Tuesday, February 3, 2009

What's in a name?

Have you ever googled your name to see what comes up? I did once and found a musician who plays all sorts of instruments, including my favorite, the cello. You can visit Rena's website here. She has some interesting music. It's really mellow and fun to listen to at night before bed. I always get a little freaked out seeing my own name on my iPod. When I visited England in 1984 and 1985, I laughed when I saw the Rena Hotel. One day we finally got a picture of me standing by it. It was in a cheesy side of town and we stayed at a hotel fairly close to it. It's not everyday you see a hotel with your name on it. I've also driven by the Rena Theater in Kellogg, Idaho. You don't see or hear the name Rena everyday (well, I do) so it's funny to see it somewhere.

My father named me Rena, after a little old Irish lady he worked with in his realtor office. I don't know much else about how he choose it, or if my mom had much say in it. His name was Richard Gene and he also gave me my middle name, Jean. I had friends who hated their names, but I always liked mine. I knew I was in big trouble when my mom took the time to say both of my names together. "Rena Jean!" usually meant I was busted for something. I never heard my name much when I was little. I do recall seeing it on the credits for the Sonny & Cher Show. There was a Rena who worked as Cher's clothing designer. Also, if you google just the name Rena you come up with an entire line of fish aquarium products. Check it out here. Who would have thought? And if you go to Renausa you find a whole slew of mailing products. In both Norway and Spain, you will find towns called Rena. There's even a 1938 Polish movie by my name. All sorts of people, products and places come up for my name. I know from having to make usernames that Rena is a lot more common than I thought.

What about your name? Is it common, or are you like me and freak out a little when you see it someplace else? And for those of you who write stories, how do you pick names for your characters? Do you go for uncommon names or more common ones?


  1. Rena is a cool name! Love the pic!
    Yes, I've googled myself and there is only one me :0).
    My mom picked my name just because she liked it. I've always liked it too. My kids names were compromises on which names my husband and I liked best. My youngest middle name is after a dear uncle of my hubby's that died, but due to that my son shares the name with a whiskey...

  2. It is fun to look up your name. My maiden name pulls up an Olympic sychronized swimmer, 8 years older than me, who grew up only 1/2 an hour away from me.

  3. I've never Googled my name, never thought about doing something like that. I know that there as an actress named Nancy Walker, she was Rhoda's mother on the show Rhoda back in the 70's. Nancy is fairly common as is Walker, I'm sure there are a lot of them out there. I love the hotel pic, how fun!

  4. My name is not very common,so it does leap out at me whenever I see it.I'm afraid to google it though! I know there's Leanne Rimes,the country singer,but I'm not sure if it's spelled the same.I kind of wish my parents had called me a name I didn't always have to spell for people.And tell them that no,the "a" isn't capitalized!


  5. I have a pretty common name - especially from the 70s. (Everyone seemed to name a kid Tracy in the 70's!) Though I did read that Tracy spelled with no E was for a boy and Tracey is a girl. (So I guess my parents wanted a boy!)

    Actually, my dad is a postman and there was a little girl on his route that just loved him and my dad being my dad would call her his girlfriend and tease her - she was about 7 at the time. Anyway, he told her that he was going to have a baby and no matter what - boy or girl - he would name the baby after her. So I guess I am glad I am a girl afterall! lol

    And my middle name is Elizabeth which is family name - a woman in every generation going back... well forever... has the middle name Elizabeth. (Not one to break tradition, my daughter has the same middle name!)

    As for googling my name, I did it once and came up with a site that an old penpal had set up - and a picture that I had not seen in decades! Eek. And I don't even write to her anymore to tell her to take it off the site! lol Oh well.

  6. I was stunned and indignant to find there are other Jacqui Robbinses out there! One works in marketing in the UK, I think, and one is in Australia.

  7. I think Rena is a beautiful name. As for mine, the only Bish Denham to come up on google is me. I've only met one Bish in my life.

    In googling just Bish, I found the Urban Dictionary which lists 41 definitions, most of them derogatory. Obviously they never met me.

    There are plenty of people with the last name of Bish. There's a Bash Bish Falls State Park in Massachusetts. And somewhere I have a picture of a Bish street sign. There was also rocker name Alvin Bishop who sometimes went by the name Bish.

    Someday, I suppose I'll have to tell the story of how I got my name.

  8. Hi Rena, you've won an award, so pop over to the ugly rabbit and collect at your convenience!

  9. Rena is a great name - very unusual even if it is on a hotel and the name of a movie. I also like Bish - it's so different.

    My name is kinda unusual:

    Kimbra Kasch

    I just googled it: only me. But there are a few other Kim Kasch's.

  10. cool story about your name.

    My mom read the book "Christy" while she was preggers with me. Plus, her middle name is Christine, so . . . between both of those. . . that's how I got to be who I am.

    Oh hey! It's the first time that it occurred to me how cool it is that I got my name from a book! A book! I lvoe books! Now I have another reason to love books! :0) Me and books. . .It's meant to be . . .

  11. Christy, I love that book!

    My name is very common. I'm already a fantasy author(so I'll have to find myself a new name when I get published)and also an artist. I'm a champion iceskater and I sell lingerie...that's just a few of 'me'!

  12. C.R- Um, I think our mom's would have been buds. She was reading Christy when pregnant with me and that's how I got my name too! My sister is named Julianne (as in Julia the next book!).

    It is pretty cool to be named after a book.

  13. Oooh, I love name discussions! I find other people with my name much more often now than when I was a child -- but they're all my age, because Marcia enjoyed a bit of popularity during a *gulp* certain decade. So where were all these others when I was a kid and feeling all alone in a world of Barbs, Kathys and Debbies? The few I met then usually spelled it Marsha, but now all I meet are Marcias. Interesting. As an adult, I like the name. It suits me, and it's different enough yet common enough.

  14. I like Rena and I love that you have so many neat things with your name on it...

    My name doesn't bring up anything but me...grin..