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Friday, September 12, 2003

Friday!!!! Friday!!! Friday!!!

Okay, I'm going to sound very, very self-absorbed in this. But, one, I love names. I collect baby name books and dictionaries, even though I don't have kids. I love to look up their backgrounds and meaning. I also have gone through the process of naming myself, so I actually had to put a lot of thought into it, so if this runs on, that's why.

1. Is the name you have now the same name that's on your birth certificate? If not, what's changed? No. My name was: Lisa Kay Broadbent. I changed it legally in 1993 to: Elisabeth Eilir Aranea Rowan.

2. If you could change your name (first, middle and/or last), what would it be? See above. People often ask me why I changed my name. I changed my name at a time in my life where I was re-inventing myself. I'd just gotten out of an abusive marriage (I never took his name), but also things came to a head with my father and we broke off contact with one another. Since I was doing that, I changed everything else.

3. Why were you named what you were? (Is there a story behind it? Who specifically was responsible for naming you?) My father named me, but I'm not sure why he chose Lisa. My mom wanted to call me Margaret, but everyone said that was too long a name with Broadbent. She would have nicknamed me Gretchen, which I just can't see myself as. Of course, it I were a boy, I would have been named either Gregory Scott or Dwayne. So maybe it's just as well that my dad did the naming. But I never really cared for my name. It seemed so ordinary, and short, with little to do in terms of nicknames, etc. I particularly didn't care for Kay. Being Southern, of course, I was (and still am Lisa Kay to my family). But I never could really see being a little old lady named Lisa. Of course, there will be a lot of little old lady Lisas when I'm old--it was so popular that I kind of felt it was overdone. I could never buy things with my name on it, because they'd be out. ;)

Elisabeth was a no-brainer since my family and friends were still going to call me Lisa--Lisa is taken from Elisabeth, you see. I've got some co-workers who call me Elisabeth and some have loosened up to Lisa. So it did give me a lot of other options. It's originally Hebrew ('Oath of God'), and when I took Hebrew at UK the rabbi who was teaching us gave me Elisheva--the Hebrew form--as my Hebrew name. So, even though I'm not Jewish, I have a Hebrew name. After all, a rabbi gave it to me, right? That seems official. :) My biggest trouble with Elisabeth is breaking people of the 'z' habit.

For a last name, I looked through my mother's family names, but I didn't really want to take on any of them--they're good Scottish and Irish names, but...ones like Roach. Not good in English. Rowan is a tree, the mountain ash, with religious overtones, but the name is also found in Northern England, Scotland and Ireland, so it matches my ethnicity. It's a tree of protection from harm. I use the form pronounce like rowing a boat, but around here there is a Rowan county that sounds more like 'there was a horrible row'. I answer to either--the sound variation oddly doesn't bother me, but putting a 'z' in Elisabeth does. Go figure.

I use Eilir online, mainly because there aren't a lot of them out there, and those are mostly in Wales. It means rebirth, or spring (my time of birth), or butterfly. It seemed appropriate at the time. Usually if there's an 'Eilir' on a post or web page, it's me. It is usually a man's name (the prettiest names in Welsh seem to be), and I once got an e-mail from an 18-year-old Welsh girl who was happy to see another female Eilir out there.

Aranea is Latin for spider, and that is a nod to a tutelary deity. Think of it as a sort of baptismal name for pagans.

You know the funny thing? I actually have learnt to like Lisa Kay. Since my family are the only ones who call me that, it's become a term of endearment. :)

4. Are there any names you really hate or love? What are they and why? Herbert. Gertrude. Harriet. Hubert. Wolfgang. Mafalda, Mathilda, Brunhilda. Trudence. Prudence (although Prue's okay)--notice a lot of those are German. Oh, and Angharad. I just don't like their sounds. Tristan and Kendra were my 'names' when I was growing up (you know, every girl has names for a son and daughter, I think). I also like Trevyn, Julian, Adair, Trevor, Colin, Gareth, Conal, Diarmid (pronounced 'Jarmidge'), Ciaran (pronounced 'Keeran'), Jaren, Kendra, Taryn, Alyssa, Brianna, Gillian, Miranda, Caitlin (which is supposed to be pronounced Kotch-leen) and Niamh (pronounced 'Neev'), all for the same reasons, plus most are Celtic. The ones I've put in the pronunciation for are all Irish, but I cant see giving them to a child here unless it were a middle name. No one would ever spell/pronounce them correctly.

Some names make me think of certain things--like Amelia, which makes me think of Amelia Earheart or my favourite mystery novel character, Amelia Peabody. I like Cassandra and Ophelia, but could never name a child after someone cursed in mythology or literature. I also don't believe in naming a child a Deity name (say, like Venus, Thor, or Rhiannon--although I love that name SO much) although diminutives and genitives are okay (i.e., Julian means Jove's child). Every Mary I've ever known has been a little bonkers (no offence, that's just been my experience). I think that's what happens when you name someone after the Virgin Mother of God. Superstitious, I know. Actually, there are just some names I wouldn't use simply because I've known people with it who I have known who were...unpleasant, crazy, or both: Chris, Gwen, Mary, Karen, and Sarah are all on that list.

Worst name an acquaintance has given a child: Tecumseh (good Indian name, of course, but for a little blonde boy in today's school system, you can imagine what it'll be shortened to). Oddest names I've known someone with: Jemearl (named for his father) and Anvia (a combination of two grandmothers' names).

Names I've given to characters in the game or their offspring: Rosalind, Melissa, Sarah, Ariana, Carolyn, Miranda, Therese (Tessa), Celeste, Amelia, Eric, Alejandra (Alandra), Kjell, Tristan, Jason, Lia, and Kaiya.

5. Is the analysis of your name at kabalarians.com accurate? How or how isn't it? Lisa and Eilir do not work well at all, but Elisabeth is right on. It says:

Your first name of Elisabeth has given you a friendly, likeable nature, and you could excel in artistic, dramatic, and musical expression. With this name, you desire the finer things in life, but you do not always have the resolve and vitality to put forth the effort necessary to fulfil your desires. Your emotional feelings are easily aroused and you will always be involved in other people's problems as a result of your overly sympathetic nature. You have many disappointments because of extending a helping hand to others in need, and then not receiving any acknowledgement or reciprocation for your generosity. After each experience, you have to guard against feelings of despondency and self-pity. You have high goals and ideals, but must incorporate more practicality, system, and concentration in order to materialise them.

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