A Rose by Any Other Name....Might be a Rhonda

Recently, I was informed that Sarah Leah had been born. Sarah Leah! Thirty or forty years ago, few would have given their children such Biblical names. They were just too --well, too BIBLICAL! It caused me to reflect on how names have evolved. An aunt of mine, named Rebecca at birth, called Becky by her family, was Betty to everyone else. (Why, I wondered, did she prefer the Anglicized version of that beautiful Hebrew name.) My dad also had three names. He was born Jacob, shortened to Jake and finally to Jack. It seems that generations born before and during the Great Depression wanted to sound more American. Even before Shirley Temple made the scene, my name was a popular choice. When five Shirleys appeared in my third grade class, I volunteered to use my middle name. That didn’t last long, however, because I usually failed to respond when called upon. ?

When choosing names for my children, the style was to pick cute, catchy ones although not everyone bought into that. There were Candis and Kerris and Terris (mine) and lots of Mickeys and Randys and Billys. Those same kids began naming their offspring Lindsay and Lauren and Jamie (also mine, once removed) and Ashley and Courtney. Boys wereTyler and Taylor and Clint. But, a short time later, babies were being dubbed Rachel and Esther, Noah and even Abraham. It seems that the old saying "what goes around, comes around" is true, at least with names. Somehow, though, I just can’t imagine another little baby being named Shirley.

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