Today's Wednesday Factoid is: Do you like your name? Do you think a different name would fit you better?
My name's okay. I don't hate it or anything. I'm not a big fan of the "long U" sound in names like "Julie" though. In general I think it's a cute name. I enjoy examining naming trends and reading about the history of names, so I own several baby name books (which also help with naming characters sometimes!), and I've looked up my name before. The Last Word on First Names says "Julie" is a name that does not have "contemporary appeal," and should be pushed aside for the more elegant "Julia." In Beyond Jennifer and Jason it's a "high energy name" (ain't it the truth); a "no-frills name"; and a name from the 1950s.
As for whether another name fits me better, interestingly enough I am known by another name by at least half if not most of my friends. Most of my in-real-life friends (especially if they met me online) call me Ivy. That nickname comes from my friend Meghan who enjoyed Piers Anthony's Xanth books when we were teenagers and decided to "name" us after the twin princesses Ida and Ivy. I used it as part of a name I made up for a membership once, and later used it for my first online handle. It just became part of my online persona and extended to people I knew either in association with people I met online or people who knew me through my YouTube shows or websites. I think some people don't even know it's a nickname.
The "meaning" of the name Ivy is basically just the plant or "clinging vine," though if it is taken to be a derivative of "Ivana" (some say it is), then it means "Gift of God." In the baby-name books by Linda Rosenkrantz and Pamela Redmond Satran, the actual image of the name is explained rather than the ancient meaning that no one thinks of upon their first hearing the name. In Beyond Jennifer and Jason, the name "Ivy" is cited as being a delicate floral name that's "due for a revival"; as a "creative power name"; and as an "upwardly mobile name." In the book The Last Word on First Names by the same authors, the following entry is made:
IVY. Many might consider Ivy to be prohibitively old-fashioned, but we prefer to see it as offbeat, kinetic, energetic, and perfectly adaptable to the modern world. Possible drawback? Lots of Poison Ivy jokes.Yep.