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Oh I’m Still The Top, Alright

So apparently, after 12 fantastic years, I am no longer #1. “Emily” has lost its spot as the most popular name for girls. Now it’s Emma. Whatever.



When I was a kid my mom had these cartoonish books for new parents, one of which was a book of baby names and the meanings of names. I liked to look up the meaning of my name and names of people I knew. “Emily,” according to this particular book, meant a healer and caretaker of the world. I did take on this sort of a role, looking out for the kids who were bullied, doing a lot of volunteering, taking care of my friends. Coincidence?

However, when I do a Google search now for the meaning and origin
of the name Emily, I find mostly that it comes from the Latin word
Aemilia, and it means to strive, excel, emulate or rival. Nothing about being a do-gooder. And I do have a perfectionism streak in me. Gosh. Make up your mind, people!


Another page in my mom’s silly book, sadly, had a list of top names and their common stereotypes. Under “Emily” it said: side-line sitter, shy. Well, I was offended…because it was sort of true. I hated sports. I did not feel like I fit in at all with my peers as a kid. Big crowds, shrieking people, popular music, athleticism – oh boy was I turned off. I was very shy until the end of high school.

Did my name and my associations with that name have anything to do with the personality I developed? If I had a different name, would I have been treated differently by other people and developed a different sense of self? Been more confident as a child? Or meaner?

Comments read comments(23)
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Your Name

posted May 12, 2009 at 2:33 pm

I’ve always wondered the same thing Emily. My mother had chosen a name for me while I was incubating.
The name…… Jessica.
Unfortunately, my cousin came on Chritmas and my aunt took the name. Hence my mother was caught out there pregnant and angry without a clue as what to call me. So she ask my Grandmother who whipped out the supersize Bible (so far the biggest Bible I have ever seen) went all the way to the back and found …. Damaris.
One sentence.
“When they heard about the resurrection of the dead, some of them sneered, but others said, “We want to hear you again on this subject.” At that, Paul left the Council. A few men became followers of Paul and believed. Among them was Dionysius, a member of the Areopagus, also a woman named Damaris, and a number of others.”
Yep that’s it. Heard the resurrction of Jesus. Drop everything to follow Paul.
As much as it scares me to admitt it I’m devotional to a fault.
As for my cousin Jessica…. Pretty dirty blond, with the cutest bow-tie lips you’ll ever see.

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