What’s in a Name?

How did you get your name?

I’m way, way down the list of a long line of kids my parents had. All of my siblings have common Irish names; Steve, Janet, John Henry, David, etc. There are also a lot of males in my family, so by the time my Mom was pregnant with me, she was ready for another girl. And she had the name picked out.

At the time, the Loretta Young Show was popular. She was a movie star born in 1913 and she was absolutely stunning. She would start her show by throwing open a door,  walking through it turning around with a flourish and closing it. She always had a beautiful gown on and everyone would applaud. It was a grand entrance for sure.

I was named after Loretta Young
Loretta Young, 1929
I was named after Loretta Young. This is me, Loretta Sayers in 1978
Loretta Sayers, 1979

My entrance into the world was so not as grand. I was born at home in Hollister, California. I did make my entrance on Mother’s Day, however.

And my mother was happy to have another baby girl. She named me Loretta Jean. How’s that for a country name? My mother’s name was Gene, but spelled like the male version. I would have been happy with my middle name spelled like hers.                                                                                                     

I’ve always liked my name and I’m proud of it. Even though there have been a few times when I’ve had to deal with other people not liking it. I had a boyfriend once who asked me my middle name. I said, “Jean, why?” He asked if he could call me Jean because Loretta was just too much to say.

Boy was that a sign.

I did have a nickname when I was a kid. And my sister Linda and a handful of old friends still call me, Retta.

And I don’t hear my name often. I was in a store once and heard someone say my name. When I turned around I was surprised they weren’t talking to me.

That’s another thing that happens. Those of us with the name Loretta almost jump for joy and feel like we found a long lost friend when we find someone else with our name. It’s a small club.

I looked it up and my name means Bay Laurel. Which I think is cool. I like trees…a lot, so that fits.


What about you?

          How did you get your name?

                         Do you like it?

Do you, or have you ever have a nickname?

Reader Comments

  1. Mary D.

    I always liked your name, Loretta. I had the opposite experience that you did with my given name. My older sister was Cheryl and my brother, Kevin, which in my opinion, were pretty cool names for the 1950’s! Along comes the baby and what did I get stuck with? MARY!! Probably one of the most common names on earth. Ugh! I have always hated it. If I had a dollar every time I heard “How does your garden grow?” or one of the million other ditties mentioning my name, I would be rich today. In high school, someone slipped and revealed my middle name and some classmates ran with it and suddenly, Mary didn’t seem as bad as being called “Agnes!” What on earth could my mom have been thinking??? I think perhaps I was named after my dad’s mom, “Mary Alice” but my parents divorced soon after I was born so I never really knew her (perhaps that would have changed my perception of my name.) I asked my mom where “Agnes” came from and she said she thought it was a nice nurse at the hospital. The fact that she “thought” it was showed me what little thought went into choosing it. He He. In college, my friends called me “Mare” which was refreshing. As an adult, common doesn’t seem so bad so I guess I have grown into my name, but you can be sure that no child of mine was given a common name!! Their names were dreamed of and chosen long before they made their entrance into this world.

    • Loretta Sayers
      Loretta Sayers

      Oh Mary, I laughed out loud with this! I love the nickname Mare. And isn’t it wonderful to grow into our names? I can see you as a nun Mary Agnes! 😉

  2. littlemissw

    My name is Wendy. My parents left me without a name for so long that the registry office started hounding them. When I was about 18, I went to a funeral with for an elderly aunt with my mum and some of the women there remembered me and kept saying, “Oh! You were the baby with no name!”.

    I don’t know where they got Wendy from. I have never met a Wendy my age. Ever. Like you, I’m always a little excited to meet ANYONE with my name. I struggle to find my name on novelty key-rings or mugs and when I do the meaning is always, “created by J.M. Barrie for Peter Pan” which is OK for a bookworm like me but not really inspiring.

    I do like my name though. Family and old friends shorten in to Wen, which is fine by me, and I think it’s a nice name. Not too fussy, not too common.

    That photo of you is stunning by the way.

    • Loretta Sayers
      Loretta Sayers

      What a cool story Wendy! I love that name. It does make me think of Wendy Moira Angela Darling!

      I actually named my oldest son Christopher. When I got him home I started crying! It wasn’t his name! I called the hospital and since it was New Years Eve, they hadn’t sent the paperwork in. So I changed his name to Adam.

      • Kathryn Aebig

        I’m named after my Aunt Katy and my biological dad’s mother Louise. Kathryn Louise. I never liked the name Kathy and wanted a nickname desperately. ( Why wasn’t I lucky enough to be called Katy instead of Kathy I’ll never understand).

        A friend at work began calling me Kiki several years ago and now that’s the name I’m called by my grandkids. I love it!

  3. Lisa

    I was in awe of a girl named Loretta in junior high. She wore RED lipstick! She had BREASTS! She was woman personified in a time where breasts were on the horizon and knee socks kept falling down. So I automatically like anyone named Loretta. I associate it with bravery and individualism. My name, Lisa, was so common. I used to hear ‘Oh, were you named after Lisa Marie Presley?’ My response, especially since I came first, was ‘No, she was named after me.’ I wanted a name more dramatic, a name to fit a writer, who I dreamed of being. But oddly, I never chose my dream name. Maybe it should be Loretta.

Your thoughts? I would love to hear from you...

Please subscribe to my blog

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from lorettasayers.com

You have Successfully Subscribed!

%d bloggers like this: