Monday, March 31, 2014

What's in YOUR Name

(Marci drop me a note ~ I want to talk about your comment from a couple of week's ago!)

Most of us were given boy's names at birth.  Most of us have taken on a girl's name at some point.  I don't have hard numbers, but I think those statements are factual.

There are, as I said last week, three kinds of girl's names.

So there are three categories we can choose from.

And because nothing we do is ever simple, my readers reminded me there's another way to look at names.  You might choose a name of someone you admire, friend or celebrity, totally outside the "what kind of name do I want?" category.

For a derivative name, Michael might turn into Michelle, Robert into Roberta, Martin into Martina.

If your name is sufficiently ambiguous you might keep it as-is.  Remember "Pat" from Saturday Night Live?  I don't think we ever did find out what sex was behind the genderless behaviour and name.

The advantages of the above choices are reduced confusion.  For you.  If your name is Randolph and you go for Helen, if you're not thinking someone might say "hi I'm Frank" and you automatically say "I'm Randolph."  Personal experience says that happens when you're more comfortable in your female persona.  If you're thinking about how you look all the time, you're more focused and less likely to mis-introduce yourself.  If you're a Jan and you absently answer "Jan", well, no harm no foul.  If you answer "Eric" you can amend that to "Erica," or change an absentminded "Paul" to "Paula."

So even with three categories of names, I bet there are two types of girls in this audience: the ones with ambiguous or easily-converted names who use them and the ones who want a completely female name.

Your male name might be Jan, but you want to separate yourself from All Things Male, even if what you have could be female.  So you go with Alicia.  Or a Michael might like "Emily" but, no Emily is derivative of Emil so how about Celest or Amber?

Of course, you might choose your female name the same way you chose your male one: "if I was a girl, my parents were going to name me..."

I mentioned a long time ago how I selected Meg (or how Meg selected me).  But I wonder what I would have done if the name that appeared was "Geraldine" or "Esmerelda" or "Heather."

Or Grinelda.


  1. My name was selected to give me the same initials and a similar number of characters. When I first used a surname, I used one that could be slurred to sound like my real surname, but eventually dropped that in favour of my real surname.

    Given that I've been deliberately posting photos of recent outings on both my boy and girl facebook pages, have around 84 friends in common between the two, and have work clients calling me Alice when I'm out en femme, I don't really think that it matters any more. ;-)

  2. My mother frequently told me that if i was a girl i would have been Linda so whether i like it or not.. thats my femme name

  3. Hope you don't mind me repeating myself from an earlier post. I took my name " Julie" from a High School friend I had. We were close and could talk for hours. We still remain close even now 20 plus years later.


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