My friend, Susan, got me thinking about names. I’ve always loved names – I think most girls do. We dream about what we’re going to call our kids one day. And we dream about what we *wish* our name was. And, along those lines, I think most kids slap a new name on themselves and ask people to start calling them by their self appointed title for a time.
When I was little I did not like my name at all. I had the two most plainest, common, boring names in the whole country. You don’t get much more common than Jennifer – and then when you stick a boring ordinary name like Wright after it… yawn.
I especially didn’t like the way my name was spelled – Jenefer. I thought it looked sort of ugly. My dad spelled it with all e’s because he said in the Spanish language e’s were considered feminine. And naturally that was important to him since he was German and all. I don’t know what letter German considers feminine, but I’m guessing it sounds like somebody hacking something up. HHRRRCCCCKT! Yet I digress. I didn’t like the spelling, plus, you couldn’t ever find shoelaces or bookmarks or coffee mugs with “Jenefer”.
Growing up I wanted my name to be Sandy or Jackie. Mostly I was called Jenny (gag). As a teenager I wanted my name to be Coie. As a young adult I went by Jenna for a while.
When I met Geoff, I thought his last name was terribly unfortunate. It just sounded funny to me. But it didn’t take long for me to love it. I *was* born in Japan, after all. And it means Fifty Storms. That’s just neato. But it wasn’t until I hit my thirties that I really realized how much I like my name. The fact that it is spelled the way it is, and the fact my last name is now so uncommon makes it truly unique — I think there is only one Jenefer Igarashi in the whole big world. I like that.
Jess has been doing a lot of research on names and origins and such. Jenefer means “fair” and is derived from the old English name Genevieve. Genevieve is a cool name. I don’t know what definition “fair” covers tho. It could mean White (which I am very), or Just (which I think I am) or “lovely” … um, ok, so maybe I’m just the first two definitions.
My kids’ names seem to suit them. Geoffrey (Dippy) = peacemaker, Aaron (Bo) = strong mountain, Emmiko = happy child, Ryann = little ruler, James = supplanter “Coie” doesn’t mean anything so I’ve decided to dub it = content and calm (actually.. kait the great gave her a definition once but I can’t remember what it was). James definition scares me… supplanter? hmmm
So what’s the story behind your name? What does it mean? Does it describe you? Do you like it?