What’s YOUR Name?

You know the song,  A Horse with No Name?’  Well that’s from my era and it never seems to be far from my mind:

People have  a wide range of connections to their names ~and, let’s face it names are something we all have.

Take Jean, for example. I was called after my maternal grandmother (and my mother, though her name was changed on the way home from her Christening to avoid any confusion having two Jeans in the one house.)

The song that was oft sung to me by family, relations, friends and strangers when I was growing up was this one which was written by Stephen Foster in 1854:

My grandmother gave me a little silver brooch of hers, with Jeanie inscribed on it,  and that  remains one of my treasures to this day. Only one person  ever really called me Jeanie  and that was Mother’s brother whom I loved dearly. Mother, herself, used to call me Jeanio as a pet name.

I’ve always loved the song, Jean, written by Rod McKuen, and which was a big hit in 1969, the year I started in Secondary School. I longed for some of my idols, like John Newcombe ( the tennis player) to serenade me with this, but alas, no one ever has!

The Jean song that tended to be thrown at me instead was Daydream Believer, which topped the charts in 1967, sung by the Monkees,  and the line from it that I tended to hear a lot was : Wake up sleepy Jean!

I’m always surprised how many people have problems with the spelling of Jean ~ as they think of Jeanne and Gene. I’ve always kinda liked Gene, especially as a fan of Gene Pitney!

It was part of family lore that The Empress Eugenie, who was married to Napoleon,  was some relation of ours and Mother had a huge book about her but seemed to think that it was something I shouldn’t broadcast. I think I need to do some thorough research on The Empress to ascertain what Mother’s issue about her was!

I was the only Jean in any school I was ever in and have met very few Jeans over the years. On the other, hand, you’ve got to remember that jeans are all around us ~ especially denim ones and there’s that other little matter of ‘Hi Jean’ or is it, ‘Hygiene?’ I never seem to get away from the Jeyes Detergent slogan: Hygiene: Spell it with Jeyes! 

Where does YOUR name bring you? 







Author: socialbridge

I am a sociologist and writer from Ireland. I have worked as a social researcher for 30 years and have had a lifelong passion for writing. My main research interests relate to health care and I love to write both non-fiction and poetry.

12 thoughts on “What’s YOUR Name?”

  1. My name is Joan hence jonibee ..my choosing of the nickname because when I knit I’m as busy as a bee. My Mom chose the name Joan my Dad wanted Joanne but Mom won out. I really don’t know why my name was chosen as I never asked. But I’ve always been happy with it. I know it’s a form of John. Once in awhile I see meaning of names especially in Baby name books..I really don’t remember what mine means. So what’s in a name…alot I’m sure of that..What intrigues me is last names especially when you see the occupation that the person has..Ex: Dr. Payne , a dentist..ha.

  2. Names are fascinating and can be frustrating as well…keep reading…I’ll get there. My name is Olga Caroline, but my birth certificate says Caroline Olga. My Mother’s name was Caroline Theresa, except that when she died I found out her name was actually Teresa Caroline. So, is it just my family that has this fascination for using second christian names…bet it causes some bother for other family history researchers like me:):)

  3. I always liked Rod McKuen’s song. Strange that I’ve been singing it recently after hearing it in the radio for the first time in I dont know how long. I like Jeannie, too. Your grandmother had good taste..:)

  4. My name was almost Jean. Mom wanted to name Sis Janette and me Jeanine and call us..of course, Jan and Jean. (I am not certain why she did not just want to name us Jan and Jean.) Instead, Sis was named for her grandmothers, and I was named for my great-grandmother, and inherited her marriage license.

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