The Many Variations of Elizabeth

Elizabeth

Liz

Lizzie

Beth

Betsy

Bettina

Bets

Lizbeth

Lizabeth

Eliza

Elisa

Elise

Lisa

Liza

Betty

Elzbieta

Elspeth

And many, many more for many different languages and spellings. I find it completely fascinating that 1 name can have so many different variations, nicknames, and spellings. Some of the variations don’t even look related! Like Bettina and Liz.

Do you have a name with many variations and/or spellings? Please share in the comments.

What’s In a Name?

A rose by any other name would smell as sweet, said Shakespeare. And while bleeding hearts flowers are just as pretty as dancing ladies flowers (they are the same plant), would you be the same person with another name? Usually our names are carefully chosen for us by our parents before we are born, but somehow come to be just like us. For good or ill, we live up to our names.

Have you ever wanted to change your name? Why? Did you want a different image? A different past? A different future?

Did you actually change your name? What was that like?

I changed my last name when I got married. Somehow, I think of that as being different than changing a first or middle name. Usually women do change their middle names to their maiden names when they change their last names when they get married. I did not, feeling that changing my middle name would be too much of a change of identity.

Many women nowadays do not change their last names when they get married, feeling that it is a remnant of patriarchy to make their husband’s last name their own. In fact, some men are changing their names to match their wives’, and other couples are both changing their names to matching hyphenated ones.

What are your thoughts and experiences with changing last names upon marriage? If you are married, did you change your name? If you are not married, would you? And feel free to share about gay marriage name-changing practices, too, I have not heard enough about those to feel like I should write about what people are doing there.

Names do matter, but in ways that are not always obvious.

Baby Names More Important than we Thought

A picture of a young child

Image via Wikipedia

A new study claims that baby names reveal more variety and carry information about the parents, their education, socioeconomic status, and other details. As the number of names used for new babies increases, the amount of information conveyed by the names also increases.

Neither of the articles I looked at had anything to say about what, exactly, was conveyed by a particular name. This does not seem like a particularly useful study, in that case. If all the researchers can tell us is that more variety in baby names generates more information about the parents, then I could have told them that myself.

Come back when you can give me some really useful information, like what tax bracket I fall in based on what I named my kid. Then I’ll be interested.

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