What is in a name?

Your name.  The identification source of introductions, signatures and mailing envelopes.  While you legally can change both your first and last name, most people keep their given first name.  Despite nature vs nurture arguments, in nearly all occasions  your family will dictate both your first and last name.

Many parents find much excitement in picking out baby names.  Names can territorial, either keeping the baby’s name a secret so others do not use it or quickly claiming it publicly so again it is not used by other friends or family.

Numerous websites can be explored, assessing name popularity, origins and true meanings.  One must also keep in mind how that name goes with the middle and last name.  In addition, (sadly) what hurtful nicknames might come with certain names.

Interested in learning more about your name, check out:

Baby Names: http://www.babynamewizard.com/

Urban Dictionary: http://www.urbandictionary.com/names.php

Numerology: http://www.paulsadowski.com/Numbers.asp

My name, Josie is both Hebrew and French, and means ‘God will add.’  While it comes from Josephine, my legal name is just Josie.

My parents needed to negotiate a bit in settling on my name.  My mom loved the name Rosie, but my dad had reservations.  With a close friend named Josie, it was a good compromise.  At the time, it was a very uncommon and still remains in the ‘unique’ category.  To this day, I get a little caught off guard when I meet another ‘Josie’ but also immediately feel connected to them.  Like we are in a cool Josie-only club.

As a child, my name was extremely frustrating.  At souvenir shops I have never been able to find my name on a magnet, t-shirt or mug.  It is funny as kids what can frustrate us.  One time my mom went so far as negotiating with a t-shirt shop to make me a special shirt, and finally I had it.  After that point I loved my name.

While parents do their best to ensure they do not select a name that would bring a child harm, sometimes music, movies and pop culture do otherwise.  I feel for those individuals whose full names are the same with other celebrities or figures.  For me, there were a number of sayings/characters that people joke with me about.  Luckily all of these are more fun than hurtful.  I am sure you could come up with your own list too.

#1  Archie Comics and 2000 movie, Josie and Pussy Cats

#2: The movie, The Outlaw Josey Wales 


#3 Joe C., the late Kid Rock sidekick 

#4: The most recent, “Josie Grossie” from the movie Never Been Kissed

Even with these layers to my name, I claim it.  My name has become more than identification.  Almost like my brand.  What it means to me be.

At my going away party at LMU my boss gave me a hard time, as the fist couple weeks of work I was correcting everyone on how to pronounce my name.  I pronounce it Jo-C not Jo-Z.  Maybe that came across bossy and of course he was just having fun, but it was another reminder that my name means a lot to me.

Research and books have documented how important a person’s name is to them.  Most notably, How to Win Friends and Influence People author Dale Carnegie wrote:

Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.

Do you know what your name means?  The story of how you were named?  Do you embrace it or take it as is?

One Response to What is in a name?

  1. Danielle McLemore March 20, 2013 at 5:40 pm #

    Danielle means, God will judge. And it is also Hebrew 🙂
    My dad was named Daniel Craig (not the actor lol)
    And my mom is named Celeste, so I have to same initials as my dad, DCM.

    I honestly didn’t know that many people with my name until I was in high school, and there were three Danielle’s in the school, and I was one of them 🙂

    And when I was little my cousin gave me the name Dansmell 🙁 and come to think about it, her grandma is named Josie, so now you know another one 🙂

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