I had a friend, someone who knows me under the name I use as an author—Laurie Ryan—express surprise that my legal first name is actually Laurene. Now, this is someone I’ve known for, oh, 5-6 years. It surprised me that, somehow, I had drawn such a line between these two aspects in my life.
I love my name. Laurene. It means “laurel” and that’s not a bad thing, since laurel leaves were used in ancient Rome to create victor’s garlands. It’s a derivative of a family name, Lorraine, and that pleases me, too. Except for the fact that it seemed too formal for me. Which is the reason that, since my childhood, I’ve been known as Laurie. It has much more of a relaxed feel. Comfortable. Easy to get along with (something I hope describes me).
And maybe there’s not as much separation as I think between my career and the rest of my life. Even my family is used to calling me Laurie. So much so that my mother, siblings, and grown children all write checks out to me using “Laurie”. Which means that, at the bank, who knows me as Laurene, I have to sign them twice. Once the way the check was written, and once in my legal name. I don’t mind. I love that they know me as Laurie. That’s my personality.
Here’s my question to you. What does your birth name mean? Does it fit you? Have you morphed it into something that feels more you? Here’s a website I found where you can check the meaning of your name. I like this particular one because it had some of the more unusual names I know listed.
posted by Laurie Ryan