What’s In a Name?

When I was expecting Jackson, Curtis and I had a long list of baby girl names and a very, very short list of baby boy names. So short, in fact, that there was only one name on it. “Jackson” was literally the only name we agreed on. The name game is hard when you’ve worked with students because you have associations with just about every name you can come up with. And with one of the most common last names in America, we seemed to already know of someone named “Every-single-name-we-liked Jones.”

I didn’t expect naming our son to be that hard. After all, ever since college I’d planned that if I had a son, he’d be named Levi. (One of my BFF’s in college babysat a little Levi and he was the cutest thing I’d ever seen.) This was my plan right up until we actually had the chance to name a little boy. That was when Curtis enlightened me that Levi Jones sounded a lot like Levi Jeans. Noooooooo! It had never once occurred to me! I should have thought twice before marrying a Jones! So Levi was out. Jackson, the one and only name we could agree on, was it. Knowing and loving Travis and Angela Cottrell’s son Jackson (he goes by Jack now) made me love the name.

Fast forward three years. To our great surprise, we now had a chance to bring out that long list of baby girl names. Somehow we eliminated every single one to the point that we needed a brand new list. It’s crazy how that happens.

I so wanted to honor my mother with our baby girl’s name. I’m sure I don’t even need to tell you why. Honestly, I cannot adequately convey in words what it means to me. My mom is an incredible wife, mother, confidante, encourager, prayer warrior, servant, teacher, writer, and lover of God. I would have been thrilled for our daughter to be connected to her grandmother in that way and for her to carry on the legacy of loving God with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength. Naming her after my mom would not be hard, as “Elizabeth” sounds beautiful as a middle name with almost anything you can come up with. But I don’t think of my mom as Elizabeth. I think of her as “Beth.” So I started brainstorming names that incorporated Beth. Bethany…Beth Ann…Annabeth! We fell in love with that name. It was not a common name, but still sounded classic in a southern sort of way. We felt it was perfect for our little girl.

Annabeth’s middle name is “Ellen,” which is from Curt’s side of the family. His great-grandmother was the first Ellen. I never had the privilege of meeting her, but I do know and dearly love Curt’s sister, who is named Lindsay Ellen. He also has a precious college-age cousin named Erin Ellen. Both of these young women live lives of wholehearted devotion to Christ. I have been so moved by their purity and also their desire and willingness to serve others. I would be thrilled for my daughter to enjoy a close relationship with and emulate the godly traits of both of these delightful women.

It’s truly a gift that our children can draw from a godly heritage on both sides of our family. I’m very thankful for that. At the same time, I realize that there may be a Siesta reading this blog who is the only one in her family who follows Christ. Sister, if that is you, please be blessed in the knowledge that a godly legacy is beginning with you! I pray that one day you will get to see your physical and spiritual offspring worshipping before the Throne. What great joy! I love the verse in 1 Thessalonians that says, “For what is our hope, our joy, or the crown in which we will glory in the presence of our Lord Jesus when he comes? Is it not you? Indeed, you are our glory and joy” (1 Thessalonians 2:19-20).

If anyone would like to share, I’d love to know the story behind your name!


200 Responses to “What’s In a Name?”

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  1. 151
    Ruth says:

    I am adopted and my original name was Amanda Jane Henson. For a lot of my childhood I didn’t like my new adopted name, Ruth, but now I look back and see God knew that I would, like the Biblical Ruth, move to another country (England to America) and I had her words in my wedding vows to my American husband – your people will be my people and your God my God. (It also gave me new sympathy with Ruth’s story to know people probably commented on her Moabite accent all the time…lol)

    I recently traced my birth family, and they think of me as Amanda, particularly my grandmother, so I am now a combo of Ruth, Amanda and AJ depending who I’m talking to!!

  2. 152
    Go-Between says:

    I love the name Annabeth. I underestand not being able to come up with the perfect name. My first born has two middle names, Esther Elizabeth. She is a gift from God, hence Elizabeth but Esther just seem to fit her and her calling. My second born was suppose to be a boy, and so when she was a she we were scrambling to find a middle name. They wouldn’t let us out of the hospital till we named her. We came up with Anne. But from the day we got her home till now – her middle name is Joy – because she brings us so much joy. We finally merged the two together for AnneJoy.
    My youngest was named Grace because we knew that ten years after the other two (my girls prayed for years for another sibling!)and at 46, we would need alot of Grace! 🙂 And she has so much to give to everyone she comes in contact with.
    What’s really funny is that I wanted to name them simple names cause people always have trouble with mine. (But when there are 4 or 5 of the same name child in your sunday school class…) Now they want these incredible different names for their someday children…Obidiah, just one example!
    We are so blessed. There is no greater joy than to know that your children walk with the Lord!

  3. 153
    Nita says:

    My name is Anita Lee, although my family has always called me Nita or Nita-Lee (usually my dad & oldest sister called me by my first and middle name) It's a southern thing. Anyway, I was named after my mother & paternal grandmother. My mother's name was Vernita Ann & my grandmother's maiden name was Lee. Also, my brother and five sisters were named after either our parents, grandparents, or aunts. Last June, my nephew had a little boy. He named him Cayden Lee …And the tradition continues on.

  4. 154
    Anonymous says:

    UP Early and thought I’d answer. When I was a little girl my mom would tell me how she thought about naming me Raquel of Raquel Welch fame. My grandmother wanted me named Naomi – which was quickly rejected by my Mom. One day late in her pregnancy she was looking up a word in the dictionary when she came upon the name she would give me; an entry for St. Veronica.

    As a child I would look up meanings of names and it seemed like everyone I knew had a name that meant “Beautiful” or “Delicate Flower” or “Future Princess” or some such thing. I would look up my own: Latin, “True Image”. Humph, my little girl heart would think. Nothing special bout that.

    It was not until I was a grown woman that I finally ‘got’ the meaning of my name. And I was overwhelmed and humbled and honored and felt so unworthy. But I’ll spend my earthly days trying to live up to the meaning of my name: true image bearer of Christ.


  5. 155
    Jules says:

    I’m always thrilled to hear of children named after family members. It’s such a blessed way to honor them, and Annabeth Ellen has the sweetest ring to it!

    My own name comes from the middle names of my two grandmothers: Julie, taken from Jewel, on my mother’s side, and Marie, the middle name of my paternal grandmother. I am so proud of Marie, far more than Julie (which I no longer use), and hope that it can be passed down in some way to another girl-child. There have been several women in my dad’s family named Marie, and my grandmother remains a touchstone in the lives of her children and grandchildren.

    Despite my lack of love for my first name, and the fact that this particular namesake was more than a challenge to love, I do find honor in being named after the mothers of my parents and enjoy telling the story any chance I get.

  6. 156
    Cathy says:

    I just started your new Bible study on Esther and let me say… I LOVE IT.. First week done and I can’t wait to go on.

  7. 157
    Lisa says:

    Amanda- I loved this post. My family shares your last name of Jones and I can tell you that alone presents so many challenges. My doctor’s office has 13 patients with my name (first and last) and they have confused my chart so many times. My son’s dermatologist had him so confused with another child with the same name (they had 11 of them) that they were even billing our insurance for his treatment and his insurance for my son’s treatment. Finally when they couldn’t get them straight, they handed me the chart and said “Can you just pick out the things that are your son’s?” Scary! When your last name is Jones, that first name is very important! LOL! Your children are beautiful by the way and I love their names.

  8. 158
    Melanie says:

    I have 3 children – the first two from my first marriage, and honestly I named them names I liked without thinking of heritage. Since having those two, I have remarried and a little over three years ago I had a son. My stance in life is lightyears away from where it was when the first two were born. I now want to please God in whatever it is he has me doing – so this time the name was a bit more difficult. After literally HUNDREDS of discussions we settled on the name Josiah Luke – because Josiah loved God and served him from the time he was a little child. He had boldness to do what so many other kings of Israel did not – destroy the idols and worship only the one true God, and Luke because he was a follower of Jesus – a smart and educated doctor and historian. We endured many battles from people stating that Josiah was a horrid name and that he would be made fun of all his life, but it just didn’t matter – we wanted a strong godly heritage for this miracle that God had created and given to us.

    Your story behind Annabeths’s name is precious, and I so enjoyed reading it! Thank you for sharing!

  9. 159
    Kim C says:

    My last post was actually in a letter to share with Beth in my Yahoo drafts, but I had not figured how to send it yet. A friend of mine was seeking advice that reminded me of this story. I decided to post it. IT IS MY ALLTIME favorite story with God!!! It was 12 years ago, but the story includes Beth. I think the length would keep me from posting it here. I posted it today 2-26-09 Read and Soar!!!!

  10. 160
    cheryl says:

    My mother named me after a soap opra character back in the 50’s and yes that is what my life became. 🙂 ( I am by no means blaming my mom, Ive had and am still having a wonderful life. Just sometimes dramatic ) Im a strong believer in names. I chose my childrens names carefully. Rachel-Gods little lamb
    Alyssa- the truth
    My favorite verse of all times in in 3rd Jn. I have no greater joy than this, to hear that my children walk in the truth.
    I am a blessed mother and Gigi.

  11. 161
    Allie says:

    My husband and I wanted traditional names, not trendy ones. And I have taught preschool for several years, so many names were out. My son was named after a college friend of my husband’s,Andrew. But we didn’t want it shortened. Not Andy, not Drew, but Andrew. His middle name, Lee, is my husband’s middle name. My daughter is called by her shortened version, though. Her name is Kate Denise, but we call her Katie. Her middle name is my middle name also. I wasn’t a big fan of Katherine, but we didn’t want to name her Katie because when she’s 40 and a lawyer/doctor/etc. she might not want to sound so cutsie. So Kate it is. She keeps telling me, though, “I don’t like that Denise part.” (She’s not quite 5) I tell her, “That’s Mommy’s middle name too!” Her response, “Yeah, I don’t like it.”
    I also picked out songs for each of my kids before they were born- amazing how God led me to songs that fit their personalities so well. Andrew’s song is Be Still and Know by Stephen Curtis Chapman. Katie’s song is Untitled Hymn, Fly to Jesus by Chris Rice.

  12. 162
    Bonnie/Momof3 says:

    Your blog was such an encouragement in ways you will never know. You see when I was set free from a very dysfunctional childhood, I still had, even from a distance, the constant critique and mockery of a sister. For every precious child that I had (two boys and one girl, she made fun of the names that my husband and I named them. They are beautiful names on being Grace for my daughter. She thought I should have used family names (for heaven’s sake why would I name them after such dysfuntion). Well, I could go on and on, but the wonderful message you conveyed to my heart was that you and Curtis named your children names that you loved and that meant so much to you. Praise God I have loving and wonderful grown children, and by God’s grace I withstood and escaped the wrath of jealousy and envy.

    Jackson and Annabeth are beautiful names!!! May they grow in wisdom and favor with God and man always. Love to your family!!

  13. 163
    Paula Faye says:


    Currently in week 6 of the Beth Moore Esther study with 35 woman at my church. We juat HAVE to know what or WHO GP is that your Mom is always addressing during her studies. Is this her church or a group that attends? Its just driving us nuts to know … ya know Nosey Women. ha,ha. Thank You. p

  14. 164
    Jessica says:

    My parents were blessed when I turned out to be a girl. Not really because I was a girl, but more because I WASN’T a boy. They had a very regal, strong name planned for a little boy…William.

    Not bad, huh?

    Until you find out that my last name is WILLIAMS!

    Thank goodness my name is NOT William Williams!!!!

    My sister’s name is Anna Beth. She was SO excited to hear Beth announce Annabeth’s name in Tuesday night Bible study. She called Mom and I both to announce the good news!

    (Uh oh! Just told Mom that I’m posting this. I’m getting chats from her in ALL CAPS defending William! tee hee!)

    We’re all so happy for your family, Amanda!

  15. 165
    SoonerAggieMom says:

    I don't have any reasons behind my name, except for my posting name. I'm from Oklahoma, I live in Houston now (right down the street from LPM) and my son goes to Texas A & M.

    I do not know why, but reading the paragraph about Annabeth's name made me tear up. Maybe it's because I hope someday my children will describe me the way you lovingly described your mom.

  16. 166
    Anonymous says:

    I loved the post Amanda! Your kids are so precious!

    I am so excited to be looking for baby names again! I believe that I was named Cara Suzanne after a little girl that my mom babysat in high school and my husband and I named our little boy Luke Ryan (Luke because we liked it and Ryan after my husband’s middle name.) His name means “Good looking man of God”. Luke means “Man of God” and Ryan means “handsome” so we just put the two together!

    Now we’ve found the perfect girl’s name that means “pledged to God’s grace” when you put the first and middle name together …. but we are totally lost for a boys name at the moment. We won’t find out if we’re having a boy or a girl until June …. it seems so far away!

  17. 167
    The Weeks Family says:

    I am Jennifer Irene, go by Irene after my grandmother. (very uncommon to find someone younger than 80 with that name 🙂 Anyway, my mom was calling me Irene while I was in the womb so I’m really glad that I turned out to be a girl. When trying to find a name to go with it, they flipped through the TV guide, calling off names until they both agreed. When she said Jennifer (from Jennifer O’neil), they liked it!

  18. 168
    Aimie says:

    I posted on my eldest daughter’s name. Thank you for the post idea. It really brought back may beautiful memories for me.


  19. 169
    spamynetwork says:

    Amy – “Beloved”
    I was adopted at birth by the most wonderful parents in the world. Here is their (and my) story. My parents tried for years to have children. My mom was pregnant four times, but all of them resulted in 2 miscarriages, 1 still-born, and 1 little girl who lived just a few hours. My mom’s last miscarriage was in February 1979. Devastated doesn’t begin to describe what she felt. What she didn’t know is that God was working simultaneously in another part of the country to bring to her the answer to her prayers for a child. Just a few months later, in July, she received a call from a friend who worked for a local attorney. This attorney had received word of a pregnant teenage girl who wanted to place her child up for adoption. My mom talked it over with Dad, and they decided to adopt that child (me!). My birth mother conceived me the same month my adoptive mom conceived her last child. You can’t tell me God isn’t a big and gracious God! There are no words to describe the magnitude of His love and kindness. This is just one of the many ways He has rocked my world.

  20. 170
    Jen says:

    It’s not MY name that is so interesting, it’s my daughter’s. Although I had a perfect pregnancy, the day she was born she had such severe meconium aspiration she nearly died after delivery. As my husband and I began to panic, I heard the clear and UNMISTAKABLE voice of the Holy Spirit whisper to me, “She’s going to be fine” while I lay there with my feet still in stirrups. We decided, in faith, to name her Emma Elizabeth which means “whole and complete promise of God.” It was a long and difficult road, but, two years later, she is. Not only did Emma survive, she’s thriving now as a busy, healthy, active toddler. God has been so good to us!

  21. 171
    Donna says:

    Annabeth reminds me of my daughter’s name.

    Annelise! We named her after my spiritual mentor….ELizabeth and my sister…who’s middle name is ANN. My sister is not saved but when we were little girls we promised each other we would name our daughters after one another. She stayed true to her word and named her daughter Kaitlyn Michelle, my middle name is Michelle.

    Put ann and elizabeth together….and ta da…Annelise! And if your little Annabeth turns out to be anything like my little Annelise she will be everything pretty and pink and princess, but she will have a fire and a passion that will drive you to your KNEES many a days! Congrats sweet girl!

  22. 172
    Bonnie/Momof3 says:

    OK, I just came home from the same Esther study where you (Beth) are saying GP and I think you said “GPR” once too. I told the group, I think you are referring either to Girl Power or Georgia Peaches. Ha!

  23. 173
    Grammy says:

    My name is Danelle Roseann. Danelle is a combination of my father(Dana) and my mother(Gaynel)names. Rose was my dad’s beautiful sister and Ann is a very close cousin of my mom’s. I loved being named after such fun, wonderful family members. Recently(I’m nearing a half century birthday!) I realized how my name gives me balance. Danelle means “God is my Judge’ which challenges me to display strong convictions and Roseann means “fragrance of grace” which prayerfully I want to demonstrate to those around me. May God be glorified in a life with purpose and passion.

  24. 174
    gigetgirl says:

    HI Amanda, Cool to know your little ones inheritance.

    Heres who we are
    George scott farmer-wander
    deirdre ina fear-sorrowful-pure
    JordanTaylor- To flow down-tailor
    JacobPreston- surrplanter-priest
    LincolnScott- to commune by a lake/pool- wander.

    Not liking my first name- by the middle one is new to me. FINALLY! something good.

  25. 175
    Laura R. says:

    When my daughter was born, we named her “Emily Hollis” after my grandmother, whose maiden name was Hollis. Sadly, Grandma died when Emily was 4, but it is amazing how much of her I see in my little girl. Grandma was always very close to God and I hope that Emily has inherited that closeness along with her namesake!

  26. 176
    jennyhope says:

    I changed my name to Jenny when I was 5. It was Jennifer. I decided that everyone else was Jennifer and I was NOT going to be like everyone else. Then when Forrest Gump came out I hated that I did that!!!
    No but really. My mom and dad still call me Jennifer and I am like y’all so need to get the memo. I changed my name when I was 5. LOL

    We named Morgan Hope to honor our first child Shelby Hope and of course my name is Jenny Hope…and man have I had to hope for things in this life!!!

  27. 177
    Jackie Sue says:

    My name doesn’t have a story, but I made sure that my children’s names do. Each of their names has a spiritual meaning that they know and will carry with them. The meaning of a name is really important to me. Congrats again on your baby girl.

  28. 178
    Anonymous says:

    Such a sweet post. When our sons were born, we were living through a “valley” time in our walk with the Lord, and didn’t really have a “plan” to name them anything too special, except to include Grandpa on daddy’s side in some way, so Nathan Robert was our first. Later, we got a little more “in depth” with our study, and realized what a pivotal prophet Nathan was in the Bible. He has lived up to that, being a “mature” 15 year old young man now. He often times is much wiser than any other 15 year old man we know, and we are very proud he has lived and grown into this most likely God inspired name. He also had a Great, great grandpa with his name, who served in the Civil War, and we did not know it for years to come. Our “little” Noah (whose name originally came from the popular TV show ER…we just liked it)…has also turned out to be the Son of Comfort that his name means…the most gentle, loving and affectionate child I have ever known. And a child after God if we ever knew one. Of course, Genesis is his FAVORITE book of the Bible and always has been! He keeps “his story” bookmarked!!! And I AM that siesta who is the first to walk with the Lord in her family, and so humbled to be blessed to be raising these two men of God! Hallelujah!

  29. 179
    Lynne Marks says:

    My Name is Arwen it came from Lord of the Rings and means Evening Star, light in the darkness.

  30. 180
    valerie says:

    I was going to be named Christy because my mom loved Corpus Christy, but when I arrived on Valentine’s Day I was named
    Valerie Chris.

  31. 181
    Amaris in Wonderland says:

    Amanda –

    thank you for this post. 🙂
    Levi Jeans – lol
    Thank you for being such a blessing & encouragement!!

    I am not the first Christian in my family, but 3rd generation (that we know of)… and the only Christian in the very large family that i married into…

    My name does have a story behind it. It's spelled Amaris and pronounced "Amorous"…

    My mom had been a Christian for about 2 years, when she learned she was pregnant with me. She told me that God gave her a picture in her mind of a young girl looking up at her, and that through this she knew I would be a girl. (She wasn't far enough along to confirm it medically, yet.)

    She found the Hebrew name Amaris, which means "Whom God Has Promised" and added Christine ("Follower of Christ")

    She said that when I was about 5, that her "vision" of that young girl was realized. She said I was standing beside her at the kitchen sink, asking her a question. When she looked down, she gasped at how the vision given to her by the Lord, had been fully realized.

    Praise God that my great grandmother, on my mom's side was a Christian, and my mom – the only one of the following 2 generations after my great grandmother – got saved as a young adult.

    She raised all 5 of her kids to know and love the Lord. At this point, we are not 100% sure that all 5 are saved, but several of us can call each other siblings in Christ, as well as by earthly terms.

    I continue to pray that one day, if the Lord blesses my husband & I with children, that they will come to know & love The Lord…

    I am still praying this for my husband – and I see how God is steadily, still working on his heart. Praise His Name!

    Incidently, I found out recently that my maiden name was symbolic of Christ: Griffin – and that Irish art depicting the Griffin eating a snake was symbolic of Christ defeating evil. I thought that was pretty cool. I haven't found any Biblical significance, just yet, in my married family name which is translated "Pear Tree" – lol That remains to be seen.

    Big hugs for you Moores & Jones families in Christ. :))

  32. 182
    Priscilla Norman says:

    My daddy was going to name be Delicia Denea. But, growing up, he knew this girl named Priscilla, and wanted to name his child Priscilla. On the way to the hospital, my step grandmother told him that he needed to talk it over with my mother because she didn’t like Delicia. LOL! So, after 24 hours of labor, and my parent’s deliberation I was named Priscilla Renee.

  33. 183
    Jes says:

    When my husband and I were expecting our first, I was SO sure that it was going to be a little girl.

    We named her Annabeth….

    then the sonogram showed that we were having a him instead of a her….

    we named him Caedmon, and 2 years later when it was time to name a baby girl, we had a whole new list of names, too. 🙂

  34. 184
    Wencked says:

    My oldest son’s first name is after his father, his grandfather and a great-great grandfather down the line..Christian.

    His middle name is James and that is after my father who passed away 15 years ago (12 years before my son was born). My dad was actually named Jimmie, but I could’t bring myself to give my son that name…but my grandfather called my dad James and i loved that.

    My youngest son is named Archer Jonathon. He is named Archer after his great-grandfather on his maternal grandmother’s side…who was named after his maternal grandfather. Archer is my own spin on Archibald…or Arch as my husband’s grandfather was called. He is named Jonathon after my husbands other grandfather, John.

    I just love names that mean something like from the movie Where the heart is…whether the name is for a family member or is means something to you, I love name stories.!

  35. 185
    Anonymous says:

    I am Maryellen. My mother was Ellen Mary. My dad wanted me to be Ellen or Mary, but my mom had an Aunt Mary she couldn’t stand so Mary was out and she didn’t want a “little Ellen”. So Maryellen was the compromise. I was NOT allowed to answer to Mary~~~cause it was not my name, she said! LOL! I still have no idea who anyone is speaking to if they say Mary! But I am often called Mair or M.E. and sometimes a pediatric patient or two have called me Ellen.
    As a funny, I married into a large Irish Catholic family. Everyone is Marysomething…Mary Pat, Marybeth, Mary Jean. I fit right in! LOL!

  36. 186
    Shelly says:

    My daughter, Sadie Grace, was named after my great-grandmother. Everyone called her Sadie and that is what is on her grave marker, but she was from the Netherlands and had some Dutch name that no one could ever pronounce. My father’s parents divorced when he was about three and my grandfather got custody – unheard of in the forties!! My father lived with his grandparents and was raised mostly by his grandmother, Sadie. I have such respect for my father that we named our daughter after a godly woman who did a fabulous job of raising a godly man in less that ideal circumstances.

  37. 187
    Smelling Coffee says:

    I know I’m late on responding, but I think I have an reason for my middle name. My dad was a Southern Man to the core, and he wanted his daughter to have a “southern name” – so they named me Jennifer LEE – with the LEE after General Robert E. Lee!

  38. 188
    The Marquarts says:

    our triplets middle names are grace, hope, and faith! we felt they were perfect…especially since we waited so long for them and by God’s grace and because we HAD to have Hope and Faith in HIM we have the girls!

    i was working on their baby books the other day and found a sheet of paper with several names written on it. it was started even before we were pregnant with the girls! i had been thinking of names for YEARS…i mean YEARS! anyway, it was just a small corner of my sermon notes from church. the biggest word/name that was on the paper was grace. i had a dash and next to it i had written “God giving us something that we do not deserve”! i guess i just kept this part because it had a name i liked and just added many other names to it. just writing this brings tears to my eyes…i remember praying and saying to God that we don’t deserve children…we don’t DESERVE anything, but we so wanted children!
    finding that was just a reminder to me that he has it all worked out…seeing those words written was a faith builder!! …when i needed one! …and HE knew I would keep that and every once in awhile I’ll see it again…at the perfect time…when He knows I need it!

  39. 189
    Shelia in Alaska says:

    I am the oldest in my family and my name story is that I was named after the song Sheila that Tommy Roe sang in the early 60s. Yes, I did have blues eyes and when my hair grew long enough, I had a pony tail. My middle name is Kay to rhyme with my mother’s Fay.

    I was born in a clinic in West Virginia and the nurse had many duties to include filling out all the forms that were kept for their office, those sent home with the parents, and those that went to the vital statistics office in the state capital. And before white out, carbonless copies, or computers, there were the hunt and peck typewriters (you rememer those dinosaurs, right siestas?)

    After the nurse painstakingly typed out all the forms, she handed them to my mother to sign and my mother noticed right away the nurse spelled my frist name incorrectly – S H E L I A. My dear sweet mother did not have the heart to make her retype all those forms so she simply signed them.

    Most of my life my name has either been mispselled (my own paternal grandmother spelled it the “normal” way up until I was a mother myself) or mispronounced (a college professor during class stopped lecturing and the whole class was glaring at me because I was not answering her the multiple times she called out the name. I told her that since she was pronouncing it “sheelya”, I thought she was talking to someone else). My husband pronounces it shaleea to make sure he puts the L and I in the right location.

  40. 190
    Joni says:

    My mother was baptized a month before I was born. She named me after Joni Summers and Joni James–a singer and a dancer from the 40’s/50’s. I can’t dance, and the only singing I do is in the church choir.

  41. 191
    Anonymous says:

    When my mom was expecting, she liked Dawn Marie and my dad liked Michelle Rene. When I was born, dad went home and told everyone he had a daughter named Michelle Rene. Mom was the one who filled out the birth certificate and wrote Dawn Marie. She won.

    Dawn Marie 🙂
    Wausau, Wisconsin

  42. 192
    patti baker says:

    I just have to share a story about my daughter’s name. She is 20 and was born with a neurological birth defect called angelman syndrome. One of the characteristics of a.s. is lack of speech. She is nonverbal. She brings joy to all who know her. To know her is to love her. She has hugs for everyone. She is sweet, kind, funny and LOVES worms. Yes, I said “worms”. She gets very excited when she finds one on the trail when we go for walks. She wants to stop and remove it so it won’t get stomped. A gazillion questions can roam the halls of special needs parents minds. However, we are convinced that a loving God PLACED her in our lives, hearts and home. Her name is Cecilia Ann. A few months back I came across an article about caecilian’s, the proper definition being ” any of an order (Gymnophiona) of chiefly tropical burrowing limbless amphibians resembling worms”. The pronunciation sounds a whole lot like “Cecilia Ann”. I rejoiced to find this as it spoke to me about how fearfully and wonderfully made she is. How her name picked out 20 years ago was descriptive of what she would enjoy. Just one of the numerous reminders that her loving Creator is truly indeed in control of every aspect, not only of her life, but ours as well.

  43. 193
    rdhmom says:

    HI–I know this is “old” but still wanted to share with you… My husband named our daughter Harmony because of the harmony in our home when we were privileged to have her (after many years of marital turmoil). To God be the glory! Our sweet baby girl just turned 18! Enjoy every moment and every stage as a blessing from the Lord. May His hand of blessing continue to be upon you!

  44. 194
    bittersweet says:

    My parents weren’t married when mom got pregnant in 1973 and had no intentions to be. Dad had just divorced wife #2. Mom knew he had children, a boy and 2 girls, but didn’t bother herself with much elso info.
    When they brought me to her in the hospital she said, “I’m naming her Dawn Nicole.” My dad nearly hit the floor – that is the name of his youngest daughter! Obviously that was out, so she chose Joy Lynn. Dad said it sounded Asian (men!). Mom somehow came up with Amber Lynn. She had never heard of anyone named Amber and thought Lynn went just great with it. Little did she know every other girlchild in the US was being named “something Lynn”.

    Growing up I wanted a girl so badly I could taste it so I only picked out girl names. Actually I wanted TWIN GIRLS. They would be Journey and Justice, because, Yes I am a child of the 70’s.
    When I found out it was a boy, I went into denial and on the 3rd day after delivery the nurse came in and demanded that I name the child! I decided to honor my heritage which is mostly Irish. I named him Braeden Donavan Cade (yeah he has 3 names).

    Braeden means ‘the wide valley’
    Donavan means ‘dark warrior’
    Cade ‘spirit of battle’

    Two years later I named his brother Holden Riley Kincaid.

    Holden means ‘the deep valley’
    Riley means ‘valiant’
    Kincaid means ‘battle chief’

    Beware what you name your children…I got exactly what I called them. And I wouldn’t trade them for any twin girls now!

    Amber in TN

  45. 195
    Anonymous says:

    My great grandmama’s name was either Sarah Alice or Alice Sarah. Legend tells us that her birth certificate says one thing and her gravestone the other…So I am Sarah and my younger sister is Alice. I love my name so much that when my husband calls me by name, it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy toward him. I remember vividly learning that Sarah meant Princess. I never acted like one, but I know God sees me as one and I’m learning that I am one.

  46. 196
    Joy says:

    Joy- My mom wanted to name me Denise, but by dad had heard a joke about “Denise and de’ nephew” and disapproved. 🙂

    Having two older sisters named Jennifer and Jill, I guess they decided (after Denise was nixed) to stick with a “J” name. I’m very glad they did.

  47. 197
    Dana says:


    First, let me congratulate you. I absolutely LOVE the name Annabeth!! I also love to tell the story of my youngest son’s name. I have 3 grown sons all were given family names. The first 2 were easy but when my baby came along I just knew he was a she and did not consider any boys names. I have to tell you I cried when he was born. You know, the what will I do with 3 boys cry. I was clueless about what to name him. When it was time to leave the hospital I still had not came up with a name! Out of nowhere my husband said “Let’s name him Buckey”. I quickly told him in no uncertain terms that we would not name him that. Buckey is just a nickname. He was pretty set on his choice. The only way I could change his mind was to name the baby after his grandpa, whose name was Gandy. So we named him Gandy Conrad after both great grandpa’s. On our way home from the hospital we stopped at a little store for a soda. A strange woman came over to see our precious little on and asked what his name was. I told her (kinda sheepishly) Gandy. She said (this is the good part) “I have only known one person with that name and he was a preacher in Braggadoccio MO.” That was Gandy’s great grandpa. Since that day almost 30 years ago I have been very proud of his name. Grandpa Gandy was an awesome man of God.

  48. 198
    Barnhouse Family says:

    We adopted our son on 5/31/08. He was 3 weeks old and his birthmother named him Riley. We sat staring at him trying to determine what name suited him. We liked names for their significant meanings but Elijah was the first name my husband read in the bible after he’d accepted Christ. And that was it. Elijah to honor our committment to raising him knowing God’s saving grace and love, and Riley to honor the gift of life and act of sacrificial love his birthmother gave. Elijah Riley is our miracle!

  49. 199
    Amy says:

    Love the naming story! My husband and I recently had to name two boys at once (our newborn twins), which was a challenge for us! We had been discussing names off and on since we were engaged, and still didn’t settle for sure till the night before the boys were born! Anyhow, we picked Alexander Emmanuel and William Gabriel. We picked the first names because we liked them and the middle names for their meanings. Alexander means “defender of men” and William means “protector.” Since the first names both meant something like “strong,” I wanted middle names that would indicate they were strong … because GOD was their strength. So I looked up names meaning “God is my strength,” and found Gabriel. DH’s dad, brother and grandpa are all named Manuel (Portuguese) so we picked Emmanuel for our other son, to honor them and for the meaning “God is with us” (he will be strong–a defender–because God is with him.)

  50. 200
    Glenda Wray Luckie Jennings says:

    I know this is way after the fact, but here's my name story:
    My name is Glenda Wray (and as a good southern girl, I do go by both of those names together). My father is a pastor and the couple that were my parents' mentors years ago when they started in ministry were named Glenda and Wray Ivey. When I came along, my parents decided to honor them and the impact they had in my dad's ministry and in his education (they helped him choose his seminary, and gave great advice as my parents headed to seminary with 3 children and then graduated with me on the way)by naming me after them.

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