What’s in a name?

rosesnameThe other day I got to thinking about names. It is interesting to compare and contrast my friends with the same names to see if there is a common trait amongst them. On the flip side, several of my friends have very unique names that I envy. Especially when I was in Australia, most of my friends had classic names that you don’t hear nearly as much today as Michael, Emily, etc. Their names are Harriet, Alice, Cecilija (also commonly spelled Cecilia), Elizabeth, etc. I loved that each of their names are not as commonly used today, but are still well-known. Clearly a name is pretty important and I know it takes parents ages to find the perfect ones for their kids.

Honestly sometimes I wonder if my name fits me. It’s not that I don’t like it per se, but it doesn’t always feel like me. At the same time I cannot imagine another name for myself. I know, it doesn’t make any sense! Sometimes it takes me longer to respond to my name when someone says it. However, I respond to my nickname Shookie in an instant. Weirdly more times than not my closest friends call me Shookie rather than Allison. It’s probably just a habit for them now, and I like my nickname so it works for me. Interestingly, I sometimes prefer Shookie over Allison, and maybe its because I know that they are speaking to me, and not one of the dozens of other Allisons that could be nearby. Shookie is all mine (well… it’s also a nickname each of my family members friends call them too, but still!)

So I decided to do a little research on the name Allison and found some interesting results….

The origin of the name Allison is German, English, Greek and Scottish (apparently the internet cannot decide which!) and it is a variant of the name Alison or Alice. Apparently my name was originally a boy’s name, but became a popular girl’s name in the mid-20th century. It means son of the Noble One (not sure how I feel about that hah!), noble, of noble birth, noble kind, and truth. There are varying meanings online but it seems that noble is a common thread for my name.

I also did some research on famous Allisons and found a handful…Allison Williams, Allison Janney, Alyson Michalka, Alison Sweeney, Alison Pill, & Ally Sheedy. Although they don’t all spell their name like mine there are still a handful of famous celebrities that I share a name with. Allison/Alison is also a common middle name, Taylor Alison Swift, Drew Allison Carey, and Gwyneth Paltrow’s daughter Apple Blythe Alison Martin just to name a few.

There are also a handful of songs dedicated to a special Allison/Alison out there.

Obviously the most well-known is Alison by Elvis Costello

There is also Allison by The Pixies

My personal favorite is Allison by Permanent Me and is hands down one of the top played songs on my iPhone!

Although these songs are not at the level of say…Sweet Caroline, it is interesting that a few Allisons/Alisons have inspired artists enough to write them a song!

It was fun to do a little research on my name, especially since it is such an integral part of who I am. I also appreciate that my parents named me Allison and always called me Allison. I always get confused by parents who name their kid one thing but refer to them by their middle name or a nickname from birth. It seems kinda backwards to me, but I guess who am I too judge? To each his own!

Do you feel like your name fits you? Do you have a nickname that you prefer to your given name? If you could change your name would you?

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6 thoughts on “What’s in a name?

  1. I can’t think of a name I would rather have. As a kid it’s not that I hated my name but I didn’t love it either. I was neutral I guess. But as I’ve gotten older I’ve realized I really love my name. Interesting post! Maybe I’ll do one on my name soon!

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  2. Love this (since, you know, we share a name). I go by Allie only unless someone doesn’t know me or it’s for school because there was another Allison in our friend group in middle/high school and she seemed so much more like an Allison. I still forget to respond to Allison sometimes because it doesn’t feel like my name. Even Allie I’ll sometimes ignore if being called because there are just too many of us!! haha

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    • Also… we spell it the right way Allie ;)! That’s a good point too, my little brother started going by Andy when there were 3 other Andrews in his classes in elementary school. I am with you, clearly tons of parents realize how great our name is, hence TONS of Allisons!

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  3. Names have always fascinated me, especially the etymology of them. I think they carry far more weight than we give them credit for. I think names hold the power to either drive you or deter you based on the meaning behind them, so I aim to name my child something positive, light and freeing. I love names with rich meaning and depth. My name is about as plain jane as it can get: Ana. It derives from Hannah mening fair or grace, which I’d like to think I embody. great post!

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    • I agree! Names definitely carry a lot of weight and can truly make a difference. What names would you consider positive/light/freeing? I’m always so curious to hear what people plan on naming their kids, it says a lot about them and what they hope for their childrens life! Even though there are definitely a lot of Annas, I think spelling it Ana makes your name pretty unique! Also, can’t beat the meaning behind it 🙂

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