What’s in A Name

My name is Elizabeth Ann (last name omitted for privacy reasons). The name is fairly common for women in my generation and the generation before mine. It is still popular today; Elizabeth is usually in the top 20 most popular baby names every year.   I was never completely fond of my name because of its popularity.  I used to tell people that I was named after Queen Elizabeth. However that was not true.

My parents named me Elizabeth Ann for two reasons. The first reason was because of their meanings. The origin of Elizabeth is Hebrew and it means God is my oath (this is what I found when I did a quick baby name search just now, but my parents told me something slightly different.  They said house of God or house of prayer). Whenever you have an “EL” in a name there is usually God in the meaning.  And they chose Ann for my middle name because it means grace. The second reason is because these names are found in the Bible. Elizabeth was the mother of John the Baptist. Her story is found in the first chapter of Luke. Ann is a derivative of Hannah. Hannah’s story can be found in the first chapter of 1 Samuel.

There are many nicknames for Elizabeth.  There is Eliza, Liz, Lizzy, Beth, Betsy, Libby, Buffy, and my personal favorite Betty.  I have been called Elizabeth, Beth Ann, Liz, Lizzy, Beef, Bethany, BethieBeth and Beth.  Out of all of these I despise Liz and Lizzy. Only two people are allowed to call me Liz and no one else.  One uncle refers to me as Beth Ann. One Uncle refers to me as Elizabeth. But everyone else just calls me Beth.   I started referring to myself in the past couple of years as Betty, but that is mostly on the internet.  I have always liked Betty as a nickname for Elizabeth and I figured if I wanted to be called Betty in my old age I would have to start referring to myself as Betty. Yes, I do realize that BettyBeth is pretty much the same as calling me, ElizabethElizabeth.  I like Beth too.  My parents have called me Beth my entire life, it is more my name than Elizabeth. It is not very common. Most people with the name Elizabeth are Liz.  However I do see that changing especially in Hollywood.

Growing up I never remember any main characters named Beth or secondary characters named Beth. There might have been like a background character referred to as Beth but they never returned to the show. I am speaking generally, not referring to any particular show.  In the recent past there has been the movie “I Love You Beth Cooper”.  There is another movie coming out with the Veronica Mars chick where the main character’s name is Beth.  I even saw someone named Beth that directed an episode of “30 Rock”. I think it’s great that the name Beth is becoming more mainstream, but all of these “Beths” are blonde (not sure about the director of the “30 Rock” episode though).  We need some brunette Beth’s out there. Unfortunately if it becomes too popular I am going to have to find a new nickname.


One thought on “What’s in A Name

  1. How ’bout Liza? Or Za Za… lol! I vote Beth, I do like Betty as well… but it would be hard to start calling you that because, to me, you are Beth!!

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