Monday, April 18, 2016

Growing Up With My Name

I've seen this as a trending topic on Twitter.  This was also something I recalled in writing my rough draft.  And I've seen this meme on Facebook and elsewhere:

Here’s to the kids who never found their name on anything in a souvenir store. #thanks #canadaswonderland #9gag #childhoodtrauma #immigrantparents #italian #european #firstworldproblems #joke #toofunny #idbracelet ⭐#jewellery

I rarely ever found my name on souvenirs like cups and key chains, and rarely met others who had the same name as mine. It seemed like every other girl at school was named Jennifer, Karen, Lisa, Michelle, Julie, Elizabeth and the like.  Even Patty or Christina was more frequently heard than my name was.  I was envious of those with the popular names, always seeing their names these things.  I once used some iron-on letters to put my name on  a sweatshirt sleeve, something that seemed to be popular then, but other kids laughed at me for doing so.

Also, people almost never got the spelling right. This still occurs today, even when they see my name on Facebook. How could they not see it right there?

I'd certainly be wealthy if this were true.

What problems did you face if you did not have a common name? Or if you had one that can be spelled different ways (for example: Catherine, Katherine, Kathryn, and all the other possible spellings)?  Or an unusual spelling of a common one?  I know someone who spells her first name Jennefer and have seen Jesica or Jessika instead of the more common Jessica.  No doubt you've seen the spellings Alison, Allison, or Alyson, but how about Alicyn? It's doubtful these versions of these names ever turn up on souvenirs.


  1. Growing up in the US with an extremely Irish name is its own little circle of hell. I used to get so excited when we arrived back in Ireland for holidays and I could buy a keychain or a mug or a teddy bear with my name on it. My name is extremely common over there, like every other girl is called Aisling (pronounced ASH-ling).

  2. LOL, my name was a HUGE trend in the 70s as a baby name. I was going to be named Elizabeth, but my mom saw Stephanie and grabbed it. My sister was named Jennifer. You probably couldn't find either of those names in a souvenir store today. The trend came and went and now nobody names their kids Stephanie or Jennifer!