How was your given (first) name chosen?

Inspired by What should I name my kid?, I was wondering how little [Joshua/Zachary/William] might feel knowing that the final choice for his name was given to people on an internet message board (not that it’s a bad thing. I was just wondering)

Then I started wondering how my first name (Peter) was chosen. I am almost certain I was named after my Uncle, but not everyone knows the source of their name (I don’t mean the absolute source - biblical, whatever, I mean why your parents chose that name).

If you know why you got your given name, why?

My real name is Maverick. My mother is not exactly sure how she chose it. My father just wanted a name that started with “M” because his name does and my mother likes unusual names. My mother thinks that she might have picked up on it from the “Maverick” television series but there was no direct inspiration.

My name is Ian. It was going to be Ryan, but a month before I was born, my father’s sister had a boy and named him Ryan. So, my parents named me Ian, which was my mom’s idea. She had first heard the name when she was living in the UK; some kid on the street asked her to buy him some chips, and she asked his name, and it was Ian. So, basically, I’m named after an English street bum. That’s pretty cool.

My mother claims it was from a character in “The Bionic Woman” but my name is Julia (or Julie, which is what my parents have always called me) but I don’t know of any character named Julie. I think there was a Charlie’s Angel named Julie, but she says that isn’t it.

So who knows? Maybe my name was supposed to be Jamie.

Names under consideration for me were Tracy Lynn or Gina Marie. Then my mom saw the movie Jezebel, starring Bette Davis and Henry Fonda. Davis’s character was named Julie, and my mother swooned when she heard Henry Fonda say it :rolleyes: . She figured that since the movie was fairly old then, the name wouldn’t be terribly commonplace. I was one of six Julies in my first grade classroom. (For the record, my name is spelled differently - Juli.)

Maverick is a COOL name! Holy crow.

When I was a kid my mom would tell me she picked my name because she thought it would sound sexy when a guy whispered it in my ear. She is kind of loony sometimes.

My great-great uncle James was shot down and killed over enemy lines in Paschendale during WWI, flying a biplane for the Royal Flying Corps (later the RAF). I was named for him.

Unfortunately, in 1967, the most popular name for boys born that year in the UK was… James. So despite the real reason for my name, I’m dead common.

My parents picked the name Gillian because…

…they thought it sounded nice. Ah, well. :wink:

Mine’s a family name, Sarah. My grandmother is Sarah Ila, my aunt is Sarah Melinda, and I am Sarah Elizabeth. Then my cousin was born who is Sarah MacKenzie. I am the only one who actually goes by Sarah, the rest go by their middle names.

My first name was supposed to be ‘Bruce’. My mother caught a lot of flak from her colleagues, so she changed it. Middle name is my grandmother’s maiden name.

There are four daughters in my family and I’m the youngest.

The eldest has both grandmother’s names.

The second was named after Mom’s two best friends.

The third was given a feminine form of Dad’s deceased brother’s name, and a middle name paying homage to Mom’s sister.

I’m the only one not named after anyone or in honor of anyone, Mom and Dad knew I was their last and just liked the sound of the name Tonya.

As an aside, people have tried to spell my name Tanya all my life, or mispronounce Tonya as Tony. Apparently Mother chose my phonetic spelling very carefully, she tells of a certain popular suntan oil (that’s right, oil, this was the late 60s baby, no SPF here!) advertising series featuring a girl named Tanya. Mom was afraid that if the commercials became immortalized I’d face unsavory comments, due to the sexified McSexiness of the ads, so she deliberately chose what was a less common spelling for me.

I still tease my sisters that I am the only kid they had on purpose and not to fufill any obligations. :smiley:

Mr. and Mrs. 314 are on the way to the hospital, because Mrs. 314 is in labor. They knew they were having twins, but didn’t know the genders. They had agreed on two girl names and one boy name, but for some reason had never settled on a second boy name. On the way to the hospital, one of them shouts out “Shoot, what if it’s two boys!?” The second one says the first name that pops into their head: “Uh, how about tim?” And thus it was agreed, and several hours later tim314 was born.

I was all set to be Caroline, then someone else on the Maternity Ward named their daughter Julie Dawn. My mum liked it so much she followed suit. So did a third mother. :rolleyes:

We all ended up in the same class at school. :smiley:

I was going to be a David all along, right up until my mom was in the hospital having me. However, it was 1958, and Davy Crockett was all the rage. She tells me people would come to see her and ask “How’s little Davy?” and bring little coonskin hats for me to wear someday. So after I was born, when they came around with the form, she changed it to Kenneth. It’s still not too common a name - I can only think of five or six other Kens I’ve ever known.

I have an unusual first name that we pronounce differently from the rest of the world, but I was named for my mother’s best friend.
She’s still alive, in her 90s, and quite a lady.
My parents chose names for us that were unusual in that they were old fashioned, but primarily they wanted names that were easy to spell and almost impossible to nickname.
I hated mine as a kid because it was so uncommon but I grew to like it.


Mine is Pamela. I have no idea how my mother came up with it (1961). I just thank the heavens that the original choice - Mary Charlene - was vetoed.

“Pamela” is unique enough to be different, but not wierd. Until recently, I only knew about 4-5 Pamelas; now I work with 8 others…go figure.


I was named after Alexander the Great.

I was born at 31 weeks gestation (more or less - they didn’t count by weeks in 1966) and was given virtually no chance of survival. Boy, did I show them! Mom said the angels must have looked out for me. My name is Angela.

If my twin had survived (she was acardiac) we would have been named Jeanette and Jeanine, because my mom liked the whole “twin” thing. So my middle name was Jeanette. I changed it when I got married. I never did like it.

I have 4 daughters. The oldest’s name comes (I’m ashamed to say) from ‘The Blue Lagoon’. Her middle name is from The Three Musketeers.

My twins had a rough go of it. The smaller of the two had a severe heart defect; we figured she needed a big strong talisman of a name, for victory. Her middle name was the name of my great-grandmother. The larger baby got a name with the same number of syllables, but starting with a different letter. Her middle name is my husband’s grandmother’s name.

The youngest…that was hard. We already had 3 girls with multisyllable names, and we needed another one, but it needed to start with a different set of initials. Have you any idea how hard that is? Her middle name just goes with it, single-syllable (like her middle sisters, both of whom have single-syllable middle names).

If we had a boy instead of a girl, I wanted to use a combination of my grandfather’s name and my husband’s grandfather’s name, Raymond John, but shortly before #4 was born, we ditched that and started from scratch. We were leaning toward Jonathan something, but we had a girl.

By the way, my wife’s name is Medhbh.

How do you pronounce that?

I am relatively ignorant of pronunciations of some well known names.

Sioban (‘shavawn’. I only learned the pronunciation last year)

Hermione (‘Hermeeown’. Until the HP films came out I pronounced it ‘hermayownee’)