It’s All in the Name

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Do you like your name?  Everyone has one.  But be honest.  Do you like yours? I have always loved my name.  I am just Beth Ann.  Not Elizabeth.  Not Bethany.  Nope.  Beth Ann.  Plain and simple.  Perfect.  Short and sweet.  Nothing fancy and I think it suits me.  Beth is a Hebrew word that literally means “home” or “house”.   It has also been suggested that it means “house of God” or “vowed to God”.  Whatever meaning you subscribe to does not matter. What matters is that I like my name and am glad my parents chose it for me.

When I was younger I was just plain Beth.  My siblings call me Beth.  My mom calls me both Beth and Beth Ann.  In college I started adding the Ann to everything and though I answer to Beth I prefer Beth Ann.  It would be very rude of me to suddenly stop answering to Beth when my family and many who know me from pre-college days call me that!

For some reason the two name name is difficult for some folks to wrap their heads around.  I end up being Mary Beth or Ruth Ann or Bethen or Ann Marie or Mary Ann.   Seriously.   And I answer. To all of them. Because I know that some people just don’t get the two name thing.  So sometimes I correct and sometimes I don’t.   Sometimes I have been called Chris (my husband’s name) and it makes me wonder whether after so many years together we have melded into one.  That kind of scares me in a way.

I think a name is a wonderful gift that a parent can give their child. When we chose names for our boys we put as much time and thought into them as any other expectant parents do.  But when you name a baby Micah Brandon do you really think that he will end up being able to grow into that name?  Or when you name a preemie Aaron David how do you know that he is going to be able to develop his personality around that name?  Fortunately for our boys they both have successfully claimed their names and have filled them out.  They suit them.  Thank goodness.  One less thing to feel guilty about!

So when you think of your name today how does it make you feel?  Do you love it?  Do you embrace it or have you changed yours to suit your personality more?  Have you adopted a nick name?



  1. I actually like my name a lot… And I am very thankful that I have it.. after all, I was “this close” to being named Frieda after my dad’s mom…..

  2. My father told my mother that John Robert…was a ‘strong’ name, important sounding… I am now called, Jack, Jake, Jakestah, Jerk (a personal favorite) Jamocha, Jamoke..and as you know I will answer to most anything…especially the dinner bell.. Thanks for the memories Betsy..

  3. I like my name and in a way I’m glad my mom named me Susan… it gave me some troubles growing up in Germany because nobody pronounced it right because of the English spelling but now it’s great!!!! I grew up being Susi… and to most people I still am. I like Susi only problem I have, yet again, is spelling. There are so many different ways in the English language to spell it. I insist on SUSI!!!! 🙂

  4. I love posts about naming–succh a fascinating thing to think about. I’m not entirely crazy about the name “Kathy”–what most everybody calls me. I think my actual name–“Kathryn”–is more attractive, but I have some negative associations with that name, as well. As a young adult I went by “Kate” for a number of years. Oh well, great post, Beth Ann.

  5. I’ve never liked my name, and my parents said they could call me by my middle name if I wanted. My middle name is Victoria, which I like, the problem is that it’s my moms name so I thought it would be confusing. So I’ve stayed with the name Robyn, and some of my friends and family call me Blondie since I’m blonde.

    • I love Blondie!!! That would always be correct, right? I think Robyn is a very nice name though I honestly do not know many Robyns at all!!! Victoria is a beautiful name but being a Jr. would be weird!!

  6. Helen Brown says:

    My name is Helen Margaret and in college I changed my name to Peggy for my friends, especially my future husband who later made a recording of him singing to me “Once in Love with Peggy”. I am now back to Helen and never hear anyone call me Peggy. Another sign of old age!

  7. My name … I haven’t thought about it in years. When I was growing up there were NO other Andreas. I was shy and it embarassed me to have to call out my name when asked in class. My maiden name was Arnold so Andrea Arnold … always the first on the list of things to do, always sitting in the first chair in the front row … Argh. That is a burden when you are shy. On top of that my friends started calling me Andy … well, acturally, I liked that because it suited my tom boyish behaviour. But, believe me when I got to college, I ditched that version of my name quickly.

    Now you talk about answering to different names … my sisiters name was Adrienne. OMG, I had to answer to Andrea, An drey a, Andrienne, Addie, Andy, Andy Pandy . So if you haven’t figured it out, my name was a nightmare as a child. However, as an adult, I rather liked it. And I think, as you put it, I have grown into it. It suits who I am … no longer a shy little thing. The one problem I have had lately is everyone is now naming their girls Andrea and so when I am shopping in the grocery store, I keep hearing people calling me. Having been the only Andrea most of my life, it takes me a moment to figure out that they aren’t calling me at all. The interruption, however, makes me lose track of what I was doing and so it takes me a few minutes to recoup … So, are you sorry you asked?

    • Definitely NOT sorry I asked!!! Great stream of consciousness you had going there, Andy, Andrea, An dray a, Addie, etc….. I imagine you would look every time you heard that name today! I would!!! Not to Andrea. To Beth Ann….And I can identify with being at the first of the alphabet though I was not an A I was Beth Brown….so there you have it. Something else we had in common! Have a great day, Andrea!

  8. Growing up, my two-word name was used so much, a neighbor thought it was all one name. Dropped the middle name when I got a life of my own. (started working, etc.)

  9. Becky Miracle says:

    My parents chose names starting with R’s…out of 4, I was the only one with a nickname, which never made any sense to me if you wanted R’s! I didn’t like either growing up, but now have also grown into my name. When I was having my second son, a nurse said, Rebecca”…you don’t go by THAT do you??? Good thing I didn’t at the time! LOL Although my husband knew me as Becky for years, he started calling me Rebecca and now most of his side all call me that. Because of the nickname, I made sure I named my boys what I wanted and call them by their given names to this day…Robert, Scott Allan and Kevin. I wish they would have used Becca instead of Becky and I absoultely hate Beck, which I get from a couple people.

    • Ugh–I would not like Beck, either!!! I agree with calling the boys by their given names. I was really intentional with that especially with Micah since that could be shortened really easily. And the good thing is that they like their names!

  10. I hated my name as a kid but considering the fact that my folks almost named me Deidre, I think Paula is a better fit!

  11. I have always loved my name. Lots of people call me Cyrus and that is nails on a chalk board to me. Since I have a name that is already hard to say, I am not a huge fan of nicknames for myself. I don’t call too many people a shortened version of their name either. My boyfriend is Evan and I very very rarely call him Ev, usually only on cards is he addressed as Ev. Hazel is the only one that really gets called anything other that her given name which turns into Haze, Hazel Basil, and many other forms of the above. I suppose my name could be shortened to Cirr (Sear) which I don’t love from adults, but have many kids that call me that and that is fine.
    Great topic, Beth Ann!

  12. The name on my birth certificate is Patty Ann, it suits me perfectly. However, when I was enrolled in parochial school, the holy heirarchy wouldn’t allow me to be called by that name and insisted I be…Patricia. The sound of that name, to this very day, makes me cringe in fear. It reminds me of being hit with a ruler or black strap by one nun, or another, for something I did wrong.

    When school ended, I became who I really am once again…Patty Ann.

    • You are part of the Ann Clan!!!! I have a friend LuAnne and a friend Ann and the thre of us were the official Ann clan. “Plain Ann” was actually Cheryl Ann but went by Ann! Welcome to the ranks!

  13. Parents should really think long and seriously before naming their child an unusual name. I was 19 years old before I ever met another Tara. As a child most of us just want to blend in, but that’s impossible when your name sets you apart. I was unfortunate enough to have both an unusual first name and an unusual last name. People NEVER pronounced either correctly! Such unnecessary stress for a child to endure. I always dreaded having a substitute teacher at school because everyone would snicker when the teacher would call out my name pronounced incorrectly while calling the roll. And anytime at a new doctor’s office or dentist’s office I dreaded when the receptionist would call my name and butcher the pronunciation. I have always wanted to have a common name that is easy to pronounce. I would have loved to be, Beth Ann. Such a beautiful name. And, it suits you pefectly because you are a beautiful person both inside and out!

    • I understand what you mean about names and not being able to pronounce them! I never had that with my maiden name of Brown but Chiles—that is another story!!! We are usually Chilis like the pepper or else Childs. I just grin and spell it and even then they still don’t spell it right. And thank you so much for the comment and the sweet thing you said—-that made my night!!! Totally!

  14. I have always liked my name. I never went by the shortcut Chris, although often people would try that. The only short cut name I had was Tine, pronounced as in Christine.

  15. I have always hated my first name & for reasons of security I am not going to disclose it to you here. I would prefer you not try to guess either since it could alert my stalker who I am. The reason I always hated my name was because it was spelled incorrectly on my birth certificate which led to a completely different pronunciation. Needless to say I dreaded the first day of school my entire life, I dreaded going to the doctor’s office or dentist or anywhere else where my name might be called out.
    I use a nick name which people have trouble spelling correctly Lynda not Linda. And now I am stuck with a totally unpronounceable last name from my German husband. The easy way to think of saying my last name is to think “Shh Michael”. BTW linda means pretty in Spanish, don’t know if it has a biblical connotation.
    When I named my daughter (Samantha) I tried to choose a name she could adapt to suit her personality. If she was a tomboy she could use Sam, when she was little we often called her Sammy. If she wanted to be sophisticated she could use her full name. Her husband will only call her Samantha & she has now pretty much stuck with this.

    • Wow—thanks for all the insight into you!!! Sounds like you did not have an easy time if your name was misspelled from day one!!! Aren’t names an interesting thing to think about,though? Thanks for sharing your story with me!!!

  16. My name is one of teh 1st gift my parents gave me. Just how I think long and hard and conder all the names out there for my child, I’m sure my parents do the same. I love how it has a unique spelling and meaning. It is me!! I couldn’t imagine being called something different – other than “Queen” by my husband. hahahaha 🙂

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