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What's in a Name?

What's in a name? I personally like to be called by my own name!

It irks me that on most forms there is a place for Miss, Ms, Mrs, and Widow. Why do they have to know if we are single or married and whether our spouse is deceased or living?

Think about it - there is only one place for men, "Mr". There is no place where they have to tell their marital status. It apparently doesn't matter if they are a widower, bachelor, married, or single.

I also do not like to be called "Mrs. - whatever". That to me says "married and property of", or "Look, I was able to catch a man." When I was growing up all the "Mrs. So and So's" seemed very old, or was it that I was so young - sigh.

In this day and age when individualism seems so important, I feel that Mrs. is an unnecessary label for me (am I a little off kilter here or do you agree)?

My name is Patricia, which I really like. It has many possibilities. It can be very formal when needed (not often). I know when a caller asks for Pattie that they are from my past and close to me.

Pat is the name I use most often. Pat doesn't convey a sex, but a person. Sometimes a tricky salesman trying to get through will call the office and ask to speak to Pat. "Can I say what this is concerning" "oh it's personal he and I are good friends", Oh no we're not! Gotcha! I love it when this happens.

Names are a very private thing and yet so much can be told by them. When we like or dislike someone a lot it can affect the way we feel about the name. Remember Johnny Cash's song "A Boy Named Sue"? You wouldn't dare name a baby Adolph, Osama or Saddam would you?

Different decades bring different names. How many Berthas' do you know that are under ten years old? With exception of people who are named after relatives, a good friend, or for some special reasons, you can almost tell the decade they were born in.

It is surprising how much information is given in something as simple as a name. Below are some of the popular names from the decades. Today many people are inventing names from places they have been like Dakota or Cheyenne - or something in their lives. These have not made the most popular lists yet but they are beautiful and intriguing.

A lot of girls are named after famous actresses of the time. Shirley was very popular back in the 30's and 40's I have to believe Shirley Temple had something to do with that.

Looking back at the 20's and before there was Agnes, Edna, Marie, Catherine, Bernet, Rose, Mae, Irene, Margaret, Ruth, Virginia, Mildred and Betty.

The 30's brought about Dorothy, Rita, Jean, Susan, Joan, Helen, Ruth, Virginia, Elizabeth, Mary Beth, Doris, Shirley, Delores, Frances, Lois, Alice (Alice Faye was popular then wasn't she?) Joyce, Nancy Florence, Gloria and Marilyn.

The forties saw a lot of Carol, Judith, Beverly, Linda, Phyllis, Barbara, Patricia, Norma, Joyce and Carolyn.

The 50's gave us Linda, Deborah, Kathleen, Carol, Sharon, Karen, Janice, Diane, Cynthia, Christine, Judy, Janet, Beverly and Tammy (remember the song by Debbie Reynolds).

In the 60's Lisa, Sandra, Laura, Nancy, Lori, Cheryl, Kimberly, and Janice made the top on most lists.

The 70's saw Jennifer, Michelle, Angela, Amy, Melissa, Tracy and Stephanie.

The 80's brought us Jessica, Amanda, Sarah, Nichole, Heather, Rebecca, Erin, Amber, Rachael and Megan.

The 90's was Ashley, Brittany, Stephanie, Samantha, Kaitlyn, Taylor, Haley, Alexis, Hannah, Laura, Jasmine, Courtney, Lauren, Jasmine and Alyssa.

Our new century has brought a lot of Megan, Emily, Madison, Sarah, Isabella, Haley, Kaitlyn and Hannah.

It seems to me that a lot of the Biblical names are coming back as well as the ones from the covered wagon days. Many new names have surfaced - many of which have not made the list of popular names because they are so special and few of a kind.

Some names remained popular throughout the decades but I did not repeat them. I also didn't bother to mention Mary (and all variations) as well as Ann and Elizabeth. These are popular in all decades and probably always will be, and I'm glad.

This column is getting lengthy so I will not go into the clue surnames can give like what country or even part of what country you ancestors came from. We'll save nick names for later too - that will be fun.

Granted we don't pick our names and the obvious does not always prove true, but it is remarkable how often it does. As many people complain they hate their names (which by the way they are called many times a day) few bother to change them.

What's your name? Tell us about it and if you like it.

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