What’s In A Name?

Daily Prompt: Write about your first name: Are you named after someone or something? Are there any stories or associations attached to it? If you had the choice, would you rename yourself?

I remember my mother telling me she always like the name Lisa and how it was not a popular name, but always liked the sound of it so chose it for me. Little did she know how many other parents were thinking the same thing and as a result there were always 2 or 3 Lisas in all my classes in school as I was growing up. I never thought one way or the other about my name- it’s a name, a simple one with just 4 letters and is easy to pronounce.  It is a shortened form of Elizabeth and means “God is my oath”, from the Hebrew name Elisheva, which is my Hebrew name.

There are names people associate with how a person may look, or act but I can’t say there is anything about my name that screams “yes, she is such a Lisa.” Does my name “define” me- I don’t think so, it is just what I am called. A friend of mine never called me Lisa but always Lee-shortening my already short name. I hadn’t seen him for over 20 years but upon meeting again he immediately addressed me as Lee. No one else had ever called me that, it gave me pause for a moment, there was something comforting and familiar about it, an endearing nickname that he alone chose to call me. So I suppose the special changes or nicknames we hold for those we love can make our names more special for us or at least make us feel more special when called by them. memona

36 thoughts on “What’s In A Name?

  1. came here from the recent “name” theme… and it looks like you sorta replied to this prompt – but I liek your fresh reply too. and so can we call you Lee?

    kidding…
    and I love the photo with you and mona lisa… where was this?

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  2. I was named after an aunt of my dad’s who helped him when he was a boy. He left home at 12 and found his way to her and stayed with her for two or three years before going off on his own. It goes very well with my last name (Carrasco), in fact it goes so well that when I married, people used to beg me not to take my husband’s name because my first and maiden name went so well together! I took his name but when we got divorced, I took mine back!

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  3. I was named Maureen after my aunt who died around six years old of diphtheria. My mother promised my grandmother she’d call a daughter after my aunt and so she did. But I always hated being named after a dead person, and when I met my husband he immediately called me “Mo” which I’ve used ever since. Often people have no idea of my longer name and I started using “Mo” full-time after changing direction in my life and feeling “Mo” signified the new me. I did actually carry out a ritual to honour my aunt and to ensure she was remembered because, in the days when my aunt died, no-one mentioned dead children and she was never spoken of. I felt a deep rush of gratitude once I’d completed the ceremony, it was a lovely feeling.

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    • It is customary and an honor to name after someone who has died in the Jewish religion-your ceremony sounds meaningful as it gave life once again to a child gone too young, but now never forgotten through you

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  4. Isn’t it funny how we have the one person in our life who gives us a special nickname? One of my best friends shortened my name to Bridge and I hated it, now I love it..only he says it and that’s just the way is.

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  5. I didn’t know the origins of Lisa. Good to know! When I was little, the neighbor girl couldn’t pronounce my name, so she called me Weetah. I would hold her face and tell her to “Say Liiiiisaaaaaa.” And she’d say “Weeeetaaahhh.” So my parents call me “Weet.” I love that memory and name!

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  6. I hear you… my mother thought it is special to name me after a famous tsarina… she sadly forgot to buy me a kingdom :o) …we were 3 in one class too and one of them looked like my twin… it was a challenge for new teachers sometimes :o)

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  7. It is funny how we often grow into names or nicknames. Sometimes I hear a baby’s name such as Owen and I think that doesn’t sound like a baby, and yet before long I can’t think of them as anything other than Owen! I changed my name slightly when I became older as I felt like a had outgrown my baby name, so I have defied my own theory! It is nice to read that you like your special name your dear friend calls you! Fun post! I enjoyed reading it.

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