Friday, February 4, 2011

My Real Name is Amanda...

Once upon at time I had zero followers - it's amazing how life can change in ways you never imagined. Since I'm in the whirlwind of drafting and about to head out on the Breathless Tour I thought that I'd revisit some blog posts of the past. Thanks to those of you who've been here from the beginning and to those who've just joined us - I'm so grateful that you're all here!

A recurring quirk in my life revolves around my name. For some reason people (even people who know me well) often call me "Amanda."

It is always Amanda, never Anna, Adrienne, Amy, or Angela. Amanda, always, Amanda.

This renaming of my person has occurred for as long as I remember, and is an act I've always corrected with a polite, if bewildered, smile. And I have always wondered why it happens. It happened yet again today and I decided to give this name-change phenomenon some deliberate thought.

Do I look like an Amanda? Is Amanda that much more common of a name than Andrea?

I've long been obsessed with origin and meaning of names. I have a tattered baby name book that I've read (yes read) since I was a child not because I think about names for my own children - but because I love the places, histories, and emotions that the meaning behind a name evoke.

In my novels the characters' names (first and last) reveal as much about them as do their actions and dialogue. I spend a lot of time in research before giving a character a name.

Since I seem to be a secret Amanda, I investigated the origin of the name. It was invented in the 17th century (oddly enough this era is my period of specialization in history) by a playwright and is Latin for "lovable, worthy of love."

I had a pleasant heart flutter when I read that origin story. From now I'll take being called Amanda not as a failure to remember my name, but as a compliment.


  1. This is a wonderful post, for a million reasons. I'm sure you know them all.

    I reference my baby name book with regularity.

  2. What aspects of the 17th century are you interested in? My dissertation was on European mercenaries who filtered into Russia to reform their armed forces between 1634 and 1676, roughly.

  3. This makes me laugh as my husband Patrick, is inexplicably and frequently referred to as Peter, never any other name. His own brothers have misspoken and called him "Peter".

  4. My name is Andrea, also. I've been called Amanda my whole life! I even have an uncle-n-law who called me Angela & we've become so close that he now calls me Angie!!! That was a fun read for another Andrea!!

  5. I get Jo all the time. But I don't actually mind it all that much because it reminds me of Jo March in Little Women.

  6. aww, nice post. My name is Maya pronounced (My-ya or Mi-ya) haha often called how it's selt or other names :/