By Any Other Name

My name has always been a point of contention. It’s unspellable, unpronounceable, and pretty unique. I love it. My name is Gaelic. It means morning. Like, ‘good morning.’ I like to joke that my full name is the most Irish name that ever Irished. But there is a story behind my name.


I’m not even as Irish as my name.


Just over 30 years ago my mother found out she was pregnant with me. Luckily, she had a whole list of names picked out from when she had my older brother, T. It may have even been older than that, now that I think of it. I do have many older siblings. Back then, poor people didn’t do things like know the gender of their unborn child.


There were many name options available to me. Names like Garrick and Joslyn. My mother was also partial to Scarlett and Molly. Not that Molly was a real option due to it rhyming with my last name. But still.


However, I didn’t get named the awful Scarlett Elizabeth (no offense to anyone named that). Because when my mother was about 8 months pregnant with me, she went to an art show.


I’m glad I wasn’t named after this bitch, though.


This was the 80s and it was no surprise that there was a little girl running around with her name airbrushed on her shirt.  I heard tell that it had airbrushed rainbows and clouds and maybe even a unicorn. I always imagined it sort of like the side of a panel van.


Like this. Oh yeah.


My mother took a liking to the way the name looked (on a t-shirt) and stalked the little girl through the crowd and back to her parents. She asked permission to name the baby in her belly Maurna, if it was a girl. Which I was.


A few years later, my parents walked into a Pizza Hut and what should they see but a girl with a name on her name tag. It was Maurna. My namesake.



Do you guys remember Book It?! I still have one of these that I turned into a fridge magnet. Thanks for paying me to read in pizza, Pizza Hut.


Maurna even remembered my mother  and her stalking. They brought me back a few days later and we met. I was 4 and have no memory of this. But Maurna still does.


Another few years later and I wanted to get an email account. I figured nobody would have just my first name. I mean, there were like 3 people in the world with that name. But when I registered the email account, it was already taken.


I was pissed! Some bitch had MY email! But then I realized, there were good odds that this was the famous Maurna that I had gotten my name from. So I emailed her.


And it was. And she still had the shirt I had gotten my name from. She found it in her attic a few weeks later and emailed a picture of it to me. It was better than I had ever imagined.



This is the real deal, right here. The shirt that changed my name.

Now she and I are Facebook friends. We talk sometimes. And I wonder, would I have turned out differently with some other name? Would I still be me by any other name?


31 thoughts on “By Any Other Name

  1. I have heard your name pronounced at least 5 different ways. You seem to just take it in stride and never correct anyone. I feel bad…I am going to have to make sure I say it properly!

  2. Awesome name story! My name has been a blessing and a curse. I can’t tell you how many people asked me if I changed my name when all the LOTR movies came out. I also can’t tell you how many mispronunciations my poor name has suffered.

  3. Is it pronounced “More-ah”? I met a woman who had a named pronounced like that and it was spelled “Maire” and it was also gaelic. However, it’s a very pretty name.

    But I have decided that if I ever have a daughter, she shall be named Brynhildur, becuase my mom said Brunhilda was ridiculous.

    • The ‘u’ in my name is silent. It’s MAR-na. But everyone says it incorrectly all the time. I think Brynhildur is pretty. And Bryn is a cute nickname.

  4. This is a great story! I can’t compete – my parents just liked my name and (I’m going to tell you a closely guarded secret here) my middle name is “de” – not DEE, just de. While they would pronounce it like it was spelled “Dee”, it really is pronounced “duh”. It’s only saving grace was that my first name means “Gift of God” and my middle name “de” is the Spanish word for “of”. I really was hoping to marry someone with the last name of “Amor” — which is Spanish for “love”. Then my full name would mean, “God’s gift of love!” Unfortunately, that didn’t pan out for me – but there is still time :)

  5. I LOVE this story! I mean, the connections have never been severed! It is fitting, I think, of the creativity in your life. You are connected to an energy that most of us aren’t even aware of. Hope that doesn’t sound too flaky.

  6. Hey Chick,

    I’m writing a blog post and I wanted to mention how I have a blog crush on you, and I was wondering if it was okay?

    I was going to send you a private message but you have no contact info and I have no idea what your FB is, so I kind of just gave up and posted it on here. For EVERYONE to see O_o

  7. I actually blushed a little bit reading your back n’ forth with military. Perhaps one day when my blog grows up, I can have a blog crush too!!

    • Oh, you are too cute. You can have a blog crush any time! Just be prepared to get your heart broken. Not all crushes are made in heaven like the one I have with military wife.

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