The story behind my name is frustratingly simple.
My mom always said that she wanted a little girl named Ann. I asked her why and she simply said that she thought the name was pretty and that one of her favorite characters I’m a book had a similar name. That was when I was seven. I didn’t think much of it.
It wasn’t until I was ten and I started questioning the definition of “pretty” and how it applied to my name, that her answer confused me. The name Ann didn’t seem pretty to me. It seemed average. Boring.
Ann is okay, but other girls are coming to school with cool unique names like “Kiana” and “Facienne.”
But me? In almost every school I’ve been in there had been at least ten other “Ann’s”
For the longest time I felt offended. Sure, playing the same name game is fun when you’re in elementary school. But in highschool, when you’re trying to find your own individuality and you’re surrounded by hundreds of teenagers trying to do the exact same thing, being referred to as Ann number 2 totally wrecks the self esteem. It got to the point where I considered using the nickname Bumblebee given to me by a childhood friend.
I told my mom this once and as always, she had an answer.
She told me that every name is different, even if they are exactly the same. She said that while my name may be similar in pronunciation and spelling to the 10+ girls at school, none of our names have the same origin, culture or meanings. They may sound the same, but they weren’t imagined the same. Our mother’s didn’t meet up one day and decide to name their children the same name for the same reason.
My mom said she thought the name was pretty. Someone else could think the name meant luck. Some people could have been inspired by a a baby book or an inside joke or a loved one. The possibilities are endless.
The point is is that what Ann meant to them isn’t what Ann meant to her.
And that in itself makes all of our names different.
You may not believe this about me but one thing I like to do is study words, names, phrases, and all the secret meanings they carry in between. From hard words like cruciverbalism to the simple ones like Ann, I strive to know them all.