daughter went to overnight camp and when we came to pick her up two weeks later, everyone was saying good-bye to her called her Sam (her middle name is Samantha.) Now I think she doesn't mind her name.

So should punctuation marks join the letters of the alphabet, or remain separate beasts?
Do you love your name or not so much. I know I've grown into mine.


  1. I sympathize Hallie. I always wanted to be a Barbara or a Linda when I was young. Now I am happy to be Deanna.

  2. I never minded my name, but when I was growing up it often felt as if I spent more time being called by my sister’s name than by my own [can’t tell the twins apart, so somehow that always turned into “Jean” even if it was me, “Joan”] . . . .

    I am so not clever enough to come up with symbol things :( but I am chuckling over the ones posted here . . . .

  3. Ladasha. That is hilarious.

    @Roberta/Lucy: This is freaky. Like you, I am named after my father. He is Raymond; I am Ramona. The freaky part--my middle name is Lucy. We must be kindred spirits.

    My mother wanted to call me Rae for short, after the character Rae Smith in the cheesy old John Gavin film, Back Street. (He was married. Rae was his mistress.) My grandfather insisted on calling me Mona, which I DESPISED.

    My wish name was Sandy.

  4. I wanted to be a Jennifer. The Jennifers I knew had long, sleek, straight hair parted in the middle. I, alas, did not.

    According to my grandmother and her myriad superstitions, I was going to be a boy so there was no girl's name prepared until the last minute. I was named after one of the Mouseketeers--the Mickey Mouse Club was my older sister's favorite TV show. I could have easily been Cubby.

  5. No, please no punctuation in names. I find it incredibly difficult to read. I look at it and think, WTF?

    I shared my name only with women my great-aunt's age, including one of my great aunts, and I hated it. I wanted to be Debbie or Susie. My family called me Edie, which fit, since "cute" was my archetypal descriptor - I was always the youngest and shortest in my grade.

    As an adult it took YEARS to banish the nickname and convince people to call me Edith, which, yes, I have grown into and love. Nicknames spread like poison ivy and are as persistent. You have be always vigilant! Exception made for all relatives, though, so if I ever have a book signing in the San Francisco area, be prepared for lots of people greeting me as Edie.

    A large contingent of people do call me Max, which I love, and which I might use as a pen name sometime in the future. When I lived with an American boyfriend in Japan who was in the US Navy, I loved the look on his colleagues' faces when they asked, "Is that short for Maxine?" and I answered, "No, it's short for Maxwell" and left it at that. /delighted still at the memory/

  6. Kathy Lynn Emerson/Kaitlyn DunnettFebruary 18, 2013 at 8:33 AM

    My legal name is Kathy Lynn, which drove teachers crazy because they were certain Kathy had to be a nickname. I was almost a Michelle. Glad I'm not! My choice for a name? Kaitlyn, of course!

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  8. Clever and funny, Hallie.

    Is it just me, or do a lot of women dislike their names and their hair? Whatever they have, they want something else. Maybe it's human nature. I can think of things I'd like to change, too.

    Shifty Tabs

  9. I hated Kristopher while growing up. No one ever spelled it right (it's slightly more common these days) and I could never find anything with my name printed on it.

    Also, I was named after Kris Kristofferson, who was hardly a timely reference by the time I got to school.

    But as I grew, I came to embrace it. And know I think of it as just another unique thing about myself.

    At work, we were once copy-editing a journal and the ? was removed from the last name Smith? only for us to later find out that the ? was a legal part of the name. I guess he was tired of all the Smiths out there. (As I recall, his first name was also a common one).

    Whenever we talk about it at work we have to wonder if you are supposed to have your voice inflection rise at the end of the name, like you would at the end of a question. ;-)

  10. I have never liked the name Kaye. I do, however, like the name Kaye Alan, which is what family members and very old friends from home call me.

    My dad's name was Alan, and my mother's dad's name was Alan - I was going to be Alan no matter what.

    I used to introduce myself as Kaye Alan, and would try to gently correct people away from Kaye to Kaye Alan and then it just became too much work, but now I wish I had kept it up. sigh.

  11. Oh, Gram - I would have LOVED to be Deanna.

  12. Darlene! You know every time I see your name I think of that Mouseketeer! Intereseting that we weren't overrun with Annettes.

  13. Oh, Joan - That happened to me and now I DO it.

    I am constantly calling my older daughter by my younger daughter's name, and my younger daughter by my younger SISTER's name.

  14. Max, eh? Edith, filing that away for future reference...

  15. Oh, HAIR! Shifty Tabs, don't get us started on that one. But you are so right.

  16. Smith?
    Kristopher, that's hilarious!

  17. No, Cubby was a boy! And the cutest one on the show, by the way. He was actually a child; I'm convinced Jimmy was out back smoking whenever there was a break in taping, he was so old.

    No punctuation marks for me, either. Shudder. But is that worse or better than the current trend for naming children with what used to only considered a surname? Eg: Mackenzie (my daughter has two nieces with that name), Campbell, Reese, Reilly, etc.

    The punctuation thing reminds me of a cute book my girls had when they were little, called "CDB". Which translates to "See the Bee". As long as the kid knew the alphabet they could read the story.

    I've always liked my name, except for my middle name, Louise, although it's grown on me. Like Edith, I'm not a fan of nicknames, and Karen doesn't lend itself well to any. Neither do Robin or Holly, which was my two youngest children's names. My favorite aunt, though, called me Carrie Lucy when I was small, and I always loved that name, as well.

  18. Julia, FTW.

    Two things about being named Tammy, which I hated for a time and now just don't really care about:
    1. No, it's not short for anything
    2. Yes, I know the song (and please don't sing it to me)

    I get #2 less and less these days, of course.

    And honestly, Ladasha? Seriously WTF?

  19. Mackenzie, Campbell, Reese, Reilly... have to say I LIKE those names. I know several of each...

    Carrie Lucy: adorable.

  20. I was up late last night reading (and finishing up season two of Downton Abbey DVDs), since I have the day off for the holiday. Therefore, I am too tired, and only two sips into my coffee to come up with punctuation names!

    While growing up, I hated the name Deborah. Family and childhood friends called me Debbie. At school I was always Deborah. By high school I was tired of Debbie and thought Deborah sounded more "adult" and I wanted to be Deborah. Also, I went to a Catholic high school. An assignment one time was to research someone from the Bible and give a short talk about the person. I picked Deborah because my parents had always told me that they named me after her. Her story impressed me, and I especially wanted to be Deborah after that. However, I was too shy to tell people to call me Deborah (or Deb, which close relatives had begun calling me by then). Around sixteen years ago I started introducing myself as Deb. My siblings and close friends have mostly called me Deb for years now. People often will then say "Debbie?" and I SO want to say "Did you HEAR me say Debbie? Did I not say Deb?" but the polite person that my parents raised merely makes one friendly correction. Sometimes it works. Oh, well.

    What I think is really funny is that people often call me Betty or Betsy. I have a sister named Betty-Jane, but we have called her Betsy almost from the day she was born. I can understand why people who know both of us might call me by her name, but what is odd is that people who have no idea whether or not I have sisters will call me Betty or Betsy! She tells me that people she's just met often call her Debbie.

  21. My mother named me for some character in a book she read while pregnant and I've always hated it!!! Her own name was Mary Elizabeth and southern relatives were Sallie and other pretty names! I never met anyone while I was growing up named Thelma - to this day I think it is horrid - but it is the name I'm known by! Thelma in Manhattan

  22. I named my daughter Anne because of "Anne of Green Gables." She hates it when people call her Anne and goes by Annie. renamed myself "Annabricks " when I was five. It didn't stick. I wrote a whole book of stories about names in my head. I absolutely think there is a link between one's personality and one's name. Would there ever be a gangster named Percival? And if your name is Lorca Snave, how could you be anything but evil? Molly Campbell

  23. I have always loved my name -- Denise -- I use "Denise Ann" these days, and I am enjoying it. My step-father pointed out that my mother still says "Denise Ann" to me when she is being EMPHATIC!

    My poor brother, though -- 18 months younger than me. His name was T. Geoffrey. My father was Tom (like his father and grandfather) but my mother refused to have another Tom. Then, they could not agree on another "T" name so he got the initial. UGH. We called him "T.Geoff" & I often had to explain his name. When he was an adult he used Jeff a lot, or just Geoff.

    I have been a mentor for almost twenty years to a group of young people in DC. More than half our girls had babies before they got their high school diplomas or GEDs. And they gave their babies many invented names, using apostrophes --

    J'Niiyrah and J'Khayrah and D'Kota. We also have Heaven and Jocari and Cocoa and Malaysia!

    I am fascinated by names. My own children are Elizabeth, Meghan, and Amy -- and Eleanor. It was only when we were expecting Ellie that I noticed they were all "Little Women" names. Sometimes, I am a little slow. We discussed JoAnne and Josephine and Louisa. But went with Ellie.

  24. love Kristopher with a K. There was a cute actor in the 70s named Kristopher Tabori (so I've decided that's who you look like.)
    Ramona, LOVE all the different versions of Back Street esp the Margaret Sullivan/Charles Boyer one.
    I was named after my father's two sisters and the joke was that it was better than being named after his two brothers. I could have been Ben Luigi or William Ludovico.

  25. Thanks Rosemary. I just looked up Kristopher Tabori and found his wikipedia page. He actually spells it Kristoffer, which my Dad wanted to do as well, but my Mom's more rational head prevailed. "Isn't the K different enough".

    Thanks Mom!

  26. Percival and Lorca Snave - a romantic couple! Love those names, Molly Campbell!

  27. I can't imagine being anyone other than Jane. I never wanted a different name. It's one syllable, easy to spell, and strong. I'm happy with it.
    I was called "Janie" at home, until I started first grade. My teacher informed me that my name was "Jane", not "Janie". I got quite upset with my parents for not telling me that my real name was Jane. From that day forward, I've insisted on being called Jane.

  28. Denise Anne - your poor brother! Saddled with an initial. My sister got an initial name, too, for her middle name - Delia G Ephron.

    I wonder if it's just G or G. (with a period)

    I think that must happen when the
    family wants to use an initial but hasn't got a name to go with it. My father's mother's name was Gussie. Thank goodness Delia didn't get THAT for a middle name.

  29. OH, I lvoed CDB.

    I just wowed our little next door neighbor with


    ANd DebRo, I introduce my husband as Jonathan. Peple say: Oh, hello, John. ANd I think--did I SAY John? :-)

    And it was because Annette was creepy. They were all kind of creepy. Especially Roy and Jimmy. But ALL of them. (Except for Spin and Marty.)

  30. I love name stories! And love Rhys's Rising Star! My brother named me Leslie Ann after the cutest girl in his 3d grade class. The only grief it's ever caused were the occasional comments "that's a boy's name," because it was in transition from male to female. And should that be an s in the middle or a z? (I prefer the s, but have mostly grown out of correcting people!) I never wished for a different first name, but my last is another story!

  31. No punctuation stories, but for a VERY unusual first name, my prize goes to a patient I met many years ago. His first name--Molester. I had his chart to bring him back from the waiting room to the treatment area in the ER. Being a total coward, I called out, "Mr. (whatever his last name was)". On the way to the treatment room I asked him how he pronounced his first name, it was with a short O, not a long O. I truly wondered how his parents came up with that name!

    During my years in OB, I saw many strange spellings and a few with punctuation marks included, but can't really remember them like I remember poor Molester.

  32. Oh, whoa, Diane. He should have added an L. Yikes.

  33. Does anyone remember the mean girl on the Micky Mouse Club who played opposite Annette in some kind of drama? Roberta Shore.

    Roberta/Lucy, I think you weren't born yet.

  34. I never really connected with my name. To this day when someone calls "Barbara!" or "Barb" and I answer, I'm always a little surprised.

    All Barbara's are within a twenty year span of my in age. My full name is so common my google alerts regularly notify me of my own obituary.

  35. I've always loved my name. My mom wanted to name me something modern and short, so I was Julie Ann. Friends and family call me Jules, although my sister insists on spelling it "Juls". Mom wanted to spare me the long name she hated having to write out on her school papers - Shirley Elizabeth Hendrickson. She thinks she was named after the actress, Shirley Temple,(since my grandmother would call her that), and to this day she loathes her middle name, Elizabeth.

    Anyway, my paternal grandmother was mad because she thought Mom should have named me Elizabeth since that was her middle name, as well. Plus, my maternal grandmother's name was Anna, so she thought Mom named me after her, which pissed her off even more. My maternal grandfather just simply didn't like my name.

    So, 5 years later my sister was born and was named Michelle, after a family friend. My grandfather said, "Why didn't you name her something short like Julie?!" And, to make things even more ridiculous, my grandfather never could manage to call her Michelle, so her called her "Mishirl" - a combination of Michelle and Mom's name, Shirley. REALLY, GRANDPA?!

    I think things would have been less stressful if we would've been named, Thing 1, Thing 2,... LOL!!!

  36. Oh ouch Barb!

    Hallie, I do remember the Mickey Mouse Club. I can sing it too: M-I-C-K-E-Y M-O-U-S-E! Mickey Mouse! Donald Duck! and so on...

    Ramona, yes I'm certain we're kindred spirits.

    Love every one of these stories!

  37. Well, Julie, my mother actualy did call us Thing 1 and Thing 2. ALl the time!
    ANd she was always calling us each others's names.

  38. Hank, I think ALL parents call their kids every name but their own. My poor daughter gets called by the cats' names!

  39. Thing 1 and Thing 2? Child abuse.

    Barb Ross - laughed out loud reading yours.

  40. My mother named me Jane and gave me her maiden name for a middle name. Jane was extremely popular when and where I grew up and I hated having the same name as everyone else. After much experimentation I changed it to Jayna at 16 and fought to make it stick. Eventually I changed it legally. I truly think people should give their children two names, one common and one unique because some prefer one and some prefer the other. There was a Marjorie Jane in my class and she insisted on being Jane because nobody else was a Marjorie.

  41. I think the truth is that when it comes to naming your kids you cannot win. Dogs are much more forgiving.

  42. Characters as letters in an official name. Hmm. I could see those being legally changed in adulthood, like some of those old hippie baby names.

    Edith - I can totally see you as a Max. If you ever need another pen name ... :)

    I'd never heard the Beach Boys song "Help Me, Rhonda" until I went to college. My parents named me for Rhonda Fleming. I'm glad my childhood nickname, very Disney-based, never made it to school with me. What sounds cute when you're 3 makes you chum when you're 13 ... :(

  43. Oh, too funny, Hallie. That poor kid ...

    Kristopher, I have a cousin named Krister - named after a Swedish theologian - and for a long while he went by Kris. You guessed it - of course people assumed from the name he was female. Now he's back to being Krister.

    But Smith? ? Yikes ... I begin to sympathize with governments that disallow certain names.

  44. I was supposed to be named after my maternal grandmother, Lupeangela. Happily, I was born on my paternal grandmother's birthday, so Catherine it was.

    Until I turned 12 and decided Cathy was cuter.

    When I turned 39 I reconsidered. I realized I really was a Catherine and asked everyone to call me that.

    I was surprised by how many of my friends at the time were able to make the transition but there are still some from my cute period who call me Cathy.

    I really do like Catherine

  45. Also loving all the stories.

    My brother-in-law is a history professor, and named his son, the only male with the family name, Jeremiah Jedadiah. (If you know me in "real life", you know our last name is a mouthful, but especially to go with that additional mouthful). He was always known as Jed, and never would tell anyone his full name. The very day he turned 18 he took his carefully hoarded graduation money to the courthouse and changed his name legally to Jed, no middle name.

  46. When we were trying to decide on baby names I made a long list of names I liked. The Munchkin is adopted so we knew she was going to be a girl. I read the first name, Victoria, to my husband and he said, "I dated a Victoria." He'd dated a woman with the same name as my second choice as well. More than half the names on my list were the names of women he'd dated. Turns out he'd had a much more active social life than I realized!

  47. My parents' families were at war. My father was certain I would be born Irish. ????? No, I don't know why he thought like that. His side of the family assert I am Irish and nothing else. To quote my aunt, Ellen, "What do you mean, what kind of a name is Szyminchkwiky? He's Irish, like us."

    So... my mother wanted to make peace between the warring factions: On his side, the Irish (not as Irish as they think); On her side, the French, Mi'kmaq, Métis, English, and whatever else.

    French is the default language on her side. They wanted Marie-Reine, with the indigenous putting in for Rain.

    His side said that doesn't sound Irish. Mother said Marie-Reine was the same as Maureen. They said, then spell it right. So she did.

    Everyone was happy. I am Maureen to my father's family. Marie-Reine (Reine for short) to most of my mother's family, and pronounced Rain to the indigenous and those so inclined.

    I tried, with my grandfather's help, to reconstruct it as my mother had intended. I should have left it alone. Names, though, feel very important. I don't think mine is finished.

  48. I still dislike my name "Mary" prefer Mar (rhymes with "hair")

    My grandfather wanted me named Heidi, my mother refused so I got named after my grandmother's

    Mary Veronica

    when I was confirmed and had to pick a confirmation name (never understood that one) I chose my Paternal grandmothers first name "Rose"

    I always thought I should have been Veronica Rose and had I realized at 18 that I could have changed my name legally - I would have been on the courthouse steps the day after my 18th BD

    I don't know why they didn't Veronica first, I always liked that name once I knew what my name was

    both my mother and her mother were named Mary but were called by their middle names, me I got stuck being called by my first name :( really don't know why they thought another Mary was needed in the family anyhow - somehow I think my Dad had no say so in my name

    I grew up catholic in a very catholic populated area, I lost count on how many "Mary's" were in my class

    I'm in a fog - it took me looking at La-a and Ladasha about 5 times to connect, what are people thinking


  49. Mar, Reine --
    I've always wondered about both of your names... mysteries solved!

  50. One of my sisters had a college friend named Ziggy, short for Zygmund. When asked if it was difficult going through school with a name like that, he said he was from a predominantly Polish town, and there were several other Zygmunds in his kindergarten class. I guess all the Johns and Davids, etc, were the ones who felt out of place!

    In my childhood neighborhood, there were so many Debbies that I finally stopped responding when I heard someone call the name; most of the time the person was calling one of the other Debbies. In the apartment next door to us there were TWO Debbies; both spouses had a daughter named Debbie from a previous marriage and both children lived there. It's been a lot of years so I can't remember exactly how they distinguished between the two, but I think they called them Big Debbie and Little Debbie.

    By the way, I like the nickname DebRo:-)

  51. I have never cared for my name -it sounds like someone throwing up!- and when I first meet people they sing, "Hey, hey, Paula..." (Because no one else has ever thought of that, thanks...) Plus, all the other girls in my elementary school grade had names that ended with an "-ie" (Julie, Emily, Kristi). I would have given anything to have a name that ended in "-ie." (Though not Polly!!)

    I feel my mom's pain, though. She was a teacher and every name made her think of a student. After working in day cares and preschools for ten years before we had kids, I had a similar problem (no Austins or Jacksons, please!). It hasn't occurred to Kate and Craig to hate their names yet...we'll see!

  52. Love the punctuation names as jokes you all did--so witty! Don't care for them in real life, though.

    I was called Lynette (my middle name) until I went to school. The teacher insisted that I had to be called Linda and pushed my family to comply, as well. I've never cared for Linda. There were always twelve or so Lindas everywhere I went--it was the most popular girl's name the year I was born. I secretly longed to be called Elizabeth or Gloria, names with some style. I did love Lynette, which was what my family intended me to be called. *sigh*

    Now that I'm older, I'm fine with Linda, but oh, there are so very many Linda Rodriguezes out there! It's like the Latino version of Mary Smith.

  53. What a crummy teacher, Linda Rodriguez... as if was any of her business what your name was. Sheesh.

  54. Very funny today, ladies!

    I hate my name. Apparently, my mother had named my 2 older brothers, so my father got to name me - Nancy - after the song. (My mother says she would have named me Andrea).

    The funny thing is that when my husband and I took our daughters' names from Shakespeare (Ariel and Cordelia), I caught hell for not using family names, etc. - when they named me after a stupid song!

    Nonetheless, if I were to ever become a famous writer, I don't think I'd change my name.


  55. Michelle is my name and Lee is my middle name. I didn't go to school with too many other Michelles, even though I was born in the '70's and it was a popular name then. There were a lot of Jennifers that I went to school with. A lot of them had last names that started with D!

    When I graduated there was another Michelle whose last name started with F (Finkbeiner, I think), so she might've been right after me.

    My mother wanted to name me Rebecca Ann but I guess my dad picked the name Michelle. Some people can't even spell it right. A few times people have left off the final e. Since the First Lady is named Michelle maybe now more people can spell it right.

    Punctuation names -- no way! I couldn't figure all of them out in your post and it made me dizzy. I also don't like it when people come up with different ways to spell names. I wouldn't think of spelling Hayley differently, although now Haley may be a more popular spelling. It just looks wrong. People also have lots of ways to spell Brittany, which I wouldn't have thought of.

    I like sensible, normal names and not the funny ones (modern) they come up with now. I agree with the person who said that last names as first names are weird. Might as well call a girl Wainwright and be done with it!

    I thought it was funny when Barbara Ross said that she got Google notices of her obituary because her name was so common.

  56. Michelle - I'd have loved to have had your name.

    Now SO MANY different spellings can drive a person nuts. Michelle Michele Barbara Barbra Steven Stephen ...
    Hallie Halle Halley ...

  57. One of our sons just stopped by to visit, and I told him about this name discussion. Steve and I adopted him and his twin sister when they were 8. We were their third placement for adoption, and they had gone through 3 sets of names before joining us.

    They were as unfamiliar with their birth names as they were with the two sets of names they were given by their adoption placements that didn't work out. They came to us with their birth names, since they had never been changed legally.

    We asked them what they wanted to be called, and they came up with names that were different parts of the names they'd had previously, even mixing part of one name, with part of the other twin's name. For example, one called herself Marmay, a blend of Mary and Mark. You should know we all giggle about this now, but it took more than a few years to see the humor.

    We finally told them that they should pick out any name they liked, as long as it wasn't made up or weird. I expected them to ask what we meant by weird. They never asked. They knew.

    Krista had a friend named Krista and a counselor named Beth. She wanted to be called Kris, short for Krista Beth.

    We forgot to tell Paul that Steve was off limits, as we already had several in the family, including another son named Steve. He, of course, chose Steve. We convinced him that it might be wise to make Steve his middle name, and he could call himself Steve when he grew up or was away at school. He agreed to that but has stuck with Paul.

    When I asked him about it today he said he was happy with the name Paul but wished it could have been Steve.

  58. Oh... just got that - Ladasha. Poor baby.