Posted in Throwback Thursday

What’s in a name?

“I said you were Not Hardly Alice.
But you’re much more her now. In fact, you’re Almost Alice.”
[Caterpillar Absolem Quotes]
― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland


When I was a child I hated my name.
My brothers and sister were named after Kings and a Queen of England.
I thought that I wasn’t special enough to be royalty like them.
I asked my parents who I had been named after
and they told me “a girl they met on a ship”.
That didn’t seem good enough for me, so I vowed to change my name
or maybe use my second or third name.
I was named Alison Margaret Diana…

Then in the ’70s, the movie “Love Story” came out
and I fell in love with Ryan O’Neal and Ali McGraw.
Suddenly the name Ali became popular.

Calling myself Ali didn’t seem so bad after all.
Over the years people started mispronouncing it,
calling me Ellie and Arlie,
so I changed the spelling to Ally.

Just this morning I thought of my name “Alison”, a name I used to hate!
The good news is that I have become quite fond of it.
It got me to thinking if there is something significant about our names.
Are they conceived by heaven?

I think it’s really cool that my name means “nobility or of a noble kind”

I have decided to be proud of the name that I was given,
after all, I do feel a bit like Alice in wonderland….



I am an unknown introvert who desires to touch the world with a little bit of magic...

13 thoughts on “What’s in a name?

  1. such a touching post Ally, names are so very important and i love how your name came about. that girl they met on the ship must have been quite special. i named my eldest girl after a girl i met on my street, so i understand what your parent’s heart might have been feeling. oh and what a cute photo!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Gina…perhaps it was an angel they met on the ship who inspired them to call me Alison. 😉
      Thank you for sharing the story of naming your eldest girl, and understanding my parents’ heart.
      It’s interesting how important a name actually is, how it can define us!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. sometime ago i wrote a poem about names and recalled how my godmother insisted she give me my middle name, a name i keep very secret, and you are right that middle name really defines me. its so wonderful to hear how children are named, thought and love go into the selection. thank you for sharing your story too, i really loved knowing this about you, knowing all the best parts that make up lovely Ally.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thank you, Gina. When the Xhosa people name their children, the meaning is foremost in their minds, they don’t specifically choose the most popular names. Like “Sisipho” which means gift from God…I just love how they do that.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. that is so pretty! and a truly soulful way of naming a child! i have been reading African literature more this year with my book club, the stories are fascinating and always rooted deeply with family loyalty and bonding. i can see why now.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. That’s amazing, Gina. There is a word in Zulu…”Ubuntu” which means “I am because we are,” ..
        When someone is in trouble the community will help. They have a beautiful philosophy on life.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. thank you for sharing that Ally, much of what i read showed me how they valued the strength of the community in raising a child


  2. Great post, Ally. Both my sisters were named after family and I was not so I didn’t like my name either. But my middle name is Elizabeth so I made up my own story that I was named after the Queen! 😊 it’s all in the stories we tell ourselves.

    Liked by 1 person

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