The Name Game

During my mother’s pregnancy with god’s gift* she was confronted with a challenging decision — what should I name this child? As most mothers are left with deciding this life-altering name; my mother chose in a wise manner. With the support of her husband, friends and family, she made an unwritten list of potential “winners”. Not knowing the sex of the child proved even more difficult as names of the opposite sex were being thrown around in an intense manner. As a matter of fact, everybody thought I’d be a boy. Therefore I was officially a “Jake”. Such conjecture was achieved through the act of mythical games such as examining the shape of my mother’s stomach and the detestable morning sickness she experienced, which was supposed to support the idea that I’d be a male. With good common sense, my mother still decided on a list of possible girl names too, just in case. Gabrielle, Louise, Elizabeth ….

But she knew I’d be a Jake. The stomach size proved it!

When I was passionately liberated from my mother’s womb, reality proved to disagree with such mythical theories.
The child proved to be a girl. 

Once again, names were being thrown around as if there were no tomorrow, as old names were being replaced with new ones.

During this time, my mother was a die-hard fan of the television show Dallas. Yes, I understand that the series ended in 1988 and I wasn’t born until 1992, but remember, Australia is a bit behind the USA. Anyway, my mother’s favourite character was Jenna Wade, played by Priscilla Presley. I don’t know whether the character resulted in my mother’s immediate liking of the name or not, but I do know that she fell in love with it. To be completely honest, I believe that the character of Jenna was a major contributing factor to her automatic liking of the name. If the show wasn’t around, I’m 95% sure that my name would not be Jenna. It’d most definitely either be Gabrielle or Louise. Oh, unless I was a boy, then it’d definitely be Jake. No exceptions.

My brother was born two years later. I’m guessing you think his name is Jake? No. It’s not. Funnily enough, my mother thought she was having another girl, and as a result decided she’d name it Meg. Not after a character, or a friend, but simply because she formed a liking to it. Anyway, the child turned out to be a boy, which she was ecstatic about. She had both a girl and a boy, which many of her friends did not. He would either be namedMitchell or Blake. She chose the latter.

I find the story behind a name interesting. For some, it may come from a celebrity or character, like my name. Or simply the parents taking an immediate liking to a name which may have developed from a young age, or in the delivery room. Maybe such a decision may have eventuated from an intense reading of The Encyclopaedia of Baby Names, or after a loved one, such as a mother, father, sibling or friend. Everybody’s name has a story behind it, which I find very fascinating. I love hearing the stories behind such names, as it essentially forms your own life story too.

What’s the story behind your name? Does it “suit” your personality? Or does your personality “suit” it? Is it a reflection of society or the time in which you were born? Or is it simply not your taste? Everybody has a story. 

Oh, and just for fun-

Jenna Jenna bo Benna!  Banana fanna fo Fenna!  Fe fi mo Menna!  JENNA!

* Obviously me. Well, come to think of it, I don’t want to sound like a pretentious prat. 

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