Friday, 11 February 2011

What's In A Name?

Auntie Dorothy
Looking through my picture folders just now, I found this photo I took many years ago.

I still love looking at this beautiful lady, who was one of my husband's aunties.  She, together with my own Auntie Nell, who was also christened Dorothy, was part of the reason why we chose to give our  daughter the name Dorothy for her middle name. Unfortunately, this was not appreciated by my offspring, even though I explained it meant 'Gift of God', and was particularly appropriate as I had almost given up producing a baby!
I wonder how many of us are happy with the names our parents chose for us?

I've linked this to Sepia Saturday, as Friday is so close to the weekend! 

Saturday Morning Extra! I've just remembered I have a photo of her taken on 21 December, 1921. Even more beautiful, eh?


  1. My mum named all four of us before we were born so we could either be boys or girls. I would have been Francis with an 'i' if I'd been a boy. I have siblings Christine (potentially Christopher), Michaela (potentially Michael) and Leslie (potentially Lesley). Forward planning or what?

  2. I dislike my name and am only faintly consoled by the fact that my father had wanted to call me Catriona or Morag ( he was going through a rather Gaelic phase at the time , working as a firespotter for the Scottish Forestry Commission , somewhere in Perthshire ).
    But middle names are traditionally chosen in honour of dear old aunts or mothers-in-law , dear or otherwise .

  3. Naming a child is done in a hundred different ways. I never planned. It just came when I looked into that tiny precious face. Such a sweet photo for SS.

  4. I was named after Kristin Lavransdatter and always liked my name. When I got old enough to read the book I liked the book too.

  5. My kids were adopted and they already had names before we got them. I did not rename the oldest because we all liked her name and she did not want to change it. My youngest hated her name and I did not care for it so we changed it. She chose the first name and I chose the second. I do not like my name very much.

  6. Yes, she is a beautiful lady. I was named Stella after my Oma. The other grandma was called Ethel so I reckon I got the best end of the deal!

  7. I never identified with my middle name and changed it to its abbreviation - Z - it's a legal change but on the whole I don't mind the rest of it.

  8. She is so beautiful. I think I would be honored to be named after her.
    I was named after Queen Christina of Sweden, but only after my mother capitulated and agreed not to name me Yoshi. I'm a little sorry, even if it is a Japanese Boy's name.

  9. She looks like she should have been an author. I can imagine this photo on back of the book jacket. She is beautiful.

    I would have been Arthur if nature had taken another direction.

  10. It is a particularly fine photograph. A moment captured with such clarity.
    Regards, Alan (Michael) Burnett

  11. Since I have two families, adopted and biological, I will answer the question as best I can. My maiden name was Richardson, and my given names were Carol and Ann. Since Mother was not supposed to have children based on her Mother's case oy uremia and death two weeks after she wws born,she considered the fact she was allowed to chose between a boy or girl a privilege and joy, hence Carol, Not sure how Ann got in as middle name, but initials whidh spelled a word were considered a good luck omen


    All the following comments will have my name on the start, but the correct author at the end. Explanation of why is in today's post!

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  14. Beautiful pictures--I love black and whites too. Kids never appreciate their namesakes. My mother named me after her favorite book and I never thanked her for that--too many people name their dogs Heidi. ;-) Cheers!

  15. What a beautiful lady!
    I would have been Christopher had I been a boy.
    The name Christine went out of vogue for some years in the UK after the Profumo affair and the notorious Christine Keeler. I've always been reasonably happy with my name, but like Christohpher better. Pity that the female equivalent of Christopher isn't Christophera - I'd have liked that even tho' it sounds vaguely horticultural.

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  17. Beautiful lady- I think Dorothy was a a very popular name back in the day.
    As to my own, I don't like it now, didn't like it in school and if I had my druthers would have changed it. In fact, the only person who ever called me by my real name was my mother, and only when I was in trouble. I've gone by my nickname for as long as I can remember
    South West Arkie

  18. I am very happy with my name - now. I was called Cindy for most of my life and I never felt comfortable with it. I began using my given name, Cynthia, about 25 years ago and felt like I had finally found a pair of shoes that fit properly. You can tell how long I've known someone by whether they call me Cindy or Cynthia.
    Wonderful post and beautiful pictures!
    Muse Swings

  19. A lovely lady indeed, and aunts are like a gift from God aren't they? My daughter is very close to her aunties....especially the one aunt who never had her own children....!
    Karen S

  20. I have always been quite happy with my names - Patricia Ellen - but my granddaughter has never liked her middle name, which is Constance
    The Weaver of Grass

  21. Dorothy is stunning and the black and white photo shows her off grandly. Dorothy was a popular name in one time, we were discussing this week how names come and go and now the forgotten names are returning. I never liked my name and spelled it so many different ways through out adolescence that one never knew which way I'd spell Patty or Patricia; I long ago accepted Pat. I was the first Patty/Patricia in the family My middle name Louise was for my father, Lou. I chose Elizabeth for my confirmation name and never used it after that.
    Pat transplanted to MN

  22. My middle name, Stanley, was not much loved by me, but I don't so much mind it now. It was my grandfather's middle name, but he used it as his first.

  23. jinksy i've not really thought much about my names but i'd say i am grateful for the name steven and in particular that it's spelt with a "v" and not a "ph", a choice that my parents made because they thought it would make it easier to spell for other people. ha! more often than not i get the "ph" because it's more commonly used.

  24. I heard of a couple - Mr. and Mrs. Carte - who named their son Orson.
    Doctor FTSE

  25. At first I thought she was an author. It could have been a photo from the cover of a book. I prefer the photo you took to the older one. It's a beautiful portrait.
    My sister chose my name. If I'd been a boy, my brother would have chosen the name. I believe it would have been Peter. In my sister's class there was a beautiful girl, very popular, who was called Carolina. Hence...
    I believe someone once said (I vaguely remember reading the quote): it is always difficult to think of a name for your child, unless you have rich parents.

  26. Truthfully, I think she's more beautiful in the first photo. It's a wonderful portrait.. beautifully composed. You must be VERY proud of that picture.

    As a kid, I didn't like my name at all because it was different. As I grew older, I came to like it for the same reason. :)

  27. Lovely portrait shots.
    I like the name my parents gave me, my daughters haven't started complaining about their names yet, hope they will never. :)

  28. The picture of Auntie Dorothy as a younger woman is beautiful. Her face is so full of wonder. The photo of Auntie Dorothy in later years is a photo that could win a photo contest. I am so intrigued with the pose, the still beautiful skin, the flyaway hair, and the background that is perfect against the print of her dress. I really like it.

  29. I've always liked the name Jim, but I can take or leave James. I always put 'James' on forms and such, but use 'Jim' for friends. That way, whenever I get a phone message for 'James', I know it's from someone who doesn't really know me.

  30. Well, your little mishap caused me to come and stick my nose in. I like my name - Janice - and am glad my brother didn't get his choice for me, which was Rosemary. My mother really wanted to call me Jane but our surname was Mayne so I would have become Plain Jane Mayne!!
    The only one of our four children who had a name chosen beforehand was the youngest, Bethan. Well, I decided on it and persuaded (browbeat) Barry into agreeing.

  31. I'm still finding comments! lol! This one was from Maggie May:-

    It is strange how names come in & out of fashion.
    I think I was named after Princess Margaret & most of the friends I have with names derived from that, are all in my age group. There are no tiny Maggies about these days.
    All the Dorothys that I know are older than me. Probably my Mum's age.

    I think it is typical that our children don't like their names. My son does, but my daughter has shortened her name and won't respond to the one she was given!
    Maggie X

  32. Your Aunt's photo is wonderful. I think we all have names that we may want to change, but the name our parents give us makes us who we are.

  33. Dorothy was a beautiful woman! I, too, had a beloved Auntie Nell (short for Eleanor in her case.) Most teenage girls go through a period when they wish they were named differently. My daughter, Sarah-Beth, thought her name silly and babyish. She wished to be an Emma. Now, at 28, she loves her name. I think, maybe, we appreciate our names more as we grow older.

  34. Aunty Dorothy is a beauty.I bet she would be tinkled pink to know that she was featuring on the world stage

  35. now that you're done messing things up with the comments, i feel i can safely say what i want to say: beautiful lady, with a beautiful name. if your daughter has issues with it now, it may change over time as she'll learn to appreciate certain things.
    as for myself, i like my name, which i do not disclose on blogger (apologies!!), but half of it is inspired by a pope, and the other half, my usual name, is inspired by a german actor from the '50s, i think... my mom loved cinema.

    now, please!! don't delete me!!
    just step away from those buttons. don't click on anything...


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