Every year on this day, you have the opportunity to give yourself a new name. If you like your name, then you change your name just for today. If you don’t like your name, you can use April 9th to try out a new one. Here’s how: Change your first, middle or last name. Or, change them all! Give yourself a name you love, and tell everyone to call you this name for today only! Go ahead, it will be fun!

I have always liked names. When I was a child I used to keep lists of names I liked and I was always updating them. Ask my sister. This was not really because I hated my own name, and not really because I was planning on having a large number of children to provide names for. I just liked names. I liked writing them down –first in block printing and later in flowery cursive.

One of the first names I liked was “Jaycee” – or so I thought. It was the name of a boy in my first grade class in Karnack, Texas. I found out later that his name was actually J.C. That’s what the teacher called him and I don’t know what the J or the C stood for. It didn’t matter. He was always “Jaycee” to me. I thought he was wonderful!

He often came to school without any shoes on and so I would take mine off too at recess, and we would play checkers together under the big tree on the playground. Once I stepped in a nasty patch of stickers and cried, and he sat me down and pulled all those stickers out of my feet. My hero for the rest of my life!


When I was in second grade, we moved to Utah and I fell in love with the name Cynthia (not Cindy) because that was the name of my new best friend. She had long dark hair in braids and freckles all over her face. “Cynthia”, say it slowly C Y N T H I A…doesn’t that sound lovely?

Yes! But, it is not as perfect as the little girl in my sister’s class – Melody Rose. Rose was her last name.

Since I was born a twin, I also had a separate section for rhyming names. My maternal grandmother was a twin herself named Stella and her sister was Ella. She had twin sons (my uncles) named Ronald and Donald.

My mother (her daughter) picked out the names Anna Marlene and Alice Darlene. Alas, my sister only lived hours – so, a different middle name was chosen for me. I decided that if I ever had twin girls, I would use a combination of the names Alice and AnnAnnalice and Aliceann (to be pronounced as Analise and Alison).

Or in the unlikely event of triplets – Belladonna, Donnamira, Mirabella. See what I did there? I never picked out any rhyming names for boys because – at the time I made the list- I didn’t really like boys very much. I kind of ignored the biology requirement that includes males when planning children.

When my Mom dropped us off at the Roxy Theater  on Saturdays we watched the latest Hayley Mills movie; and I added the name Hayley to my list. When I watched “Here Come the Brides” on TV starring my heart throb, BOBBY SHERMAN –

I added the names Jason, Jeremy and Joshua to my list of boys names. These were the names of the three Bolt brothers in the series.

Later, when my sister and I rushed home from school to watch the next episode of “Dark Shadows”, I added the name Angelique to my column for girls and Quentin for boys. I can still hear Josette’s music box play.

Josette’s Music Box

I predict that there will be a large percentage of children born within the next year named Finn and Rey (StarWars characters) because I’ve noticed that people still do that – they name their children after TV or movie characters that they like.

Finn and Rey

Bookish names have always appealed to me too – either characters or authors. My first was a little girl called Phronsie (actual name Sophronia) from a book my mother used to read aloud to me called The Five Little Peppers and How They Grew by Margaret Sidney.

To my list I added the following literary names: Dylan, Ayla, Harper, Darcy, Sawyer, Scarlett, Undine, Emma, Arwen, and Elanor.

(sources: author Dylan Thomas, character in The Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean Auel, author Harper Lee, Mark Twain’s character Tom Sawyer, from Gone With the Wind obviously, the little mermaid of Welsh mythology, Jane Austen’s character, and two ladies penned by J.R.R. Tolkien.)

I once worked with a girl whose first name was Faulkner, who had a sister named Bronte. I think her name may have been the primary reason I liked her because, in reality, she was a mess of a person. Another co-worker recently named their little boy Holden. If I was still keeping my lists, I’d add it too.

You can usually tell a woman’s age by her name. Linda, Debra, Carol, Denise, Janice, Barbara, Karen, Carol, Marie, Susan, Nancy, Donna – these women were all born in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s. Their daughters are named Jennifer, Lisa, Amy, Michelle, and Heather, and their granddaughters are named Jessica, Ashley, Britney, Samantha and Amanda.

Boy’s names don’t seem to change as much. We will always have John, Michael, Christopher, Matthew, and David in the top ten. However, I am hearing that this NEXT GENERATION has included the name Liam as its new “most popular boy’s name”! (Liam Neeson, rocks!)

So have you thought of your new name yet? Is it lyrical like Lydia, or cool like Jagger, ancient like Apollo and Gaia, or imaginative like Larkyn and Blade?

Just know this: Whatever you choose, it will never be as awesome as mine.

Nyota Buffy Kaywinnet Luna Baggins




Born to read, forced to work.

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