a rose by any other name

NaBloPoMo Day 7:
If you had to switch your first name, what name would you choose and why?

My name is Lori.

Back in the 60’s, when I was born, Lori was the #15-ranked name in America. (Yeah, baby – #15!) It dropped to #72 in the 70’s and – after a free fall in the 80’s – was basically gone by the year 2000. Virtually no baby is named Lori today; virtually everyone who spells it “L-O-R-I” is within 5-10 years of me in age. It’s kind of strange to have a name that can be pinned so specifically to one period in time.

I never minded my name. It goes beautifully with my last name, all L’s and R’s, and it rolls off the tongue. There’s just one thing; it always felt like a nickname, and I wished I had a more formal name as well, something that didn’t feel like a diminutive.

If I had to change my first name, I decided I’d like to keep one that has a similar meaning. My name comes from the word “laurel,” meaning “victory,” since winners in ancient times were crowned with laurel leaves. I decided to Google “names that mean victory” to see what else came up, and pick a name that meant the same as my own.

Lo and behold, there was the name I used to call myself when I was a little girl and wanted a pseudonym: Debbie. (Technically it means “bee,” but Deborah in the Bible writes a victory song in the book of Judges, so her name is also synonymous with victory.)

So I decided it was meant to be. If I had to change my name, I would change it to Debbie. It would be in honor of my little-girl self and my very best friend. (Love you, Deb!)

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