Posted in Blog challenge, Me

Bloganuary 1.22.23


I noticed on my WordPress home page, they have “daily writing prompts” — I don’t think this is the same as Bloganuary because these are different than the daily suggested topic emails.

Anyway, one of them was: write about your first name: its meaning, significance, etymology, etc., so that’s what I’m doing today!

I know a bit about my name, but for a “refresher,” I hit up

My dad chose both my name and my brother’s name.

Well, “Jennifer” is currently #493 in U.S. births. Guess what number it was in 1980? …#1. (and for few years after that) When I was younger, I would occasionally wish my name wasn’t Jennifer since there were always a few in class with me. My dad would say, “Well, how was I supposed to know in January of 1980, it would be #1 for the year!” 😂

He chose my brother’s name, Connor, after reading the book Trinity. At least Connor was a more uncommon name. It didn’t become more popular until later.

In 21 years teaching, I’m pretty sure I’ve never had a Jennifer in class, so clearly it has fallen off in popularity.

In high school, my friends started calling me Jen, and that kind of stuck with most. A few family members still call me Jennifer and so do people I don’t know. And…I’m Jen with one ‘n.’ I figured if I was going to shorten it, might has well have the one ‘n.’

some other facts:

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: fair, soft
  • Jennifer is originally a Cornish version of Gwynhwyfar
  • **I just learned that the name became more popular after the main character in the novel and movie Love Story in 1970.
  • Famous Jennifers: Jennifer Lopez, Jennifer Garner, Jennifer Aniston

While I’m talking names

*update* after reading this post, my dad called to provide a few edits 😂 Apparently, he liked the Celtic version of Jennifer which means: white wave. *My bad.

Naming your kids can be difficult and even more so when you are a teacher. There are definitely names that Travis suggested that were an immediate “no” because of a kid I had in class.

Honestly, I didn’t really have a list of names I liked before I got pregnant. The only name I really thought we might use was Harper. I love that name, and it’s a nod to the great Harper Lee. Travis said, “no.” I was annoyed.

Once we found out we were having twins, I did have a few combos in mind: Cooper and Carter if we had two boys, but I also liked the name Hayden…and liked the combo of Hayden and Cooper. Travis loved the name Addison, and I liked Ainsley. He was kind of iffy about Ainsley, but I think he would have gone with it. (As you can see, Travis almost had stronger opinions than I did about names!)

At around 14 weeks, we found out the twins were boy/girl and for a couple of months, we really thought we were going to go with Cooper and Addison. I remember that people had opinions which surprised me. I’ve never really thought twice about what others name their kids.

Anyway, the summer of 2009, I started watching a reality show called “Southern Belles Louisville,” and there was a girl on there named Hadley. I’d never heard that name before, and she was a sweet girl. I just mean if she was an antagonist on the show, I probably wouldn’t have liked the name. I mentioned that name to Travis and he liked it but wasn’t all in. I told him to watch the show for a bit, and he ended up liking it.

Then, we decided to double down on the H’s…and go with Hayden and Hadley. Again, I remember people wondering about the name “Hadley,” but I really liked it.

The kids’ middle names were easy…we used both of our dads’ middle names. Hayden is Hayden Joseph after my dad, and Hadley is Hadley Rae after Trav’s dad.

So that’s how their names came to be!

I can’t imagine them being anything other than Hayden and Hadley now.

Anyway, I just thought that was an interesting topic to share…and now I have a little history on my name and the story of their names to look back on with this post.

What’s the meaning behind your name? Did you like your name when you were a kid?

I hope you have a great rest of your weekend!

10 thoughts on “Bloganuary 1.22.23

  1. I had to laugh at that comment about naming kids being hard for teachers because there were a few names that my husband mentioned where I immediately thought of a student and vetoed it right away! I thought we had our names picked out waaay back in high school and then within a few shorts of years of us being ready to have our own kids those names were used by family members and we had to go back to the drawing board.

    I always hated my name because it was so original (especially with my spelling of all one name and no caps and an “e” on the end) that I could never find it anywhere and I always had to spell it for people (in fact my own father often misspells it!).

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Same with Amy! There were so many! But, I do like my name. It means beloved. Now, there are no Amys. I think I taught one in my 29 years. So funny, right? My next door neighbor and I were wondering if there will be a ton of Stephs, Lebrons, and some of the other athlete names soon?
    I love Hayden and Hadley. My bff has a girl named Hayden. I like names that can be for either gender. I also like classic names like the ones my sisters went with – Nora, Lena, Mia, Miles, Lincoln are some of them. I loved the names Jack and Mason. I didn’t realize how many Jacks there would be either!
    Fun post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s true! Amy was popular too. I love the name Jack. I had a couple of friends name their babies Jack when I was pregnant, so I didn’t consider it…but loved it. That being said, I haven’t had a Jack in class…and only a couple of kids named Jackson.


  3. This was so fun to read! I cracked up about teachers having certain names on the “do not use” list due to kids they had in class-hysterical! I am glad you settled on Hadley and Hayden- I love those names. Jennifer was the #1 name when I was in elementary school too! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I have a sign that my grandmother gave me with my name and its meaning written- and it says, “fair and soft”. It’s sweet. I love meanings of names! I answer to Jennifer, Jen, and the three people that call me Jenny (I’m not a fan of that one, but it’s what two of my sisters and my husband often call me). When my niece and nephews were little, I was Jen Jen to them and I later became Mama Jen to all the friends of our sons who were constantly here. Is it weird that I wonder what future grandchildren will call me? I was born in 1976, and it was a very popular name then as well. There were three of us in my class of 100 in high school, and I was the one with “the hair”.

    I love your kids names! I love our sons names too. Graham is named after the little brother of my childhood best friend. Drew was going to be Drew or Dru if he was a girl, because I love the name. Jonah is named after the little boy who played the son of Tom Hanks in the movie Sleepless in Seattle, and Noah is a name I have always loved and went well with Jonah. People think I named Jonah after the bible character, but that’s one of my least favorite books in the bible and isn’t true. He is quick to remind people of that!

    Liked by 1 person

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