What’s in a Name

Do you know the story behind your name? Were you named after a family member? Is there a naming tradition in your family or as part of your culture? My husband’s middle name is his father’s first name.

When my mother was expecting me, she came up with a list of ten names for boys and ten for girls. On the day I was born, my mother chose the name Rhonda from her list for her new baby girl redhead, since the raven-haired actress Rhonda Fleming was performing in town. I don’t know how I got my middle name. I think maybe it just sounded right with my first name.

When I was a girl I desperately wanted to know someone who shared my name. I was in high school when I met my first “Rhonda”. We were getting dressed in the locker room and we saw our name on each other’s uniform (remember gym uniforms?) It was the first for each of us. Mostly, though, I’ve been grateful for my unusual name.

I also worked with a woman named Rhonda once. I was a little put out when I found she had been hired. “What were they thinking?” I thought.

My son and daughter-in-law are busy thinking up names for their new baby due this summer. Amy says she finds it much easier to name fictional children than to really choose a name for their coming baby. They are trying to find the perfect name that honors their families, sounds good, works with Kalkwarf and isn’t too popular. As a teacher, Amy also avoids the names of some of her more challenging students.

I loved picking names for my children. Since it was before the time of routine ultrasounds, we picked a name for a boy and one for a girl. Of course, the day before I went into labor with my overdue son, I decided I wanted a different boy middle name. I went through the baby name book (pre-internet) and chose five possibilities. Jon worked late that night and as we were heading to bed, I showed him the list. He agreed with my favorite, Clayton, and the decision was made. Labor began in less than an hour. I always thought Ben didn’t want to be born until we had the right name for him!

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