The Power of Names

This week’s DPchallenge is asking us to look at names: “explore your history with names. What meaning does your name have to you? What power does it have over you? Do you have a nickname when you are at home, but not in the world at large? Or vice versa?”

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My given name has never been uttered on this site.  In fact, I’m not even sure if I’ve ever referred to myself with any kind of name.  For the purpose of this blog, I will share my name… (Can you feel my personal struggle to let this identifier out there – on the world wide web?)

I am not ashamed of my name.  My name is fairly uncommon for a woman.  I mean, I’ve met maybe 3 or 4 different ladies with my name, but each of us spell our names differently.  The power of my name is that my anonymity feels less secure in the fact that my name is uncommon – I’m more easily identified by others in my professional field and circle of friends.  “Hey, do you know Her?  Why yes, I know Her because she’s probably the only lady with Her as a name among social workers in this area, maybe even in the entire state.”

So alas, my name is Ricki.  My aunt once gave me a name card with the meaning of the name written across the top with a Bible verse below.  The card stated that Ricki means “peaceful ruler”.  According to BabyNames.com, “Ricky” is a boy’s names that means “brave ruler” and alternate spellings include: Rikki, Rickey, Ricki, Riqqi.

I was named after my father, Richard (shocker).  My parents had intended to have 2 children – they ended up with 5.

I do not dislike my name (anymore).  I do not love my name, either.  I used to really dislike my name because people would call me Ricki Lake.  I **HATE** that.  I am not Ricki Lake.  I am me.  No one else.  Don’t call me Ricki Lake. Ever. Period.  Thanks.

I do have an obsession with names.  I love to write down names that intrigue me.  My #1 baby boy name to use is Sean (God is gracious).  Sean has been my #1 boy name for years and years.  My #1 girl name has changed over the years.  Rose is my current favorite.  It has also been Cornelia, Josephine, Veronica, Natalie, and Miranda.

I tend to like different names based on how they sound, rather than their meanings.  For example, I love the name Penelope, which means “with a web over her face”.  Not the greatest meaning, but the name is beautiful.

When I think about the “power” of names, I tend to think of how I associate the name.  For example, I used to love the name Katie/Katherine.  However, my ex before my recent ex cheated on me with a Katie.  I no longer like Katie.  Katie is a cheating whore.  Or at least, an adulterous woman.  No good.  I could never name a child Dave/David because nearly every Dave/David I’ve met has been an asshole (my personal experience).  One of my grandmother’s first names is Della.  I love the name because she’s a beautiful lady.  I can see myself using the name Mark because he was my all-time favorite uncle – he passed away in May 2002.

Character names and celebrity names are powerful in that they can sway the names parents use for there children.  Isabella, anyone?  Isabella was ranked #60 in US births in 1999.  In 2001, Isabella was ranked #28.  In 2002, #14; in 2003, #11; in 2004, #7.  In 2007 Isabella was ranked #2 and in 2009, #1.  The latest stats are from 2012, in which Isabella is ranked #3.  I have a feeling that the name George will rise in popularity on the 2013 and 2014 name chart (you know, there was a prince born in July 2013 with the name George).  Currently George is ranked #166 in US births.

Side note: Ricki was ranked #941 in 1994 and #964 in 1995.  Since then “Ricki” has not been in the top 1000 names in the US.

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “The Power of Names

  1. Nicely told – and I like your name. 🙂 I’m glad you shared it. I took this DP Challenge, too, and told my secret names. Come visit if you’re interested!
    http://melanielynngriffin.wordpress.com/2014/03/20/the-power-of-names-meet-my-multiple-personalities/
    Peace, Ricki!

  2. Pingback: We, the Dragons, shall live, for all eternity! | Wired With Words

  3. Pingback: Weekly Writing Challenge: Power of Names | Cancer Isn't Pink

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