Monday, November 8, 2010

Getting to Know You: What's in a Name?

Just for fun, I'm starting a little series called 'Getting to Know You' which will begin with today's post. If you enjoyed the 'Manners Monday' series, not to worry, it will be coming back soon. Since I'd really enjoy getting to know all of you a bit better and because I love reading your comments, I thought this series would help do that. So, over the next few weeks, I'll be posting about various topics, and asking you for your comments, stories and your take on things. I'll also be revealing more about myself too-that's only fair, right?

A few of my friends have just had babies and have spent a great deal of time going over baby names. I began to think about what's in a name.  Some people really keep the family name going by naming their children after themselves like little Johnny Jr. Others name their children after their own parents or another family member or at least include it in the child's middle name. In the case of my hubby, he was named after his father, Paul, and incidentally his two grandfathers' names were also Paul as well. The funny part is that his step mom's name is Paulette, really what are the odds?

We will be breaking that tradition if we have a boy one day. It's safe to say that our children will not bear his first name in any way and we're both okay with that. LOL. I on the other hand was also named after my father. After a long debate as my dad wanted to name me Meaghan (pronounced Mee-gan) and my mom assured him she didn't want her daughter's name to resemble a word in Dutch (I'm half Dutch and half Polish) which apparently means 'to pee', they settled on naming me after him-Carl. My dad thought the letter 'K' was more sophisticated than the popular 'C' for my name, and as they say the rest is history. My dad and I also share the same middle initial.

Sometimes we hear names like Dakota, Savannah or Georgia where geography may have played a part-maybe it's where the couple met, got engaged, enjoy traveling to or merely just a name they fell in love with. Other times biblical names are chosen such as Joseph, Noah, Moses or Mary.

Celebrity names are perhaps the most interesting, somehow names like "Apple" have become the norm in the Hollywood bubble. I like Nicole Ritchie's choice of "Harlow" for her daughter but found "Sparrow" to be a bit odd for her son. Having said that, naming children after birds has become quite common lately. Three years ago a close friend named her son after a bird but changed the spelling-his name is Fynch. Names like Stella have become popular again and celebs like Tori Spelling proudly call her daughter by that name. Tom Cruise & Katie Holmes' daughter Suri has probably one of the most unique names I've heard, but ironically at age 4 her name is known worldwide. Jennifer Lopez' twins have sweet names- Max & Emme.

Depending on what our name is we've often picked up nicknames along the way also. Maybe a shortened name becomes easier to say like Liz instead of Elizabeth or a shorter name like Jane becomes Janie. My name falls into  both categories. Growing up my family called me by my name and my dad called me Karly. My younger brother couldn't pronounce the K, so he called me 'La La' for a while which later turned into 'Lah-Lee' and then my mother began to call me that and it stuck all through high school.

My friends on the other hand and a couple previous boyfriends called me 'Kar', many of my friends still do to this day. When I met Paul, he liked the idea of a longer name and since he is fairly fluent in Spanish living here in FL where many speak the language, he bestowed upon me the name 'Karlita'. Paul on the other hand, coming from a long line of those with the same name was nicknamed 'Duke' at an early age. To this day to make things easier, they call him that and so does the rest of his extended family. It was a bit odd when we first met to hear it  but I'm used to it now. I, on the other hand still just call him Paul unless I'm speaking to his parents, in which case I'll refer to him as 'my Paul'.

SO, now it's your turn to introduce yourself! I would love to get to know you all better and I'd love to hear the origin of your name, how you got your nickname or how you decided upon the name of your child/children. I hope you'll join in and leave a comment! :)

Happy Monday!


  1. My mom named me Karen Kay after a godchild-an ex-boyfriend's sister asked her to be the godparent, but my father didn't want her having contact with her once they were a couple. Sad, but true :(

    I named my daughter Molly, because I've never met a Molly who wasn't sweet and that's what I wanted my daughter to aspire to be.

  2. I love your daughter's name Karen! Molly is a sweet name indeed. :)

    That was the name of the last cat I had actually. She was the sweetest, beautiful and most loveable one I've ever owned and when I got her, the name just seemed to fit.

  3. Names are so interesting aren't they. I was named after Crystal Gale, and we named Lily, Lily, because I heard it once and just fell in love with it. No real special meanings on my end when it comes to names :)

  4. My parents knew immediately they wanted me to be Katherine (called Katie), but didn't realize they disagreed over spelling until their priest asked them which they were going to choose. At the same time, my dad said, "with a K!" and my mom said, "with a C!" The priest ended up being the tie-breaker, so Katherine I became!

    On my husband's side of the family, he is the fifth first-born son with the same first name and a different middle name. They are all named Jorge Something and go by their middle names or the Anglicized version. We haven't decided whether we'll continue the tradition if we have a son. It's nice to have the history there, but my husband is Jorge Andres and goes by Andrew or Drew, so there's often name confusion around other people. Plus, we're both blonde and blue-eyed and our last name isn't Hispanic, so it just seems off. My husband had a professor in college who thought he was Swedish based on his appearance and pronounced Jorge "Yor-gee" :)

  5. My name is Mallory. (Not from Family Ties, contrary to popular belief.) My parent's friends had a daughter when my mom was pregnant who they named Mallory. My dad loved the name, but they weren't going to use it because these friends lived so close and they spent a lot of time together. Then the family moved across the country, so they used the name! A year later, they moved back. So I grew up with my best friend Mallory. :)

  6. My name is Angela, and I have always liked my name because of the reason that I was given it.

    My mom has always told me that I was going to be named Rachel but on the day I was born my dad insisted that I be called Angela because he said I was his little angel.

    My husband's family has a tradition of naming children after other family members, but I am also a fan of unique and modern names. It will be interesting to see if we can combine family names with more unique spellings or nicknames when we have children.

  7. My name is Laurie, I believe I was named after my mom's mother, whose middle name was Laurie.

    We named my daughter, Elisabeth, after my mom, and we call her Beth. And notice we changed the z to an s in Elisabeth - I liked it better that way:-)

  8. My name is Kristin. In the tribe of Kristins there are two factions: those with 'in' at the end and those with 'en'. It's like we are family but feuding cousins. When I meet another Kristin it invariably comes up "how do you spell yours?" and we are either immediately aligned or we are separated.

    I have a daughter named Carly. She is called 'Car' but some of her friends or 'Carlita' by me....because in my family everyone gets -ita added to their name. i am Kristincita, I call my mother Mamacita.

    I wonder if Carlys and Karlas are in the same tribe?

  9. My second name is Michelle. My mum was a HUGE Beatles fan, and this was in the charts at the time. Could have been worse; I could have ended up as "Eleanor Rigby"!


Thanks for stopping by, your comments make my day! I read every single one and will answer any questions you have. I hope you'll visit again soon! :)


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