Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Tell Me The Story Of Your Name....



She said that words matter. She said 'tell me the story of your name.'

Okay: 

My mother wanted to name me Shannon. My Mother is French Canadian and my father Italian, so I imagine in the end the Irish sounding 'Shannon' just didn't cut it. I don't know how she came up with Karen. To be honest I've never really liked it. Even now I don't say it easily. I don't like my middle name either: Marie. My godmother is named Marie but I think my Mother just liked the name.

When I was twenty three I lived in Germany and when my parents came to visit we drove to Italy, to the tiny town on a mountain where my grandfather was born. My maiden name is Italian. My Father said he could speak Italian but throughout Italy he tried and nobody understood him. We were both amused and embarrassed. Then, when we drove up a little mountain in the town of Ofena, he was understood. Word spread in an instant that 'Franco from America' was here.

I don't use my maiden name anymore, except on Facebook. I carry the German-English name of my ex-husband which is also the last name of my daughter. I kept that name because of her, but I'm not partial to that one either. I wonder what I would chose on my own. That is an interesting question.

Many people call me kj now, in large part because of blogging but not only because of that.

That is the story of my name.

Please, tell me the story of your name.

love
kj

46 comments:

  1. oh mine is really simple. in our culture, the right to name the baby is with the father's sister (not the mother. funny, that). so my father's sister liked this name and gave it to me. i dont like it either. and no one who is close to me calls me by that formal name. i dunno what i wld call meself given a choice.. but if i had a daughter, i'd call her Shirin - song of my soul. :)

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  2. and a lot of ppl now call me howdy, bcs somehow, my best friends in the real world r ppl who initially knew me from the blog. i love this name :)

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    1. I will love to call you howdy. My version probably: how-d :-)

      What if there is no father'z sister ? And what if the mother dislikes the name? An interesting tradition. Hdwk ( not quite ready for how-d) :-)

      Love
      kj

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  3. I've always liked your last name,,,,as it is one of my most favorite gem stones. It has many varieties of color, but my favorite is Picasso jasper which looks like a beautiful abstract painting, and:

    "It sustains and supports through times of stress, and brings tranquility and wholeness. Jasper provides protection and absorbs negative energy."
    I think this is true of you, so you'll want to be careful about that last part; the absorbing.

    My own name? Never liked it, especially my middle name, but have learned to appreciate that my mother chose it because it was her best friend's last name.
    Jack calls me Babs, and I like almost everything he does,,, ☺

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    1. Ah babs, thank you for telling me this. Yes, I do absorb and yes I'm careful

      You are Babs to me.

      Love
      kj

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  4. Mine is crazy. I chose it myself preteen years. I was adopted and went through an entire name change. Don't like any of my name, but maybe first name. People like it, my first and last name combo. I actually get compliments on it regularly. Weird :).

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    1. You know I now want to hear the melody of your full name!

      And in a way you've had two names...I'm so glad you've commented on this

      Love
      kj

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  5. Names are interesting. Mine comes from Boudewina, the female form of Boudewijn. The king of Belgium, the one before Albert, was called Boudewijn. But my grandmother from fathers side was named Boudewina. For short: Wien. But my parents chose Wieneke. It sounds better and more friendly, they told me later on. I was married in ae time (1973) that girls automatically took the name of their husbands. Nowadays that is very different. Girls can hold their own name. A man can take the name of his wife. Some couples take both names together. Everything is possible. It is very troublesome for genealogists :-)

    I liked your story, KJ. Your father was talking a special dialect, I suppose.
    Thanks for your email. I will answer you asap.

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    1. Wow wieneke, I love knowing this background. I took my husband's name too and at the time never thought otherwise.

      There seem to be less hyphenated names these days . I think too many blended names were too long for kids!

      Love
      kj

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  6. Hi KJ, have to go to work now but will come back and tell you the story of my name later. Thanks for dropping in to Bright Star x

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    1. Hi Angela! Come back anytime!

      Love
      kj

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  7. Shannon would have been a lovely name for you.
    I use my middle name Lydia in blogging. My father wanted my first name to be Melody, but my mother (who was 5'11" and considered herself a large woman) thought that if I grew to be like her that the name wouldn't suit me (I stopped growing at 5'4"). But she would have (stupidly) done anything for my alcoholic father (who left us when I was three-months old), so played around with the spelling. You are aware of the name and spelling she came up with. She used a capitol 'D' in my name and I loathed it all my life....and immediately dropped it to a lowercase 'd' when she died 12 years ago. For the first time my name was something I could adjust to.
    If I had ever had a daughter her name was to be Alexis. Now, that's a great name!

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    1. Lydia, isn't it funny what blogging has done: you are Lydia to me! It's as though we renamed ourselves through our blogs!

      Alexis is a classy name! My favorite name is Jess, with good reason :-)

      Love
      kj

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  8. Love the story of your name. I'm wondering if any of us like our names? LOL! Maybe we should all get to pick our 'real name' at some point. Just add it in. No real story to my name. My mom liked it. And now that I'm doing some work on the family tree, I am finding all sorts of great names I could have had - lol. xox!

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    1. What would you pick, Pam? I've been wondering that for myself!

      Xoxo2
      kj

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  9. pretty cool story of your name....i love that your dad found somewhere that would understand him...

    i use my real name...the greatest significance of my name is that it is on the tombstone of the child that would have been me...my parents first child that died in childbirth...

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    1. Brian, I LOVED your story. So poignant in so few words: a namesake you never knew..

      Love
      kj

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  10. I needed an adverb THE a verb WALKING and a noun MAN. Any questions?

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    1. Mark, I'm thinking your 'walking' is an adjective, not a verb....

      You might have to be the man walks

      Hee hee
      Love
      kj

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  11. Ah, names, they are important. My first name is Vickie, but please never call me that as I hate it, I go by my middle name of Anne (I started that in my 30's) and it sort of turned into Annie, which I like a lot. My father gave my half sisters and I all the middle name of Anne. I am not sure, but I think my mom picked Vickie. I have never been married, so I still have my maiden name.
    Kisses. xoxo

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    1. Annie, I will never call you Vickie because you are Annie!!! What a story: all middle names the same xo

      Love
      kj

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  12. PS. If I had a daughter I would name her Isabella.xoxo

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  13. I was almost Timothy.... but My dad said no! My full

    My name has 27 letters:-) pain in the ass for a child to learn:-)

    My X wanted to name our son jack. Can you imagination ...Jack McQueeney...

    Wander;-)

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    1. That is an interesting point, Chris, all those letters

      I love the name jack but my daughter and SIL would not consider the name for the same reason you said-- would have been too graphic!

      How nice to see a comment from my friend mr mcqueeney!

      Love
      kj

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  14. cool post. Susan is my great grandmother's name and that makes it special, but every other gal was named susan in the 1940's it seems. maybe after susan hayward.

    upon my divorce i took back my maiden last name. however, that is still a man's name, my dad's. i do know people who totally change first name/last name or both.

    from blogging I have taken on the name Suki which is a variant of Susan. Suki tawdry in mac the knife. I like suki. it seems to suit me.

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    1. Susan in the 40's like Jessica in the 70's and today names I'm not that Fond of. my mother's name is rose and her mother's name was felicity. If I had another daughter I would have named her felicity rose...

      Love
      kj

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  15. i loved reading about your name and those of all the commenters. the story about your father in italy is priceless - he only needed to find the village where they spoke the same dialect! as for my name, at one point growing up i found a book of baby names in our house and saw my mom had checked both sylvia and amanda - guess amanda won out. when i was little i wanted to be called bonnie (go figure!)

    growing up i never knew anyone my age named amanda until my family moved to england - then i met two others, both in my class! back in the states years later, i was in a grocery store one time and heard my name called out - i turned around to see a mother calling her toddler daughter. after all those years, amanda had become a popular name again for girls.

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    1. Oh to find that baby book! How interesting that you had your name to yourself for do many years :-)

      Love
      kj

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  16. I am named after both my father's sisters. When I got married, I took my husband's last name and made my maiden name my middle name, dropping the name of one of my aunts (my favorite, ironically). But when I divorced, I decided rather than simply assuming my birth name, I'd just go back to my original first and last name only, so that I now have no middle name.

    I've morphed my blog enough that some people here call me Secret, some Agent, some SAW. For a while, I still occasionally got called Citizen, from when I was blogging as Citizen of the World. But for people like you, KJ, who have been with me from the beginning, I still hear CS. :-)

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    1. You are a special CS to me ♥

      So you had two names for your first name, like rosé Ann or something similar ?

      You have a nice name . It is a strong name :-)

      Love
      kj

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    2. No, one aunt's name was my first name and one aunt's my second name. (An old boyfriend told me once that he didn't understand why I didn't take the opportunity of my divorce to change my first name to something sexier, which I found offensive. So thank you. ♥)

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  17. My parents were choosing between Christina and Miriam - can you believe it? They chose Miriam because of mom's uncle who died in WWiI, he was called Murray and everyone adored hom. I always felt rather special to be named after him but also imagined my life as the willowy and mysterious Christina

    They also chose Jamie as a middle name which I love but never used.

    I blog and live in certain circles as Mim, but that name hasn't caught on with my family aside from kids. The rest of the family literally shun that name and if forced to use it, alway imply quotation marks as implied disgust. How odd they are!

    Blogger won't let me correct spelling errors so sorry about that.

    Names are so odd. I've always felt ethnic and out of the mainstream with my name. I would love to have had a regular lovely name like Karen. Or Susan. Or (my teenage heart be still) something as American as Randi or Ronnie.

    I kept my maiden name as a middle name and DH took it also. But officially I have his last name which often makes me feel like a pretender in the grow up world.

    That was supposed to be " grown up world" but as I already said, blogger is being silly tonight

    I'll stop. If I'd had a child I would have named her Mary. Or Jane. Not ethnic. Blendable

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    1. I love your name , Mim.

      Maybe randi can be ms wm'd best friend?

      Love
      kj

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    2. Aaargh! You know I mean ms em!!!

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  18. I don't know the story of my name; I never asked, and my parents never told me. I know that my middle name is the first name of my grandfather (my dad's father).

    Interesting how some things are important to some people, and not important at all to others.

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    1. And your last name? What roots to it? It all matters!

      Love
      kj

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  19. I hated Jocelyn as nobody could pronounce it right or spell it right- Joslyn, Joseline, Jocelyne, Jozlin etc. But I hated Tess more - as I was called 'Ten ton Tessie' at school when the kids found out what my second name was. Now I love them both. Think they're special. I bet you would call yourself Karen if you had your way- as that is who you are- I couldn't imagine being anything other than Jocelyn, Joss or Jossie. But somehow KJ is just perfect. Even KayJay. xx

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  20. Probably most interesting is my last name, which is the name I was born with, Cohen. I first married an Israeli man with the same last name...so I got to keep it and in English we kept my spelling with the "e". Not his fathers German version without the "e" . When I remarried the second time I decided to keep MY last name, since I'd never had to change it! So I have always been Lynn Cohen and I'm proud of it!

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    1. That is so great, Lynn!!!!!

      Love
      kj

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  21. Joss, I have to say I love the name Tess also. I wouldn't 't mind if that were my name :-)

    But I can feel how hard both names must have been for you as a child. Yikes :-(

    Now, you are joss. Artist. Grandmother. Friend. Just for starts :-)

    Love
    kj

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  22. I think it's awesome that your dad found a village that understood his dialect, even not being a native speaker. I know my middle name came from an uncle, but the first was just a name my mom liked. It actually means 'handsome farmer'. Incorrect in both cases. :) Karen is a great name. I've known a few really nice Karens.

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  23. I am named after my grandmother. Maria Anna. And they call me Marianne. It has been spelled as Marian Mariann and Marianne over the years. Well I didn't like it much when I was young, now it is ok any which way spelled also.
    Nice story of your dad in Italy :)
    have a fun weekend
    ♥M

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  24. My grandfather was night watchman at the hospital where I was born and my parents let him pick it. I was the 4th daughter, so I guess they'd run out of the need to do all the naming.

    What's less understandable is why it's spelled Jeanne, but pronounced Jeanie.

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  25. kj,
    My mother named me after Miss America of 1956 (I was born in 1957.)
    Sharon Kay.
    Sometimes people will ask me why don't I go by Sharon, as if when I was born, the doctor slapped me on the bottom, and I said, "Oh, just call me Kay!"
    See, I have been funny since birth. :-)

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