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 called 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!
I originally wrote this post in March of 2012. The thing about going back and looking at old posts is that I get to see some of the comments that folks made that are no longer readers of the blog for whatever reason. But the REAL thing I love about going back and looking at those blog posts is being able to see comments that my mom made. She read every day and commented until she couldn’t anymore. Her comment on this post was as follows. She was 83 at the time.
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!
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 nickname?