Do you like your name?

What’s your name? Do you like it?

I like my first name, although my sister is always ready to point out that it is a “seventies” name. My name reminds me of myself 😊. I am named after my mom’s best friend and I like to think that I have now taken over that role.

My last name is Merrell and I’m a fan of that too. It comes from the word “Merle”, which means blackbird in French, and I think it’s a pretty name. My family has our genealogy for several centuries and I have some cool ancestry. My ancestor Captain Benjamin Merrill was a ‘belligerent’ colonist in North Carolina and way back in the 1200’s my ancestors were noblemen living in the Chateau de Merle. In college, I visited the Merle Castle and took a tour and it was soo cool. I’m really proud of my last name.

For some reason, I like to imagine the conversation at the arrival counter at Ellis Island. A brand new American immigrant, ‘fresh off the boat’ as we all were at some point, is being interrogated and says their name, and the person behind the counter misspells it or can’t hear them, or the new American decides to just say something random and make it their new name. Is that how last names evolved? I also like to wonder how our ancestors originally earned their last names. Did someone in the generations of the Merrell line look like a blackbird? Or like blackbirds?

Did you take your husband/partner’s last name? Would you? A handful of my married friends have kept their last names and I had a coworker whose husband dropped his last name and took hers when they got married. I thought that was sort of progressive and cool.

I’m always interested in celebrities’ names, because it can make such a difference in career and box office sales. Here is a list of celebrities who have changed their names. I know John Legend had much bigger success when he changed his last name and I’m curious if James Clear’s last name was originally ‘Clear’. It is a very marketable last name, especially for a productivity coach.

What about you? Do you have names you love? Or names that make you cringe? What’s the story behind your name?

Thanks for reading.

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