What’s In a Name?


Hello…my name is MUD!

When I was in grammar school I knew a boy named John who wanted to be called Mud…so we all called him Mud!  I don’t recall the reason why he wanted that nickname, but he did.  It wasn’t a bully nickname, it was one he’d picked for himself.  So when I saw this card in my SendOutCards catalog, I giggled and immediately thought of John.  Funny how something so simple can immediately bring you back to childhood in an instant!

But the real reason for my post today isn’t about mud…it’s about names!

So I ask you, what’s in a name?  When you are introduced to someone and you tell them your name, how do you feel about it?  Because I want to know if you like your name ~ the one your parents gave to you ~ the one that’s on your original birth certificate.   Not the one that perhaps you go by (like Mud) but the legal one.  It’s interesting to me how something so special, so intimate to our whole lives is picked by someone else and we have nothing to do about it.

My Mom tells the story that she and my Dad were walking through a cemetery in Canada and happened upon a gravestone which had the name Yvonne on it.  Since my family has some French ancestry, they decided to name me Yvonne.  It’s a name which I like and I dislike at the same time, but one that I’ve had now for so many years, that I can’t imagine any other name.  For awhile, and actually during one job in my 20’s,  I went by the name Tommie which I thought to be different and cute (and because shockingly there was another Yvonne in the office!)  In fact, I still have my business cards which read Tommie and all of my clients knew me only as Tommie as did the office staff.  The only people who knew my real name was Yvonne was the payroll department and my boss who had asked if I could use a middle name instead.  For me, it was fun to have a different name for awhile and akin to playing dress up as a young girl!  It was fun, exciting and I could change my outer image a bit to match what I thought my inner Tommie was!

I like my name because it’s different but I don’t like it because it’s different and if that doesn’t make any sense to you, don’t worry because it makes no sense to me.  It’s simply how I feel and sometimes feelings don’t need to make sense!  I have thought of changing my name like my good friend Amy who when we were 18, had her legal name changed to Lindsay because she wanted to change it.  In fact, her parents paid for the change and began calling her Lindsay!  More than 20 years later, I call her Lindsay, but sometimes the name Amy slips out simply because most of my childhood memories are with her being named Amy.

So what’s in a name?  Do you like your name? 

Have you changed your name?  Do you have a nickname like Mud? 🙂 

I find it so fascinating so I’d love it if you would please share!

Shine On ~ whatever your name may be!


A little Romeo and Juliet for you ~ Enjoy a bit of the 1936 balcony scene!

33 thoughts on “What’s In a Name?

  1. My formal birth certifcate, motor vehicle, and “boy, am I in trouble” name is Barbara,and it came from a great grandmother from Switzerland. It never fit me and I was nicknamed Bobbi because I was so active…like a tomboy. Also, there were a lot of Barbaras in those days so I liked it then and chose to keep it into my adulthood.
    Thanks for sharing and reminding me I actually did play a hand at naming myself!

  2. I never liked my name because there were always others in my class with the same name. Now, I don’t much care. Call me whatever you will as long as you are paying me attention 😀 My husband actually changed his surname to mine when we got married. Now there’s one for the books.

    • Woo Hoo! I knew I liked you! I thought about keeping my maiden name when I married, but it was a long name that was hard to pronounce so I didn’t follow through with it. I am glad you like your first name! Thanks for sharing your special story ~ tell your hubby that he is awesome! (as are YOU!) xo

  3. My daughter always complains about her name so I told her that I wouldn’t mind if she changed it and ever since then she hasn’t said a word about it 🙂 She tells me when she is complimented about her name because it suits her so much 🙂

  4. In my family, there are a long line of daughters named Mary Louise… including me and my mom. For clarity, as the smallest (chronological) Mary Louise, I eventually became known as ML within my family, then socially amongst my friends.

    I never really liked Louise… it just sounded to girly and old-fashioned to me for the tech-girl tom boy I turned out to be, so I’ve done a pretty good job of obliterating it from my legal documents without legally changing my name. From my 8th grade diploma to my drivers license and passport, I am recorded as Mary L.

    it is really funny now, having re-connected with folks who knew me when I as a little kid. They still refer to me, and introduce me, as Mary Louise [including Ms Misifusa]. Just goes to show that you can never completely bury anything.

    • Oh ML ~ you are so right! It simply comes out without my thinking about it! I try when I write to type ML for you, but when I see you, you are Mary Louise! Ok, I promise to make a conscious effort to call you ML or Mary? Is that good? Which do you prefer? xo

      • Any/all are fine… I have no expectations of deprogramming you after 40+ years… It’s no different than my autopilot when I address an envelope to you and your maiden name come out.

        At this point, it amuses me that it is back after working so hard in my teens/twenties to bury it.

  5. I don’t think my parents had ancient Romans in mind when they named me but they did pick two quintessentially ancient Roman names (Claudia Giulia – pronounced Julia). Now that I have lived everywhere and am very far from home I love my name because it’s versatile in many languages, it doens’t have any harsh consonants and it reminds me of my roots.

  6. My name is Lorian. But my birthname was Lori Ann. My Dad wanted to name me Lorian, but in the ’50s my Mom said you did not give children weird names like that. In 7th grade I started using Lorian as my signature and on all my legal documents. The only one’s left that call me Lori Ann are from the old neighborhood. I love my name, though everyone says it and spells it wrong. – Thanks Dad.

  7. Real name is Katherine but it’s sounds so formal so always went with Kathy and was a tomboy also. I like Kathy but there were so many in my class and also in jobs that I had as a adult that were named that. Middle name was Ann. Longed for something different but not sure what so will stay Kathy.

  8. I have always loved my name Heather. Growing up there was always two or three of us in class. But now no one ever names their girls that anymore. The reason I love my name is because it is after the Scottish flower Heather and yes I am proud to be Scottish kilt n all!

    • Oh la la! Love it! Nice to meet you Deanna Leigh! They are really pretty names and I like the way they work together! Who are the movie stars? I can’t think of a Deanna, but is the other for Vivien Leigh? Just wondering! 🙂

  9. Interesting stories on how everyone got their names…My real name is Patricia (although I go by Patty) my father always liked the name Patrick and so since I was a girl he said no problem we will call her Patricia. He used to call me Patsy which I did not like too much, but now I would give anything to hear him call me that! I went from the Pat stage, to Patricia and eventually back to Patty. I like my name – guess I never thought about it much. My mother gave me my middle name I was named after a good friend of hers that helped her when she moved here from Germany after she married my dad.

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