Famous Names

Humans of New York - Beyoncé

By Gabrielle. Photo by Humans of New York.

Apparently, I am the last person in the world to read the Humans of New York story about a school girl named Beyoncé. She says:

“Sometimes I hate my name because it always draws attention to me, and I’m not a very social person. My family moved this year from Pennsylvania. I was so scared the first day of school that someone would notice me. I wouldn’t even adjust my seat because I thought it would make a noise. One time I really had to cough, but I held it in. When the teacher started calling attendance, I got really nervous, because every time people learn my name is Beyoncé, somebody starts singing ‘Single Ladies.’ And some did, of course. But the second day of school wasn’t too bad. Because everyone knew my name.”

The comment section on the Facebook post is pure gold. If you need a grin today, I highly recommend taking a look. : ) Of course, it also got me thinking about my own name. It’s not a famous one, but when I was growing up in St. George, Utah, “Gabrielle” was considered unusual. I remember every first day of school, as the teacher took roll, there would be a conversation like this:

Teacher – “Gaww-breeee-ellle?” (Always said in an attempt at an accent.) “Is that how to pronounce that?”

Me – “That’s me, but you can just call me Gabby.” (I always offered this because Gabrielle seemed hard for people to pronounce.)

Teacher – “Gabby? Why? Do you talk to much?” (Cue laughter from classmates.)

Me – “Well, actually…”

And then in 7th grade, which was the first year I had different class periods with different teachers, I had the realization I would need to have that conversation 7 times in the same day. And I totally did! But I didn’t mind the name Gabrielle, or Gabby. Other than the first day of school, people rarely gave me flack about it, and I ended up liking the fact that I had a memorable name.

It made me wonder, do you, or your kids, or maybe your siblings, have names that have dual meanings, or sound famous, or are memorable in one way or another? And if yes, did you like having a remarkable name? And when you named your kids, did you search for, or avoid, remarkable names? I’d love to hear. I get such a kick out of name stories!

P.S. — Remember when we talked about nicknames?

123 thoughts on “Famous Names”

  1. Every year on the first day of school I would know that the teacher had reached my name on the list because there was always a long pause. I know several Moniques now but growing up I was surrounded by Karens, Stephanies, and Jennifers. And if my first name was troublesome enough, my Italian last name really threw teachers for a loop! But I love my unique name!

  2. Although I am hearing my name more now in little girls around our area I had never met another Joely until I was an adult. I was named after the actress Joely Fisher (when my mom read about her name in a magazine announcing that Connie Stevens had a daughter…this was in the 70’s and I was born in the early 80’s) I didn’t like my name at all and wanted to go my my middle name Melissa since it was more common. In school it made it worse because I got called Joe-lee like it was 2 words or Jo-elly or Jolly or the Y would be cut off and the teachers would scan the room for a boy named Joel. I even had a few report cards that said “male” which made me so embarrassed! After a while though I learned to like my name, no one else had it so people could say Joely and everyone knew who they were talking to, like Madonna and Cher I didn’t seem to need my last name. I have had many just call me Jo now because they say they can’t get it right otherwise but I do like my name now and really love unique names. We named our first born Jalen and although I have heard it a few times, it’s not totally common where we are and then we have our oldest son adopted from Ethiopia name Fetinet which was crazy hard for most of the Oklahomans to get but after almost 3 years it’s become more nomral in our area. Now we are bringing our daughter home from Ethiopia soon too and her name is interesting as well but I can’t share it yet, we call her Little H online but next month once we pass court there we can share her picture and name for all to see :)

  3. Wow. I don’t even know where to begin with my family! Every name in our family has a story!

    My first name, Lisl, is obviously unique and I’ve had to spell it my whole life. People always think it’s Lisa misspelled. However I love not having the same name as anyone else! In fact whenever I’ve been around someone else with the same name it makes me very uncomfortable! I’ve also been asked about the “Sound of Music” connection my entire life :)

    My husband’s first name is Stoehr (pronounced “stair”). His mother named him after the German doctor that delivered him since he was a miracle baby. He has also had to pronounce and explain his name his whole life.

    Since we both had unusual names that we liked, we went with unusual names for our boys as well. Our firstborn is named “Kohler”. We liked the idea of a German surname for him, similar to my husband’s. My husband had a co-worker whose last name was Kohler and everyone called him that, and we liked it for a name! His middle name is Campbell which is a family name.

    Our second son is named “Kaden”. I had found the name Kade or Cade in baby books and liked the name, and added on the “n” at the end. Ironically I now see quite a few kids with that name and have even seen it on some popular baby name lists. His middle name is Andrew which is also a family name.

    Our third son is named “Kieran”. I guess we just liked that name, and it was unusual, and I have a Scottish/Irish background so it fit. His middle name is Noel since he was a Christmas baby :)

    For all three boys we figured they could always shorten their names to Kohl, Kade, and Kier if they wanted, but so far none of them have (they are all teenagers now).

    Finally, our last name is Sukachevin. Yup. No, not Russian or Eastern European (which I am always asked) but Thai (sort of). My father-in-law made the name up when he immigrated from China to Thailand as a boy. So basically no one else in the world has the same last name, which is kind of cool. It is definitely a name I have to spell all the time though, which when combined with all our first names, takes quite a while sometimes!

    The only thing I regret is that 15-20 years ago when we were naming our boys e-mail was barely a thing so I didn’t consider their future e-mail addresses. We all use our names in one form or another as our e-mail addresses, and since you use that so much, it’s an awful lot of spelling on a daily basis!! Oh well.

    The great thing is no one else in the whole world has the same names as anyone in our family! So we are never confused with anyone else on Facebook, e-mail, credit checks, etc.

    It will be interesting to see what my kids name their kids! Love this topic!

  4. People often break out into song when they learn two of my daughters’ names.

    My 4 year old daughter Lola has gotten used to strangers singing “Copacabana” by Barry Manilow, “Lola” by the Kinks, or “Whatever Lola wants” when they first meet her. It started the day she was born with my Dad walking into the delivery room singing Barry Manilow, and it’s been almost a daily occurence ever since! I’d never heard of “Whatever Lola wants” before we moved to America but it’s definitely the most common one she gets here. Oh, and I do find myself struggling to spell her name without singing it a la The Kinks!

    My youngest daughter Mathilde (who turns 1 on Friday – can you believe it?) gets people singing “Waltzing Matilda” to her now and then but not as often as I expected. I was actually hesitant to call her Mathilde at first because I was a little worried that people would think we’d chosen the name because we’re Australian and “Waltzing Matilda” is our unofficial national anthem. I love the name but I hate that song which is partly why we went with the French spelling instead. My Dad kept singing ‘Waltzing Matilda” all through my pregnancy whenever we’d Skype and I eventually had to tell him to stop as it was putting me off the name! In fact, she was very nearly Edie instead because of my Dad’s singing!

  5. My name is Gemma, looks pretty standard, but it’s pronounced with a hard G (“G EH – m uh”, not “j EH – m uh”).

    In my family I am the latest in a line of names not pronounced as you would think. My aunt is Marie (“M AR ie” not “ma RIE”) and a distant cousin is Christina (“Chris t I na” not “Chris teena”).

    I am the only person I have ever come across with this pronunciation and spelling..Nobody ever gets it right on the first attempt, but when they finally do, it causes them all sorts of problems with Gemma/Jemmas they know!

  6. As per family tradition, we allowed my in-laws to choose a Chinese name that would be used as a middle name for our daughter (and they have done this for their other grandchildren as well.) When they first told my husband the name they chose, I didn’t know what they were saying and I was all excited thinking something special was going to happen on May 1. However, they chose the name Mei Wun, which means lovely clouds. Our daughter mostly goes by her first name, Christina, and her Dad and I make May 1 a special day for her just for extra fun. I usually call her Christy for short and her Dad calls her Maybe because the doctor wouldn’t confirm the sex of the baby in my tummy and said ‘maybe its a girl’ and it just stuck.

    Growing up I hated having a double name but I also hated if someone called me just Mary. As a kid I used the hyphen to indicate my name but once computers became commonplace the hyphen was a pain so I just ran it all together but with a capital A in the middle.

    1. I’ve always loved my double name, but maybe that’s because it set me apart from all the other Amys born in the 70s . . .

  7. Fascinating what names get mispronounced! We named our daughter Andréanne – we knew it would get mispronounced (outside of our French-Canadian family), but I’m shocked at how many people just don’t even try. She’s only four but has NO problem correcting people! Hopefully that sticks because no one can pronounce her last name either (it’s Dutch).

  8. When we started having children there were three things that were important to us: 1. uncommon names, 2. meaning, and 3. foreign names. Our children are:

    Jakobie- I was a missionary in Italy and really wanted an Italian name. We liked Giacobbe but didn’t want to have spelling issues…….it felt too different. I was teaching choir when I was expecting and so we decided to have a little competition with the students. Each could submit one name for consideration and if their name was chosen there was a prize of movie tickets and $20. Jakobie was listed and than we saw the name in movie credits. We decided it could be considered an “Americanized” Giacobbe and went with it. Giacobbe means “Jacob” in Italian and our last name has Jacob in it so we thought that worked out kind of cool……..

    Aiden- I have a cousin who named their son Aidan and we really liked it. There was a bit of debate on the spelling……….it came down to how the meaning changed with the spelling. Aiden, from what we read is Greek and the meaning for this particular spelling was listed as “fiery.” We took it. He was pretty fiesty in the womb…….

    Teja (Asia with a “T”): My husband lived in Germany for two years and had a special experience on Teja Street. He vowed that he would name his first daughter Teja and when he proposed he told me that the proposal was based on the condition I would agree to naming our first daughter Teja. I didn’t have any problems with that! :) Turns out the name Teja is Indian for “radiant”…..didn’t know that for a few years after she was born.

    Esmae- we get a lot of flack about the name “Esme’.” No she’s not named after the twilight character. We hadn’t even thought of that when we chose the name. We liked the spelling and meaning: A French name meaning “beloved.”

    Maliha- I saw this name when on vacation in Hawaii. I liked it but didn’t like the spelling. We saw this spelling and fell in love with it when we learned it was an Arabic name for “beautiful.”

    AnnElise- we had a German exchange student live with us for 7 months who we consider one of ours. When we were deciding on names we asked her to make some recommendations on German names and this was one. With this last baby the gender was unknown (except for my husband who kept it secret) and we decided we would let the children help us choose a name. We all sat in the hospital room and voted- almost unanimously- on AnnElise……Danish meaning “Graceful light.”….

    And there’s my epistle……

  9. I have always loved my name–Lillian–which was rare for someone born in 1979. My parents debated between it and Lydia and finally decided on Lillian–which led to my having an instant connection with my high school friend Lydia whose parents had also gone back and forth between Lillian and Lydia before settling on Lydia.

    I like my name so much–I really do feel it suits me–and it made it hard to choose a name for my daughter. I finally settled on Luciana and it drives me crazy when people use Luci as a nickname (Lucy is great, but Luci bugs me).

  10. So I’m not saying my name is super unusual – at least not as unusual as my brother Breen – but I did grow up with people asking me if I was Russian. I most definitely am not.

    Then something interesting happened a few years ago. Sasha Obama moved into the White House and Beyonce took on the pseudonym Sasha Fierce. My name became a cool young African-American name. I’m not that either. I’m more of a translucent skinned, strawberry-blond Irish decent kind of person. For no apparent reason, my Pinterest feed starting having all these pins of African-American girls’ haircuts pop up. Since I’ve never pinned a single image of how to style short black hair, it took me a while to figure it out: Pinterest thinks I’m African-American because of my name.

  11. I’m Pita, pronounced Peta. No real story behind it, my parents just wanted to be a bit different. To be fair to them, they’d never heard of Pita bread but I wish they’d thought it out phonetically. As a kid I got teased for having a boys name so I went by my middle name in primary school. Now I’m fine with it but always have to spell it out. People often ask me if I’m Greek but I’m actually part Norwegian! On the plus side, they don’t forget me once I’ve explained.

  12. My name was going to be Kevin, but then I was born. So Mom wanted to name me Katherine, but Daddy didn’t like the nicknames for Katherine, and so they just added an extra ‘e’ to Mom’s name, and voila! I have a unique name that’s also a verb (careen). I’ve only heard of about three other people on the planet who spell it the way I do, but I have learned that someone who spells it differently (karine) but pronouces it the same has my last name, too! I thought she had stolen my identity when my young son’s credit union account was wrongly debited to pay her office’s bills.

  13. Oh names, my favourite topic!
    My name is Annet, not Annette. It’s a dutch spelling, but in Holland in many families it is common to have 2 names (given names) and then your baptised name (what everyone calls you). So I was born Johanna Elizabeth, but called Annet (Ann from Johanna and Et from Beth). 5 cousins, my mom and my grandmother all have the same name and yet we are all called by different names! Common there, forms account for names and then what you are called, etc. Moving to canada at 3, everyone was confused. Eventually, when I got my own passport, the passport officer told me to either learn to be called Johanna by officials or legally change my name. So I did :)
    My sister and brother’s names were more complicated! So when the youngest sibling was born in Canada, my parents called him Rob. No middle name. Not short for Robert or Robbie. Just Rob. :)
    My husband was Kirk (after Kirk Douglas), which was uncommon in Australia when he was growing up, and his nickname is always Captain. But his own grandmother could never pronounce it properly!
    So with my Dutch background and my husband’s Austrian-Australian background, we determined we had to name our child a biblical name, because it could be translated into any language, plus the meaning therein. We went with David (also the person who introduced us). Kirk championed for Connor as a middle name (but as an Aussie he pronounced it “Canna” so I refused to have a name that we said differently!) So he’s David Jacob and can be DJ if he wants when he’s older. He always corrects people if they try to call him Dave or Davy!
    Have loved reading all the comments.

  14. My name gets mispronounced all the time and I feel bad having to correct people but it kind of comes with the territory. The accent is on the first syllable, Ma’ davi and not Mada’vi. Indian names often have an accent on the first syllable. That said, if you know me, it’s not a problem, and my name rolls off the tongue. But it also gets misspelled and the worst spelling I have ever seen is a piece of mail addressed to Mr. Mad Hari. Among the many things wrong with this is the fact that I am not a man! UGH!!! But I named my children beautiful and unusual names that I had fallen in love with as a kid and I never fell out of love with those names.

  15. I was almost named Joy Noelle, thank goodness my dad put a stop to that idea. I’ve been sung “joy to the world” more times than I could ever count. And “happy happy joy joy” was also a phrase that I’ve heard one too many times.. People always think they are so funny and original when they start singing joy to the world right after introductions.

    1. My name is Hollienoël Christine. I get “holly jolly Christmas” and “the first Noel” all the time.

  16. My name has always elicited comments, singing, etc., especially at Christmas. I can’t say that I’ve ever really grown to love it. When naming our children, I told my husband, “No names with expectations!” No Faith, Charity, Justice, Hope, etc. We chose names that were out of the top 200, but something you’d heard of.

  17. My name is Tarin, (becoming more common but I was bron in 1974) I always say it’s Karen with a T, but once someone said oh, Karent…I always wonder how people with more common names don’t turn around every time someone says their name

  18. OMG, I got stuck in the comments section on Beyonce’s post! HILARIOUS!

    Ok, true story. One of my good friends, Hillary Small married Brett Weiner. And yes, it is pronounced ‘weiner’ like the hotdog, not whiner. So they had the “Small-Weiner” wedding, complete with a small weiner table (pigs in blankets). They sent their wedding announcement into the David Letterman show and it was read on-air! Now they’re teaching their kids to have a great sense of humor of having the last name Weiner.

    Makes me happy I just have an old lady name. Sharon. Blech. No offense to other Sharons who like their name but I’m only 46 and I have never liked it or feel like it fit me.

  19. My name is Michelle – then I married a Mr Zell so my name rhymes now!
    My maiden name was always mispronounced and spelled incorrectly so I can appreciate the simpleness of a 4-letter surname (even if it rhymes!).
    I often get called Julia Gulia (from the Wedding Singer movie) but its all in good fun.

  20. I have always loved my first name. Good thing too, since my maiden name was Foote. I got teased — a LOT. And people tried to make it fancier (?!) by saying Foot-ey– which was just embarrassing. But a boyfriend once nicknamed me Footsie and I loved that.
    By the time I got married, I was so attached to my last name, I dropped my middle name and used Foote instead. I never have to say it, which is a relief, but I know it’s there– and I do love that.
    When picking my daughters name, I searched for something simple and classic– I kept saying “Could she be a painter or a Supreme Court justice with this name?” I didn’t want to limit her. I also practiced yelling the name out my back door. We settled on Grace. My son was named for my grandfather– Edward. We call him Teddy, which I absolutely adore.

  21. I love all these name stories! Aren’t they so fun? Our names–and difficulty with them–can be so defining when we are young. My name is Swedish and originally spelled Kaisa. But my mom, being an English teacher, thought changing the spelling to Kiasa would help people out–not so. Most people still want to spell it the original way–and always say it wrong when they see it. It’s pronounced K-“eye”-sa–with a long i. I do really like my name a lot. When it came time to picking our kids’ names my husband said, “Nothing different–I don’t like different names.” I, of course, gave him the major stare down. Our kids names are much more common and easy. I’ve had several friends say they tried to get their daughter’s named Kiasa (or Kaisa) but their spouse wasn’t willing.

  22. My name is not unusual, it just has an unusual spelling, which I’ve always loved. It’s pronounced Lisa, but sometimes I get Leeza or Lee-A-sa (long A). Usually I correct the pronunciation, and most of the time I correct the spelling. My last name is similiar – a common last name but spelled differently.

    I grew up with a lot of girls names Lisa, but I was the only one spelled differently. I think people think of the spelling when it’s different – that I’m Leasa and not Lisa. I don’t know if that’s true, but I think it. Kind of like Anne of Green Gables -she wanted Anne with an e, and you see the spelling in your head. One of my girlfriends in high school names Lisa changed her spelling to Lesa.

    My daughters have fairly common names and spellings. I kind of wish I would have gone out of the box a little bit, but they seem happy with their names.

  23. I’m Aude, a fairly classical French name. In the US, I got a lot of “Odd” or “Audi” (like the car!) but can usually get away with saying it’s pronounced ode, like the poem.
    I like in Quebec now and would expect it to be fairly straightforward, but apparently Aude is not a French Canadian name and people assume it’s short for Audrey (it is not). Still torn about whether I want to give my kids an unusual name, but I actually really like mine despite the various issues :)

  24. I have a unique name – Evans – it was my mother’s maiden name. No one ever gets it right it’s either Evan or my last name Austin. People argue with me (normally doctor’s offices) that my name is Austin Evans – oh and it also doesn’t help that I’m a girl.

    So when I had my daughter I wanted something that you knew was a first name – I chose Lucie Kate. Lucille is a family name and her dad wanted a name that ended in ie and long as he got to pick a boys name if we had one. So fast forward – we have an unexpected second baby – and he was going to be a third named after is father – – Rickie. Didn’t put two and two together till someone asked me if I was an I Love Lucy fan. Lucie Kate & Ricke. Yeah. I am happy with it and people never forget my kids names!!

  25. My name is Sunshine. It was horrible in the late 70’s , early 80’s when everyone was named Jennifer or Amy. I used to beg myom to change my name to Karen. Every new teacher and substitute would take roll and immediately follow with, “is that your real name?” As I got older it was just easier sometimes to say Susan when making reservations or when someone would just not believe me. Funny how my name fits my personality. My husband says I couldn’t be anything else. I am up early and very energetic and positive. I can still count on getting asked if its my real name every time I pay with my credit card. If only I could get a dollar for everyte it hAppened!
    I chose not to name my girls unusual names. Lucy and Sofie are beautiful and classy and fit their personalities to a tee! I didn’t want to single them out with a unique name. I didn’t want to create a new name or new spelling either. My name is always a good conversation starter!

  26. I am the second child. I have an older brother named Achilles and a younger brother named Caesar. and a sister named Daphne. I got Barbara.

    When I was in the fifth grade I wondered why my friends never called me. Turns out they were asking for Barb. The response they got was “No one here by that name.”

    I once asked my Mom why I got such a common name and she responded “It could have been Bethlehem – would that have been better?

    My Mom’s name is Resi and when people do a double take she says “Like ‘crazy’ without the ‘C'”


  27. Well I suppose I have to comment because in this whole list I did not see my name. A lot of people pronounce it right on the first go (uh-LEE-uh), but if I say it and they need to spell it they usually ask how. And then I get “oh, that’s really simple!” I don’t know who came up with the spelling that’s more than twice as long, with a double A at the beginning, but why make it more difficult?
    I’ve always liked my name. It’s one of those that if you hear someone say it in a store you assume they’re talking to you. Do people with more common names automatically turn at the sound of their name in public? Or do they assume it’s someone else?
    My kids have pretty normal names, biggest problem is that our one daughter, out of 4 kids is named Erin and so if I’m just listing our kids to someone without them there, I have to specify that she’s a girl.

  28. My name was inspired by my mom’s favorite soap-opera: The Young and the Restless. How is that for depth of meaning? I named my babes after beloved grandparents or inspirational historical figures to compensate.

    I’ve often thought about how names may be beautiful when considering only their phonetic qualities, but it’s the socio-cultural connotations that usually dictate our feelings about them. I think my name sounds rather lovely without its top-trending 80’s commentary, but otherwise it’s doomed to be forever blasé.

  29. I was always Christina at school, but my family called me “Chrissy” when I was little. This means that everyone I know from when I was little, neighbours, relatives, people from church, all still call me “Chrissy”. It became a problem when I was a teenager, some people called me “Chrissy” as a way to belittle me, quite literally! It was hard enough being taken seriously when you have big doe eyes and a higher-pitched voice! Those people have thankfully been removed from my life, but I had to fight very hard against them at the time. I can tell who is calling me “Chrissy” with malicious intent.

    Now I have moved to a new town and everyone calls me “Christine”. That is not my name, and it doesn’t even register in my head that they are talking to me! I have taken to over-pronouncing the “a” at the end of my name when I introduce myself, but then people look at me weird. They even write “Christine” in emails, when my name is spelled out in my email address and I have clearly signed the previous message as Christina!

  30. I come from a family of odd names. Mine is Kismet Athena Canterbury, and the rest are my siblings have equally strange names:
    Chelsea Britannia (not that odd, but very anglophile)
    Shebby (short for Sebastian Amadeus)
    Keaton Parkurst
    Chanteclaire Esprit
    Atticus Omega
    Sunday Phoenix

    So…Yes, I know the feeling of the long pause before your name on a roll call…and the premeptive “It’s pronounced Kiz-mit” before they even call it out, but I love my name and wouldn’t have it any other way.

  31. I’m an Annéka….which is fairly uncommon no matter where I’ve lived (currently on move 26!) so for years I used to say “just call me Anni”. Mainly because I hated my name and my parents for giving me such a “weird” name. Which no one could ever spell. Ever. It didn’t help that there was a show in the UK (where I went to boarding school) in the 90s called Challenge Anneka and so everyone assumed I was named after that. Even though I was about 6 or 7 when it aired. Not helpful. Now though, I like having an unusual name – it make me stand out from the crowd. Funny that.

  32. I love this thread! So interesting to read all the names and see how one country’s ‘normal’ name is another country’s ‘unusual’ one. I have a very common name – there were lots of Sarahs in the UK in the 70s when I was born and I always longed for a more unusual name.

    In the course of my professional life I have come across a child called Harry Potter, born in the year the first book was published. He was obviously named after the book character and I actually like the name, but I’ve often wondered if the parents would have still chosen the name had they been able to look into the future to see what a massive following the books have. My Dad went to school with the Nutt family – Howard and Patricia. With a Northern Ireland accent Howard is pronounced closer to ‘hard’, so they very quickly became known as ‘hard’ nut and peanut.

    Initials are also a source of some amusement in our family. I don’t think it occurred to my parents that my sister’s initials spelt JAM, or if it did they didn’t think it would ever be a source of amusement for anyone. Now she’s a lawyer and regularly has to initial legal documents – there’s always someone who comments on the fact that her paperwork has jam all over it! Similarly my son’s initials spell JAB….. I guess some families never learn!

  33. I know a girl called Esth3r Polly. It didn’t occur to her parents how that sounds the other way round…

    My name is fairly unusual, Fiona, and although I’ve always loved it, it did cause me trouble as a child. I suppose I was shy and mumbling, but no-one ever send to hear me correctly the first time. Joanna was the most common mis-hearing. I eventually learnt to speak up!
    Since ‘Shrek’ came out everyone’s familiar with my name, which helps especially with non-anglophones. If they struggle at first, I just say ‘like the Princess’ with a big smile and they get it. Often they put their hands up to mime the ogre ears and we have a little laugh ;-). I’m not a big fan of the films, but at least it’s a positive association and I find it best just to roll with it with good humour…

  34. We just had a baby girl and named her Annika. We picked it because we liked the sound, and it hit the right note for us of being familiar but not common. Day 1 in the hospital though, we had multiple nurses asking us how “A-nee-ka” was doing. Our parents took a couple days to stop asking about “Anne-icka”. By the time we came home, we had determined the easiest way to explain is that it rhymes with Hannukah. So far everyone has pronounced it right the first time when we introduce her that way.

  35. My oldest is named Tierney which is my maiden name. I love it because it is unusual but has such meaning to me. It’s an Irish name that means, grandchild of the Lord which of course my father loves. The only issue is that around fifth grade when kids start learning about the revolutionary war, they assume that Tierney and tyranny are pronounced the same and mean the same.It’s silly but thankfully my daughter LOVES her name and tolerates the occasionally Tiffany she hears.

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