"A rose by any other name would smell as sweet."
- William Shakespeare
My name is Emily Crombez. (pronounced "Crombee")
My signatures are sometimes illegible, so sometimes my name gets pronounced "Crombez", "Crombeez", and variants thereof. One time, someone misread it as "Crombly". That one was pretty bad.
Everyone has some kind of meaning to their name that is more than just themselves. Some names have Latin roots, some have Greek roots, and some have Spanish, Italian, Arabic, or African roots. Everyone's name is different. My name, Emily, means industrious and striving, both things I'd like to think I am. But I can guarantee that there are other people who are also industrious and striving that aren't named Emily.
A name doesn't fully determine what you will turn out to be like. Think of all the people named after flowers. Think of all the people you know that are named after places. Think of all the people named after months. And think of all the people you've met that are named after other people, whether you know it or not.
Why do people name their children after other people?
No one will ever really know unless you ask the parents directly. Some people just like the sound of a name. Other people simply adore the person they are naming their child after. And yet others want their children to grow up to be like the person they are naming their child after.
But how much does that really affect a person's development?
Well, it depends. Some people have done research on it, some people have anecdotal evidence. Here's one article about it, and here's another. The second article even states, "To a great extent, having a positive self-image is linked to how you view your name."
What does your name mean to you?
To me, it is something that feels so strange and awkward and uncomfortable to say or think about in reference to myself. It is almost so foreign to me that saying it in reference to other people is strange. But I don't hate my name. In fact, I love it quite a lot. I feel like Emily is one of the most unique traditional names. It's kind of a traditional name, but it's the kind of traditional name that is different from the rest in some kind of way. There are few instances that I have to use my own name in everyday life; hearing it spoken gives me a sense of majesty, grace, and uniqueness.
Regardless of how you feel, your name represents you. Sure, it was something you didn't get to choose when you were born, but don't you kind of love it? You'll find some people - friends, family, significant others - who say your name so well you can't help but fall in love with it. You take pride in it.
And it will never stop being weird to you.