Thursday, February 24, 2011

What's in a name?

When my mom was preggers with me, she and my dad didn't want to find out if I was a girl or a boy until I was born. (Some of our wonderful friends, Jess & B., recently did this, and I totally think I'd do it, too-- wait to find out the baby's gender on its birthday. The excitement and surprise would be fabulous, don't you think?)

Anyway, my mother liked the name Matthew. My dad liked the name Amy. So there you have it. Little Amy was born!

In 1977, the name Amy was the third most popular girl's name in America. In the year I was born, there were 16,257 Amys for every 1,000,000 girls born. That means 1 in 60 girls was an Amy. But it felt like so many more.

Thank you,

There were so many Amys. You probably still know a bunch of them. I had friends named Amy. I was called Amy P. in my most of my elementary school classes (not the coolest name, mind you). I even have an amazing sister-in-law who's name is not only Amy, it's Amy Elizabeth. It's true!

Every so often, someone would ask me if Amy was short for Amelia. It isn't. But that got me to thinking. I didn't (and still don't) know a single Amelia. What a unique, interesting name. For a brief time in college, I even considered legally changing my name to Amelia.

It would be perfect. I could still go by Amy. But by then, my teachers had moved on from calling me "Amy P." and it wasn't so bad. Amy means "beloved" and I do think it's a name that fits me. I always have felt incredibly loved by my family, friends, and husband. I'm not saying I'm going to get an Amy tat any time soon, but I like it. Besides, now I realize my name doesn't have to be unique for me to be unique.

How did you feel about your name growing up? Did you ever seriously consider changing it?


chelsea said...

I was the only Chelsea I knew until junior high, and even then there were only two of us. Chelsea seemed to pick up more popularity in the years after me. My little brother had a class with three! I remember not liking how it was spelled, when I was about five. My mother told me that some Chelsea's spell their names with a Y at the end. Chelsey. I didn't realize what she meant, so for about a week I spelt my name Chelseay.
But as for the waiting for baby thing, no friggin way. I have to know! Too much gender specific colored stuff to buy.

Jessica said...

I'm a Jessica, so I can commiserate. Although, there was usually another Jessica B. in my class, so for most of elementary school and junior high, I was called by my last name. Barker. It wasn't the most feminine or insult-free name, but I guess it was okay. In high school, I was in a physics class with 2 other Jessicas, and at some point during the year, the physics teacher rechristened us The Good Jessica, The Evil Jessica, and The Mediocre (although sometimes Middle or Medium) Jessica.

I never really cared that I had a popular fact, it may have been the only thing about me that was popular. I just always kind of did my own thing and didn't realize until much later that I was kind of weird. WHat always has bothered me about my name, though, is people calling me Jennifer. It happens ALL THE TIME! But, I usually just respond to it, because in the grand scheme of things, who cares. I'm still me.

Also, one of the girls that does Common Birds is named Amelia, so perhaps you are closer to knowing an Amelia than you thought.

Christi @ Rumination Avenue said...

I don't know if anyone necessarily likes their name. There is only so many times you can hear the same one until you are sick of it.

I changed my last name before I was married. I just didn't want the burden of such a loooong last name. Cost? $200. But really it was priceless. My father was pretty pissed though...oops.

Amy said...

Nathan used to call me Amelia growing up. He'd probably call you taht if you asked him to :)

Poetry of the Day said...

your mother was stunning. wow. she looks like a movie star.

amonkeyfatshionista said...

Claire was quite a popular name when I was growing up. There were 3 Claires in my class (Clare, Claire and Clair). I also now have 3 good friends all called Clair(e)!! My brother & sister are called Benjamin & Eleanor - known as Ben & Ellie and I was so jealous when I was younger, I longed to have a name that could be shortened. Can't really shorten Claire can you...may Rare or Clur?? Doesn't really work!

Eliza Jane said...

I know an Amelia! I met her a year ago! And I only ever knew one Amy growing up....maybe you should have lived in Canada? :) I have to admit, I've always loved my name. My mother named me after a character in a book that she loved. Had I been a boy, I would have been "David". And I love the idea of not knowing the sex of the baby until it's born. Really, what other great, big mysteries are there left in this life? xo

Jenn H. said...

I feel you. Being a Jenn has bothered me slightly. I had 1 or 2 other Jenns in every class growing up. If I had some patience I'd definitely wait til the baby was born to pick a name and find out the sex and all that. But I'm a control freak so we're finding out the sex of out baby in 3 weeks and then we'll start brainstorming names. I can't wait!

livin wide said...

sandhya is way too hard. i wanted to be kelly. or veronica. but now i'm glad for my uniqueness.

p.s. your momma is so cute! she really reminds me of Kathryn actually!

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