Since I finished reading The Namesake, I’ve been thinking more about how people get their names. The stories behind names usually fascinate me, and while mine is not particulary interesting, I’ll share it.

When my mother was a teenager, her parents divorced, and her father remarried some years later. So for my entire life, I’ve had Grandma Dee and Grandma Marilyn. Marilyn is my maternal blood grandmother, and Dee is my maternal stepgrandmother, if there is such a thing – although to me, they are both equally my grandmothers.

Dee’s name is Delores Rae (or maybe Ray, I’m not sure), and when she was young, her family sometimes called her Delorrie as a pet name.

My parents wanted to name me after her, but worried that Grandma Marilyn would quickly figure out where Lorrie Rae came from, and she would not be happy. Somewhere along the way, Lorrie became Lorie, and Rae became Anne. I asked my parents about this last night and the best they could come up with was that “Anne just went with Lorie.”

Originally I think the intention was to always call me Lorie Anne, in a sort of Southern, Ellie Mae kind of way. Many of my relatives on my mother’s side still call me that, and of course I get it from my parents when I’ve shocked or horrified them, but most people I know just use my first name. And I’m fine with that.

I’ve never had any huge major issues about my name, except that when I was in grade school, I had a minor speech issue that made saying my first name difficult. People would always repeat, “Glorie?” and, tired of trying to correct them, I just started agreeing. Which led to a teacher calling my parents at home one evening to discuss my potential identity crisis.

Other than that, Lorie Anne has been mostly smooth sailing.

What about you? Where did your name(s) come from?

14 Replies to “Namesakes”

  1. Well the story behind my real name is not too interesting…my parents named me after a character they liked on a popular sitcom at the time.

    However, the nickname my family calls me now, does have kind of a funny story…Every year on Christmas Eve, my parents and I would drive to my Grandparents house for a family gathering which included a trip to church, a nice dinner and a gift exchange. Well we’re not religious people at all, but we always went to church just to make my Grandparents happy. It was the nice thing to do. Plus, the Grandparents always sang in the choir so it was always interesting to listen to my Grandpa’s improv harmonies. Anyways, we’d been going for years and years and the regulars at the church recognized us by that point but never remembered our names. So as we were walking into the church one year, there was a man standing in the lobby shaking hands and greeting everyone. It was very noisy in the lobby as everyone was chattering. As I passed by the greeter he said hello to me and asked me what my name was.

    “Jessie”, I said. “Jaxxy? he said?”
    “Jessie” “Jaxxy?”
    “no, JESSIE” “Jaxxy?”
    “yes, Jaxxy.” After that many attempts I just had to go along with it.

    I told my family the story of what happened and a new name was born. That was probably 12 years ago and it’s still what they all call me.

  2. Hey, how about that, it’s not LorieStories as much as it’s The Lorie Anne Show!

    quickly. Every male in my family has Alberto in his name whether he uses it or not. My grandfather, Alberto Antonio, my father, Alberto Jose, my cousin, Eduardo Alberto … My father though, now in the US (from Nicaragua – and raised mostly in Downtown L.A.) decided that there were enough “Albertos” and that I didn’t need to have that. Given that, he decided that my Mom could go ahead and decide the issue.
    My Mom chose Brian Vincent. “Brian” was just because she liked it. (She was 19 – 20 when I was born) “Vincent” was because she loooved scary movies and really, really dug Vincent Price. I was to be called “Brian”.
    At the last minute my Dad decided that, no, I should also have his first name. My Mother agreed and moved Brian to the middle (throwing off “Vincent”) but she insisted that I be raised “Brian”.
    Fine, my Dad had compromised the family name with letting the nurse put down “Albert”. -and so it was, I was Brian until I got to New York. I used the opportunity to tack the “o” back on my name and started going by my first. (Yeah, it was a working through identity issues that I decided to hold on to despite my opportunity to go back to “Brian” when I moved to Dallas.)

  3. and, yes – I would have been “Vincent Vega” …and my hair was still long when that movie came out.

  4. I was named for an alcoholic virgin and a southern general… :) that’s what I’m gonna tell everyone. Also.. did you mention the Delorrie-Anne… Deloreoan thing and I missed it? Cause that’s cool.

    And you have my John Mayer CD, and I hate you for it! Mostly.

  5. ginny–you are better off without john mayer.

    i was named after the guy who introduced my dad and mom to each other.

    and my middle name was my mom’s dad’s name.

  6. I was named for my godmother, whose name is actually Mary Sandra, and everyone calls her Sandy. She is the person who introduced my mom and dad. My middle name, Colleen, comes from the fact that my sister begged my parents to name me for her best friend, Colleen, so they made it my middle name. If you ask my mom that now, she will deny it so hard you know it must be true. She claims that they “just liked Colleen.”

  7. Did you know that while someone (or something) that’s named after something else is a namesake, the original person (or thing) is an eponym? If you did not already know that, you probably just fell out of your chair. I’ll give you a second to get back up. OK? Alright. So I will be posting more nigh-pointless comments in the future and totally blowing your mind with facts of all shapes. Like when I asked my dad why they named me Michael and he answered “Well, it was a popular name … at the time” without the slightest hint of sarcasm. So yeah. I got my name because it was popular … at the time.

  8. I’m Bethany Claire after my mom’s college roommate and still very good friend Claire, who lived near Bethany Beach, which I think is in Maryland.

  9. I was named after the balding, nerdy guy on Benson. No, really. And my aunt Carol picked out my middle name, Alexis, just because she didn’t have any kids (yet) and liked it. This was pre-“Dynasty,” by the way. That’s about all there is to that. BOR-ing.

  10. Dude, I like how the reply thing knows it’s me. Not really, it kinda creeps me out. 1) i love mayer 2)and jack johnson

    So, onto the real reason why I’m posting.My name ‘Samantha Rose’ a very girly name actually comes from 2 dudes, both navy dudes. Samantha came from a navy seal and very good friend to my parents while they were in the navy, his name is Sam and Rose comes from the last name of another one of my parents navy friends.

  11. Hugo was my father’s father’s father’s name. It was not an easy name to grow up with, but I love it now.

  12. i loved the book, myself. my parents also considered naming me kirstin (after my dad’s high school girlfriend or something…. nice one) or geneve (my mom’s choice). they compromised after they saw a commercial and thought “hey, that actress has a good name!”

    sometimes i wished my mom had won — how much sexier would i have been with an exotic, french-sounding name one letter away from the name of one of the world’s most sophisticated cities? then again, maybe i would have turned into a snotty brat. we’ll see. but, like gogol, i think a name is something you will always love and always hate and never be able to run away from. so, here i am.

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