Friday, August 01, 2014

friday five: what's in a name?

Lately I’ve been a bit obsessed with tracking some genealogical mysteries in my family. I’m reaching back through generations into the past, but I’m also moving from the past toward the present in an effort to locate cousins descended from the same ancestor. Naming patterns prove to be useful clues in these endeavors, and in turn, lead me to today’s Friday Five theme.

Share with us:
1) Is there a story behind your name?
It just so happens that there is! I am the seventh in a line of women to be called Anne McKinne. The name zig-zags a bit through the generations to get from my 4th great-grandmother to me, but my mother and grandmother share the name. I'm sad that I don't have a daughter to pass the name to, but I'm honored to be the last to bear this name.
The first Anne McKinne (portrait), me (# 7) with my grandmother (#5)

2) If you have children, how did you choose his/her/their name(s)? If you don’t have children, how about a pet?
I don't have children, but I take seriously giving my pets names that have some sort of story or meaning. Except for the dogs of my youth, my Shelties and Border Collie carried Celtic names: Avalon, Rory, and Brenna. Dooley was named for a character in Jan Karon's "Mitford" series books. Rigel, our German short-haired pointer (pictured, right), is named for the brightest star in the constellation of Orion (the Hunter), due to the star-shaped blotch of white on his forehead. McKinlee is named to honor a dog-loving friend who took his own life the same week that McKinlee joined the family. The story behind Juliet's name is too complicated to go into, but officially she is "The Lady Juliet," and it suits her regal nature.

3) I named the stand mixer in my kitchen Ethel, and a friend of mine names her plants. Do you ever name household items, and what inspires the names behind them?
I don't name such items often, but when I do I try to choose a name that conjurs up a notion of fun and whimsy.
4) Do you daydream about what you might name a boat, a novel, a business, or something else that begs for a title?
I have a title for a novel that needs a plot! The title is "Polestar," referring to the constant guiding light of that entity. It's not meant to refer to God so much as to a constant desire to move forward toward finding one's purpose. Why, yes, it would be semi-autobiographical!
5) If you were to write under a pseudonym, what might that be, and is there a story behind that name?
There was a time when I needed to be in regular touch with someone who I could only contact while they were at work (let's just say that a kind of conspiracy was afoot related to a person we both knew). Occasionally I needed to leave a message that I had called, but leaving my name would begin to arouse suspicion. My friend and I knew each other through Scottish country dancing, so I used the name Jean Milligan as my "code name." Miss Milligan (as she was known) was the founder of the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society.

1 comment:

The Bug said...

Well it only took me 18 days to get here! Sheesh!

Mike names EVERYTHING. All the things - really. Makes it hard to toss a malfunctioning appliance. :)

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