What’s in a name?

Up this week in Mama Kat’s vlogging workshop is “How did you parents choose your name? What does it mean?” Well it means white, fair, smooth, but that isn’t why they picked it. Here’s the story:

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My original idea for this video was to interview my mom. I had planned to take my iPad on a short trip we were taking to do some shopping and video her on the way. Unfortunately, I forgot the iPad at home. Too bad because it would have been vlogging gold.

“Crap! I forgot my iPad at home. I was going to do a video interview with you for my blog.”

“You can’t video me. I forgot my lipstick at home.” (She was being totally serious.)

“Well that would have been tragic.” (Sarcasm is a virtue.)

“Exactly.” (Again, totally serious.)

“Anyway… I was going to interview you about why you named me Jennifer. Why did you pick that name?”

“I didn’t. Your dad did.”

“Really? I didn’t know that. Do you know why?”

“No. Just that he liked it. I wanted to name you Natalie. But I liked Jennifer too.”

“Did you know it was so common?”

“Not at the time. That was pretty frustrating. And then we had a Jason too. But I didn’t name him either. You did. We were going to name him Jonathan.” (See what I saved you from baby brother.)

“That’s true. So you didn’t name either one of your kids? That doesn’t seem fair.”

“It wasn’t. But you know what was even more unfair? Neither one of you looked like me either.”

“That’s true. That pretty much sucks.”


This was way funnier in person. Plus? You would have gotten to hear how we sound exactly the same. I may not look like her, but I definitely got her voice. Her speaking voice anyway. She’s a beautiful singer and I can’t carry a tune in a bucket. Somehow that doesn’t seem fair either.

How did you get your name?


  1. says

    Ha! Too bad you couldn’t have gotten the interview on video. It sounds plenty funny just in words. Your mom’s response about why she couldn’t be interviewed because she didn’t have her lipstick is too funny :)

    and Hi from MK’s

    • says

      Oh, it would have been hilarious. There was so much more that was said that I can’t remember. We were both cracking up. I’ll have to try to interview her about something else another time.

  2. says

    I’ve never met another Arnebya (shocking, I know!). I’m often asked where it came from and the only answer I ever give is the one I heard my mother give when I was around 8: it’s made up. Um, OK then. No special stories here, move along.

    This is inspiring me to tell the story of my kids’ names, though. Only one of them have I ever heard before (it’s actually pretty common now, but 9 years ago it didn’t seem like it).
    Arnebya recently posted…That Time My Kid Was Kicked Out of DaycareMy Profile

    • says

      She is a true Southern woman for sure. You should see the look she shoots me if I let one of my kids walk out of the house in a wrinkled shirt. For shame.

  3. says

    I am named Jennifer for my grandma who was named Jennie.

    Oh my what a popular name you (we) have. The murdered story made me laugh. How strange to explain that one.
    Jen recently posted…Meet the CatsMy Profile

    • says

      I know. Crazy. I imagine in twenty… thirty… no, FORTY, yeah forty years tons of little girls will be named Jennifer after their grandmothers and the trend will start again.

  4. says

    Sexy Vixen? Oh dear. How embarrassing for everyone involved!

    My name is Hillary and my mom named me after one of her favorite students (who had cerebral palsy). The name means “full of laughter” and she said that that Hillary was the most joyful person she ever met.

    I try to live up to that.
    hilljean recently posted…Guest Starring: Hollow Tree VenturesMy Profile

    • says

      The sexy vixen thing was hilarious. The clerk helping me was about 20 years younger than me and the look on her face was priceless. She would look at the screen, and then me, and then the screen, and then me. So funny. I guess the good thing about that is that she thought it was as bad an email address as I did.

      I think living up to a joyful person would be something nice to live up to. Both of my aunts (the Ann part) are hell on wheels (in a good way). That’s something to live up too as well.

  5. Ashley says

    I don’t know who picked mine. I was adopted, and have asked everyone, (biological mom and adoptive family) but still don’t know. I’ve heard it was my adoptive mom who died when I was young. I also heard it was after the furniture company, but don’t know how true that is, lol. I made sure to pick normal, but not popular names for my children 😉

      • Ashley says

        Well, it was different, it was a family adoption, so they knew each other. I have my biological mother’s middle name. My family tree it just a big bag of chaos, lol.

  6. says

    Damn you for forgetting your iPad! I want to hear your Mom too! Ha ha!

    My mother just always liked the name Elaine. So I guess she won that battle. 😉 And I think I told you this before but I grew up with a lot of Jennifers and Michelles and I always wished I had one of those names b/c my friends who shared names were always bonding and NO ONE had my name. But now I’m pretty glad I have a less common name. :)
    Elaine recently posted…ThankfulMy Profile

    • says

      I’ll have to try to interview her about something else. Y’all would seriously be surprised to see how much we sound alike. On the phone people can’t tell us apart. And what’s really funny is that someone called me this week, Cady answered, and the person thought Cady was me. I guess the voice will continue. :)

  7. Carrie says

    My dad named me too! After a cute girl who worked the drive through at Jack-in-the-Box when he was a teenager. Pretty sure he didn’t tell my mom that was why he “just liked the name” until well after I was born. Lol!

    But I named my kid Jack, so I guess I’ve come full circle.

  8. says

    They had assumed I was a boy and I was going to be Aaron Albert. As they were wheeling my already very much in labor mom away– because that’s how they did it there and then, she looked up at my dad and said, “What if it’s a girl?” He said,”Hell, I don’t know.”

    I am named after her grandmother and his mother. I wonder if they felt honored by default.
    Maggie S. recently posted…To EdifyMy Profile