Wednesday, October 22, 2014

What's in a Name?

In her weekly Coffee Chat, Rory Bore of Time Out for Mom has asked, “What does your name mean? If you go by an alias, why did you choose that particular moniker?”

Having an unusual name, I am often asked about it. It is: McGuffy Ann, in that order. McGuffy is my first name. Ann is my middle name, and I usually am known as Annie. It is easier and it suits me.

McGuffy comes from the original spelling of McGuffey. The McGuffey Clan originally came from the western coastal mountains of Scotland. “McGuffey” was a nickname meaning “dark peaceful one”. Some of the McGuffey Clan migrated to Ireland, bringing about variations of the name.

Though fair complected, I can identify with the meaning of my first name in a different way. I am sensitive to the dark side of life, having had a difficult life myself. Consequently, I lean towards that in much of my writing. However, being conscious of the dark makes me strive for peace. Faith guides me.

The origin of the name Ann is Hebrew. It is a derivative of the name Hannah. Other variations are Anna and Anne. The meaning is “full of grace or mercy”.  I feel grace and mercy are essential. I strive for these, too. I seek grace and mercy, but I seek to be gracious and merciful, as well.

I like my name, and am not offended when asked about it. I find it interesting that so many people use aliases. This makes me wonder about their names, especially names they choose to go by. If I am asked about my name, I will usually then ask about theirs. I try to call people by their chosen name or nickname. It is part of being comfortable with who you are. I respect that.

Names are fascinating, and I think they are important. We carry our name with us throughout our entire life. Our identity and sense of self is linked to our name. That’s what’s in a name.

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  1. McGuffy Ann, thanks for the clarification on your name. My name is very common to my specific age group...there are sooooo many Linda's, and I have no idea what the name means. I'll have to look it up!

  2. I did wonder about your name, it's so unusual! My Grandmother was called Violet Annie, such a pretty name and my niece is called Anna. I use my real name in blogging although I've shortened my surname to just Mac.

  3. I didn't realize McGuffy was your given name! That's so cool!! :)

  4. What's in a Name is so interesting. you may look up Kalabrian Physolophy and see how we are affected by our name. It's quite interesting.

    Julia means young, and soft as downy. lol.

    Have a great day Annie.

  5. I love your name and when I found the old primers called McGuffy Readers it really fit you to a T

  6. wow, like others ahead of me, i had no idea mcguffy was your real first name! very cool!

  7. My name, Linda, is Spanish, and it means 'beautiful'.

  8. Wow, that's really deep. Thanks for sharing about the origins of your name, McGuffy Ann. :)

  9. I love what you said in the closing lines -- that's why I choose this particular topic. Choosing a name, historically, has been a very important and significant moment. And yes, you carry it forever -- choose badly parents and perhaps your child will suffer for it. (um, hello celebrities naming your children after fruit and directions.)
    I love how unique your first name is. And that is seems to be paired perfectly with your middle name too. All together it's interesting. I guess we share some Celtic blood! :)

  10. It's because a name follows you through your whole life that i gave my kids regular, vanilla flavor names that wear well in the wash of time and don't fade much in that washing. If they want a nickname, i reasoned, they can choose it or let their friends do so.

    Your name is beautiful.

  11. How interesting, your name.
    Thank you for educating me on that. I like it!
    I haven't decided if I like my middle name, or not.
    It is a male name & I am a female.
    My sisters both have feminine names.
    I was told there were missionaries with this name, who we are related to.
    I inquired about it through said denomination and came up with nothing.
    So the jury is still out on that name.

    Our son goes by his middle name, saving his first name for professional reasons.

    There sure is a lot to learn in a name.

  12. guys...we think yur momz name sets her apart and iz unique....

  13. I LOVE your name. I had wondered how it came about but I knew it was your actual name without your having told me. :-) I have a LOT of Scottish ancestry. One of the sons has us back to the 900's in my Dad's side of the family. English and Scottish.

  14. I, too, love your one calls me Patricia...I am always Patty!

  15. Thanks for explaining 'McGuffy' to us. You know that I wondered before and you were nice enough to get back to me - you are a very kind soul, Annie, and I love that we connected, virtually. And I love what you say about 'chosen names', I was never absolutely happy with mine, but respected my parent's choice and I continue to do so, but I always wondered about what name to choose and which ones I like. Too bad I don't have children... but now I get to name characters in David's stories :)