This post is written to link with Five Minute Friday: write for five minutes on a one-word prompt. The prompt today is “name.”
It’s always interesting to hear the stories of how people got their names. Often they’re chosen for a reason – named after a family member, or because the name has a significant meaning – or else it’s just a name their parents particularly liked.
I sometimes wish I had a significant story behind my name.
The reality is my parents knew exactly what name they planned to name a boy but hadn’t got round to coming up with one for a girl (to be fair, I did arrive three weeks early). Apparently they spent three days considering just about every name they could think of, got to the point where they didn’t really like any of them, and eventually settled for Lesley.
As a name it’s been OK. I’ve liked the fact that it’s neither extremely unusual nor super-common. I can tell people my name without getting strange looks, but in most situations I have been the only Lesley, which has avoided the confusion experienced by those who share their name with several others everywhere they go.
I do wish it had a better meaning. According to online name dictionaries, it either means “garden of holly bushes” or “from the grey fortress” (wherever that is!). Other people’s names seem to have meanings that are much more profound.
And then there’s the issue of spelling my name. Let me make a confession: I find it incredibly frustrating when people spell my name “Leslie”. I give a lot more grace to people from America because I know that’s how it is usually spelled there, but in Scotland, “Leslie” is the masculine form of the name (though it is very rare these days) and “Lesley” is used for a girl. I understand there could be confusion if people haven’t seen it written down, but I do find it frustrating when people reply to my emails with the wrong spelling!
It wasn’t until I was in my early 20s that I began to like my name a bit more, thanks to Robert Burns, when I discovered that he had written a poem entitled “Bonnie Lesley”.
“To see her is to love her,
And love but her forever.
For nature made her what she is,
And never made anither!”
I’ll take that! 🙂
I don’t know how you feel about your name, but, whatever the story behind it, whether your feelings are positive or negative, the important thing is that God knows. He knows us by name, and he calls us by name.
“O Israel, the one who formed you says, “Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine.” (Isaiah 43:1 NLT)
And if you don’t like your name, you can hold on to the hope given in a rather intriguing verse in Revelation where God says, “To everyone who is victorious… I will give to each one a white stone, and on that stone will be a new name that no-one understands except the one who receives it.” (Revelation 2:17 NLT)
I wonder what those new names will be…
What about you? Does your name have a special meaning or a story behind it? What do you like or dislike about your name?