What’s in a Name?

Names. Your parents spend months discussing them, sometimes even before you’re an air-breathing creature. Or maybe they wait until you come screaming into the world to decide if you’re a Ryan or an Ashley or a Mike or a Sarah. Names have been in our world since the beginning of time, and each one has a meaning. People everywhere want to know why that name is on their birth certificate, why that word is used to describe them. Names can bring people so much joy and happiness. So, why do people attempt to change theirs in a wish to fit in with the crowd?

“My middle name is my mother’s first name, which is Faye. And my mother liked names that begin with L. I have another sister whose name starts with L,” says Lisa Croce, science teacher at Woodland, on her moniker.

“I have never wanted to go by a nickname…after all, it only has two syllables,” Croce says with a chuckle.

Amanda Neff, a junior, says that her parents decided to name her Amanda because it means “beloved” and it was a song by the oldies band Boston, of whom they were big fans.

“I was going to be Alex, but then they were just like ‘No’,” Zackary Arzano, a sophomore at Woodland, says of his parents’ decision to name him Zack. He says that he does not know why they picked his name but otherwise stated that he likes it and that it’s a good choice for him.

Although most people tend to appreciate their given name,  intern Cody Yacavone had a more difficult time adjusting to hers.

“Growing up, I hated my name,” she says. “Everyone would make fun of me because my name is Cody. They would say “Isn’t that a boy’s name?” Especially during middle and high school, it was really embarrassing.”

Today she’s singing a completely different tune.

“I’ve grown to appreciate it over the years. I like having a name that’s different than everyone else’s,” Yacavone says.

Names make up so much of every aspect of our lives. We need them for school applications, for job interviews, for hanging out with friends. Sure, we may have different names or at least different spellings of them, but one thing remains the same:  They are a label of love given by our parents on the celebration of new life that will last for all generations.