Name’s the Game

Sunday’s paper had an insert that declared this week is “Celebrate Your Name” week. They had a focus for each day of the week. Since I obviously didn’t follow through with their daily suggestions, I thought I’d fit them all into one post. So hang on, you are going to find out more than you ever wanted to know about my name.


Some facts to know upfront:

  • elsie is not my given name (I know, you are not surprised)
  • elsie was created from my initials (LC)
  • elsie didn’t think she was much of a writer, so she did not want the world to know her real name for a while (I’m more confidant now)
  • the information below is about my birth name
  • I use both names, depending on how you know me 🙂

Sunday: Namesake Day

My mother was pregnant and on a boat to the Philippines to join my father at Clarke’s Air Force Base when she met a woman and her daughter. My mother declared that should her baby be a girl, she would be named LeAnn because that was such a beautiful name. As a child, I was not happy with the name choice. I grumbled about why did my mom meet that lady? No one else had a name like me. I was different, I did not like being different. I wanted to be a Debbie, there were several Debbie’s in my class at school.

Monday: Fun Facts About Names Day

It’s amazing what Google can do for you! I thought surely there are no facts about my name, but I was wrong, and a little right. There are no facts about my spelling (another painful hurdle I have with this name), but there was information on Leanne. Be prepared to be wowed:

  • it is the 1560 most popular name in the US
  • through some sort of calculations, it has been determined 217 people a year are named Leanne
  • 60% use it as a first name; 40% as a middle name
  • Urban dictionary states: A name normally given to only the most gorgeous of girls. (yeah, right) Plus a lot of other bits of nonsense.

Tuesday: Unique Names Day

I hated having that unique name (didn’t I mention that before?), so I feel for anyone with bizarre names. Here is my rule when naming children: You must be able to find a key chain, a pencil, a mini license plate, or something with the name you have selected for your child. No exceptions! Hence my son’s name is David.

Wednesday: Discover What Your Name Means Day

This information is according to American Meaning: 
In America the meaning of the name Leann is: Derived from an Irish Gaelic of Helen: (light;beautiful woman). Who knew?

Thursday: Name Tag Day

They say to wear a name tag that says, Hello, I’m _________ Not happening for this girl. I will be working, I will wear my name tag.

Friday: Middle Name Pride Day

Don’t have one, no pride here. My maiden name had two words, my mother decided since my first name sounds like two words I didn’t need a middle name. She didn’t want to burden that little baby with so many names. Thanks, mom!

Saturday: Descendants Day

I’m supposed to check out family tree. I don’t have to, my cousins already did it. Thanks cousins!

So there you have it, I’ve celebrated name week. Perhaps you will want to share your trials and joys of your name this month.

21 thoughts on “Name’s the Game

  1. I love how you celebrated the week all in one post :). I also love your rule about not giving your child a name if there is not a keychain/pencil for the name. My friends and I are of the childbearing age, and you should hear some of the crazy names they’ve come up with.

    It is best though when they pick a crazy name not to tell you until the child is born. At least that way you can’t place an awkward judgement. Once the child’s here, you sort of just accept it and end up liking it sort of because the kid’s cute.

    I love elsie! It’s clever, and it was my great aunt’s name. She was very sweet. I’ve thought about naming a little girl that name someday.

    Thanks for writing, I’m realizing I missed the March writing madness.

    March has been kicking my butt, but I’m always happy to read your posts.


  2. Tam says:

    The best line I thought was “Why did my mom meet that lady!” I don’t think of LeAnn as really different. I love any name with “Ann” in it. I also enjoyed learning about the birth of the name Elsie for you. It’s such a relaxing, friendly name. It just goes with your meanderings far and near. Glad you write for us. I can always count on being entertained by your posts. I can identify with your name game. Since I haven’t had an idea for writing today, I think I will write about my name. Thanks, Elsie.

  3. Elsie, I didn’t know about this week. Do you remember I’m doing a name project with a teacher and his class, & wrote about it a while ago? I loved hearing about your name, and do know about the LeAnn. I like it, had a friend in high school with that name, but no cap in the middle. Love what you did here! And, the way you commented on my post! Does that mean you “are” going to All-Write? I haven’t had time to sign up yet, but I do want to go again-so excited that you are!

  4. This was so fun and interesting to read. I love that the newspaper was promoting such a creative idea. When I read what you write I think of you as Elsie but when I talk to you it is LeAnn. That just seems natural to me now!

  5. What’s in a name? Now we know. I have always thought it was so clever of you to use elsie as your blog name. I have an unusual name – JeNan – so it was easier for me to go by fireflytrails. (And honestly I too was reluctant to use my real name when I began my blog.) And I don’t have a middle name, and my children are Beth and Mark. IF I ever have grandchildren I want to be called Nan – and then everyone else can call me that, too. Thanks for sharing these GREAT name activities!

  6. Leigh Anne says:

    I happen to personally love your name! My first name is Leigh and my middle name is Anne. I went by both for the middle part of my life. When I hit 4th grade I didn’t want write it all out. Then in jr high, school lists just had first names so I went by Leigh up until college. No one knew me there so I went back to Leigh Anne and have been that since. Plus Leigh Eck sounds like I have the hiccups! Hardly anyone spells correctly! I loved finding out about our name today!

  7. Jaana says:

    What fun reading! Now I really have to write about the name days we celebrate in Finland. I think the meaning of your name is just right!

  8. I love this Slice Elsie????
    You must be able to find a key chain, a pencil, a mini license plate, or something with the name you have selected for your child. No exceptions! Hence my son’s name is David.
    And I can relate on the middle name. Don’t tell anyone but middle name is Lucille, a good friend of my mom’s. UGH! I’m Bonnie L. Kaplan. That’s enough of respect to my mom and her friend don’t you think?

  9. Whew…. Thanks Ruth – I thought I was the only one who regularly got a good chuckle out of Elsie’s posts. This one cracked me up. Loved the history/facts of your name. I think it fits you well – but I’ll always think of you as ‘Elsie’.

  10. I must confess, I’m eating yogurt while reading your post. I should know this is a dangerous move as your writing always makes me laugh out loud.

    This line:” A name normally given to only the most gorgeous of girls.” and your comment has me wiping yogurt off my computer screen and out of the crevices of my keyboard.

    I, for one, think you ARE among the most gorgeous of girls. And I’m glad you’ve evolved into a writer who is willing to share her name.


  11. Thank you for this name slice – fun to read. My mom wanted to name me Gerbera (as a flower), I am glad she didn’t. My name, Terje, is a simple one in Estonia, a male name in Norway, and difficult for foreigners to pronounce. You can try it like this: Te (as the beginning of te-n) – r (rolling it) and – je (as the beginning of ye-llow.) Your names are beautiful – both the real one and the made-up one.

  12. This was fun, Elsie. I am saving this for later in the school year – my kids will have such fun! It looks like you discovered a bit more about your name…and so did we!

  13. I really enjoyed your post today. I picked my posting name, “arje”, based on the initials of my name, Robert James. The “ha” comes from the initial of my last name. I am still known as Bobby by my family even though I am 62 years old. Some things just can’t be changed.

  14. Ramona says:

    Can’t wait to share this post today with my students. Guaranteed to quell the “What can I slice about?” blues. And I’ll learn more about them in the process. LeAnn, I still remember seeing you and Nanc together at the hotel before AllWrite and knowing that I had discovered Elsie, a fellow slicer. And yes, beautiful friend, your parents chose well!

  15. LeAnn is a beautiful name. I am Donna Jean….Don is my dad’s name and Jean is my mom’s. So when you say Don and Jean, it sounds like my name. I kept my maiden name of Thistle and added Smith, so that is why you may see me sign with djts. So there’s my name history. This is really a post now. Sorry! I’m deleting part of it!

  16. My name includes my middle name and my mother stated she wished they would have been joined as one. I decided I would do that. I always liked my unique name, not the plain “Mary” as many classmates had. My initials “MH” have been used often by friends.
    I love the trivia you shared. You are definitely a beautiful woman and I am so glad I know you.

  17. Thank you for sharing this idea. I love it and can’t wait to write about it myself. You have a beautiful name (which, apparently, literally means beautiful). It’s funny how we get these impressions of our names. I never thought much about mine until I was out of school. As an adult, my name has been very difficult – Lee Corey: two first names, two last names, two male names (I’m female). I get Mr. Corey. Mr. Lee. People who call me both because they’re always confused. Fortunately, this didn’t happen when I was in school so I didn’t grow up hating my name. Anyway, I loved getting to know your name and thinking about getting to know my own.

  18. margaretsmn says:

    This is a great idea, to celebrate your name. I love both of your names. It makes you so unique. I’ve always loved my name because it was my maternal grandmother’s name and she died a few months before I was born. I believe she is my guardian angel. In fact, I like it so much I named my first child after me, but we nicknamed her Maggie. She loves it, too, except that it seems to be a popular dog name. I think I’ll borrow this idea for a slice.

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