Sunday, May 21, 2006

What's in a name?

I do not like my given name! Janet. It just sounds so harsh. So cold. So plain. I don't think it's a very popular name and usually that would make me happy....if it wasn't so darn ordinary. I only know of a few "famous" people named Janet. There's the ever-popular-wardrobe-malfunctioning Janet Jackson, and the screaming Janet Leigh in "Psycho" (the original)....and of course, Janet Weiss, a character in this film.

My mom told me that her youngest brother actually named me. I'm not sure why he got to name me instead of my mom or my dad. Maybe because my dad was away serving in the navy. Whatever the reason, my uncle liked the name Janet Kay and so that's my name.

I've always wanted to have a really pretty name. I like names that flow or undulate on the tongue....I think lots of people would change their names if they had the chance. Believe me, I've tried to come up with another name for myself but so far, no luck! You would think I could come up with something!!

In grade school there was one other Janet. She didn't have a middle name so she was Janet and I was always Janet Kay. Sounds very Southern, doesn't it? Like Billie Jo or Susie Q or something like that! HB is from south Florida and he often calls me Janet Kay or sometimes he calls me Ja-nay. I actually like that!

Later in high school there were a couple of other fact, there was a Janet with the same last name as HB. For the record, I use my maiden name and not HB's name. Only because his last name is also my mom's maiden name. Gets confusing, doesn't it?! And, no HB and I aren't related in any way other than being married. (If you haven't already guessed HB's last name is Smith.)

Anyway names are interesting to me. I recently did a little google research on my name. There seems to be conflicting opinions as to its's either from Hebrew meaning God's Grace (ye gads! Now I sound like Tom Cruise! Stop me if I start jumping on the couch!!) or it's Scottish....either way you can read about Janet here and here.

I thought this was also interesting....Janet in Chinese characters. Looks much better that way! But since I don't speak Chinese I don't know what it sounds like in that language.

According to one website, Janet was a popular name from the 1930's to the 1950's. I'm right in the middle of all that.

I guess it could have been worse. My mom could have named me something like Hermione or Hortense. Nothing wrong with those names but they seem a bit outdated just like Janet. On the other hand I guess she could have named me Mary, Barbara, or Patricia....apparently those were the most popular names for girls in the year I was born. And come to think of it, I've known quite a few people my age with those names.

I like the custom (I think it's Native American) where each time you pass into another phase of your life you get a new name. That would be so cool. Names are so personal. I think they should reflect the actual person.

When I named my children I took age into consideration. People sometimes give babies a cutsie name that is just perfect for a baby but not for an 80 year old person. I tried to think of my kid's names on a baby, a young adult, and a mature person. But still, they would both probably change their names, too!

Celebrities give their kids some odd names! You can see some of them here. A couple of really odd ones are Pilot Inspecktor and Moxie CrimeFighter! I can't imagine going through life with either of those names!! But some of them are cute in an quirky way....for instance Rob Morrow's daughter is Tu Morrow! I wonder if Doris Day ever considered naming her child Yester? And then there's Nevaeh, a name that recently made the news. If you missed it, learn about Nevaeh here.

How do you feel about your own name? Would you change it? If so, to what?


  1. Oh boy did you hit a nerve here! And now all of your blogger friends will know what the W stands for....I mean Werna, what was my mother thinking??? actually I was suppose to be a boy with the name of Warren but guess what. How many other people have this name? If there are any I would love to hear from them. Verna, Merna, maybe but Werna and then you add Gail. To bad she wasn't an old fashion type, I could live with Abagail, or Elizabeth, I guess I should be thankful she didn't name me after her mother who was Myrtle.

  2. Hey....YOU let the cat out of the bag, not me! :-) I guess moms should learn to consult their offspring before naming them!! Or just let us name ourselves.

    PS - I could have told everyone your nickname!!!

  3. Debbi Brown9:01 PM

    This is my Mom's secret for naming children. (I am the oldest of 11!) Stand out your back door and holler the name as loud as you can three times. Like you were calling them home to supper. If you don't feel foolish hollering it, then it is probably okay to name them that. There wer so many Debbi's around when I was growing up, but I have never really even had a nickname, so I must have been meant to be a Debbi!


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