“What’s in a Name”?

“A name is more than just a noun, verb, or adjective. It is your life, your legacy, your journey, sacrifices, and everything you’ve worked hard for every day of your life as an adolescent, young adult and adult”- Christopher Jordan Dorner

I have hated my name since as long as I can remember. It clung to me like a useless weight of information which I was forced to disclose or identify myself with always. I did not like to be called by my name so it was a habit for me to come up with pet names at home. I would then insist my family and relatives to address me by new name. After a while, I would lose my fascination for the newly found name and continue my pursuit looking for more exotic names.

  My Dad told me one day that they came up with my name from the first three letters of my Dad’s name and first two letters of my Mom’s name. Upon hearing  this story, I was horrified.  Name 1I couldn’t believe the carelessness my parents showed in naming me! How could they be so thoughtless? Couldn’t they just see how meaningless my name sounded to them when they first tasted my name on their tongue ? I was mad at my Dad and Mom.

My Mom was already out of our life at this point and I was left with my Dad to show the wrath.

 I kept on bitching about the unfairness of my name and was so used to bringing it up to my Dad whenever I could. It lasted until my marriage and when I finally  left him for good! Thinking back, I realize this internal (and sometimes external)  feud against my name as an  insanity which started from my childhood to teens and well over to my adult years.The  artificiality that enveloped my name each and every time someone uses it to address me was unbearable… 

Names 2

 It  got worse when my Dad disclosed one more truth surrounding my ‘Naming Nightmare’. They actually picked a different name for me on the baptism day- ‘Nitasha’. Everybody adored this name and decided to have me called by it. Then, someone (my Dad still hasn’t told me Who. He has forgotten already. How convenient!) spoke up. In Bible, the name means ‘The Sad One’ and it is inauspicious to address the baby girl by this name.

Who the hell was this person? I still don’t know. Anyways, just like that, everything changed- I was imprinted forever with the name I would come to dislike for a long long time …

 In school and University, I carried my name around like a dead weight. I strongly felt,  my name and I have not even one thing in common- call us  polar opposites.

I considered at one point, changing my name officially. But felt guilty since my Dad was an ardent advocate of my name and told me that ‘One’s name is the beautiful sound in One’s language’. He sincerely loved my name and told me that  a day would come when I become truly proud of my name. My Dad just gets all emotional when we start this conversation around the  nightmare I call ‘my name’. So, I decided against changing it and entertain Dad’s notions surrounding my name for the rest of my life. Well, that is something I can do, right?

    I don’t know what I feel when it comes to dissecting feelings about my Name- embarrassment about the sheer meaninglessness of it?

or the weight of the artificiality that pulls me down when every time when someone address me?

May be it is the simple refusal to identify the oneness that I am supposed to feel with my name.

           Years are flying by both of us- my name and I. Even though, I am not a happy camper, I have gotten used to it now. I hesitantly realize that my name certainly gives me an individuality and uniqueness. The rareness of my name in the ‘Popular Names Book Forever’ actually gives me an advantage of not getting lost in the similarly resonating name tags. I grudgingly began to actually like my name for the past few years now…

 And one day like my Dad said,   I may even become truly proud of my name….

 I know the struggle to accept one’s own name is a rarity.

 But what are some of the things that are closely associated with you personally that you find hard to digest and accept? Yet, there is no way to get rid of it? Ever felt like it before? I would like to hear all about it…



  1. I actually legally changed my first name. My first name really did not fit me and everyone in my family goes by their middle name. Makes no sense to me, why give me a first name is nobody is going to use it?
    I was so sick of saying: I go by my middle name so I legally dropped my first name. It cost about $350 to get it legally changed and changed on my passport, birth certificate, etc. It was really a small price to pay to fix all the frustration I went through.

    Although, I changed my name it”s still part of who I am. There are a few people that have known me since I was a baby and still call me by a nic-name that’s part of my old first name. It doesn’t bother me. It’s part of my history:)

  2. I think your name is exotic and unique. But I certainly understand not liking it yourself. I always hated my first name because of the all the goofy things kids would say…..”hey Penny, you got a penny?” If I actually had a penny for all the times I heard that, I would be rich. And then my brother, who was born after I was, was named Les. So then WE got…..your parents must have been poor when they had you. Get it? Penny Les? Dumb. But the icing on the cake was when we moved to our new house and the lady across the street was in her front yard yelling “Penny! Penny!” I was wondering how she knew my name already and it turned out she was yelling for her chihuahua!! But I guess after almost 48 years, I’m pretty much stuck. Of course, getting married and having Roach for a last name is a whole other story!!

  3. Pingback: Let’s Name Him Football! | Mom Rants and Comfy Pants
  4. I think your name is beautiful, but I understand where you are coming from. For a long time, I disliked my name because it is so common. There are so many Jennifers that are my age in the world! I always wished for a more unique name.

  5. How frustrating to be stuck with a name that you really dislike! And definitely hard to change it because of the history and of course your father. At least your name has a story that goes with it…I think that’s really nice!

  6. Oh my goodness, I can feel your frustration! We are helpless in the name chosen for us that we must carry with us forever. I love your name! It is unique as your are, and it has a beautiful sound when said aloud. πŸ™‚

  7. I actually love your name, I thought of it as unique and I always loved the fact of having a Unique name. Heather is quite common, and I never had a middle name until I got married.
    I think our names are picked out for us long before we are born, some may think I am crazy and yes I am!! I just think there is a reason behind each one’s name.
    You and Penny really have me thinking on this subject today!! πŸ™‚
    Thank for sharing, you are beautiful and so is your name!

  8. I agree with the other ladies, I think your name sounds exotic in a world full of (and no offense to anyone with these names, its just that it seems to me that everyone is named this) Hannah, Aiden, Jessica, Bella — it’s nice to be able to stand out a bit from everyone else.

  9. Anything we struggle with that’s part of our identity is a difficult thing. What is more a part of your identity than your name? To be constantly called something that doesn’t feel like you must have been incredibly frustrating. I’m sorry it’s been a struggle. I’m glad to know you’ve come a little more to terms with it. I think it’s a beautiful name, but that doesn’t matter if it doesn’t feel like you.

    The part of my identity I struggle with is my parents. I had a rough childhood and feel no emotional connection to them other than guilt. They are 70 and starting to slow down. I’m feeling responsible to help them, even though they did almost nothing to create a bond between us as I grew up. I can live without that bond, but I get frustrated by still feeling obligated. Ugh. Families can be difficult.

    Stopping by from SITS.

  10. My kids both have very unique names πŸ™‚ I have always gone by my middle name or by my nicknames. There is nothing wrong with my first name, I just prefer the others!

  11. It’s nice that you were considerate of your father enough to keep a name you don’t care for, kudos to you for it.

    I have my mother’s pointy chin, lol. Not a thing I can do about that one. πŸ˜‰

  12. I don’t think it’s that rare, actually. But it does cause a lot of conflict between people and their families. I made sure my kids have usable first and middle names, and I’ve told both of them that if they ever feel like switching, they can go by the other name and it’s fine with me. But I do hope they love their names. πŸ™‚

  13. I have a strange dislike of my name because it’s a very common first name with a very uncommon spelling. So, by sound I hear it ALL THE TIME, but by spelling everybody messes it up – even when it’s right in front of them. It’s a weird frustration. haha

  14. When I was a kid, I hated my name, too. It was different than everyone else (and it’s not too out there, just not a lot of Krista’s out there!) we had 5 Sarah’s, 2 Miranda’s and 3 Rebeccas. I wanted to share a name too! Now, as an adult, I love having a name that not everyone has πŸ™‚

  15. Oh I understand the name hatred! I totally hated my name for years. Everyone has it! I can’t go anywhere without someone of the same name.
    I’ve started to slowly embrace my name now, but it still irks me to this day.

  16. Vinma is such a unique name I love it. Your dad is right a time will come that you will get to appreciate and love your name. This was an interesting read – thanks for sharing πŸ™‚

  17. I have grown up with a unique name and have always loved it. The only thing that drives me crazy is when people ask me if my parents were “hippies”. No, my Dad had a dream that my name was Liberty. However, growing up people called me Libby. Which now I just go by Liberty, so if someone calls me Libby it really gets my attention!

  18. Hahaha! When I was younger I wished I was a Stephanie. Also, I hated my middle name, but eventually was able to embrace it.

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