What’s In A Name?

posted by Allison O -

I will take my last name with me to the grave. 

You can call it a “millennial” thing, a “feminist” thing, whatever. You’d be wrong. I’m not doing it to shake things up or make a statement. 

I’m doing it because my name is the single most important thing my parents gave me. It’s who I am. 

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Do you remember learning how to spell your name in school? How momentous that day, piecing together those brand new letters of yours to create your identity. 

Now imagine there’s a weird little mark, just there, in the middle of your name. 

Congratulations, you just learned about punctuation.

But why does my name have an apostrophe when no one else’s does? 

And now you’ve learned about heritage, my friend. What a busy day you’ve had! 

Thus began my obsession with my Irish ancestry. My whole life, wondering about this magical place from whence I got my name. 

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Had I been named anything else, would I have wanted so badly to go to Ireland? Would I be planning to move there now had I never gone? 

Had my interest never been piqued by that pesky punctuation mark, would I have begun learning the language or started a sleeve of Irish fairytales and fables? Would I have ever found my joy and passion and catharsis in Irish dance? 

I should think not. 


My name is so much more than a name. I bear it with pride, knowing that it shaped me to be the person I am today. 

And I will continue to do so until the day I die. 

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Allison

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