What’s in a name? & other thoughts on TAE’s 2nd Blogoversary.


What’s in a name? Are you happy with the name your parents bestowed upon you? Do you believe that particular name has impacted how you see yourself and/or how others view you?

My name almost didn’t happen. My daddy had different plans. I was supposed to be “Angel Lamar” (Lamar was my father’s middle name). Now, when I think of that moniker, I find myself hearing a certain tune by David Rose . . . and a sultry voice saying, “Take it off. Take it ALLLL off . . .” (I could only think of fellow RA blogger AgzyM of I Want to Be a Pin-Up when I saw Miss Von Teese.)

However, one of my aunts by marriage (possibly envisioning the old bump and grind herself) made a suggestion. “Why don’t you name her ‘Angela Wood’ instead?” And so “Angel Lamar Killough” (Future Exotic Dancer?) morphed into “Angela Wood Killough” (Dreamy-Eyed Bookish Schoolgirl that I grew to be).


Baby girl Angela Wood. No stripper pole in her future.

Now, the “Wood” comes from my mother’s side–it was her maiden name. I loved my first name, but really disliked my middle name when I was growing up. My sisters called me (among other things) Woody (as in the cartoon character Woody the Woodpecker, as this was long before “Toy Story”). I pined for a “normal” middle name like “Leigh” or “Lynn.”


HA-HA-HA-HA-HA!! I heard Woody’s distinctive laugh a lot when I was a kid. *sigh*

Only when I was older did it sink in that my aunt’s suggestion was simply one following a “fine ole sutthun tradition” . . . of using a family name as a middle name. (It’s not unusual for them to be used as a first name, either. My dad had a cousin named “Killough Pollard.” I must say I am mighty glad I didn’t end up named “Wood.” I mean, do I look that thick?)

So while I eventually came to terms with my middle name, I never quibbled over my first name. I liked it, liked its classical roots.

Angela: from the Greek angelos, “heavenly messenger.”  It came into use in English in the 18th century, and is most commonly used in English, Italian, German and Romanian. Common pet version is Angie (btw, only my immediate family called me “Angie” until I went away to college. Then everybody called me that or “Ang.” And “Angie” I have been ever since . . .)

So “Angel” or “Angela,” my name means the same. I’ve been a teacher and a newspaper writer and columnist, so I suppose you could say I’ve been a messenger of sorts.  For the past couple of years here at The Armitage Effect, I’ve been preaching the gospel of TDHBEW, one might say. For the last few months, I have also been sharing the Armitage goodness at my RA Facebook page, “The Richard Armitage Effect.” I now have 426 “likes” over there–not bad. Of course, you have to blame it on the Beautiful One and the very real effect he has on so many of us possessing the Good Taste Gene.

Thank you to all who have supported this blog by reading, commenting, linking and reblogging. I don’t know everything year three will hold for me or for our wonderful fella. More Thorin, a big twister he’d BETTER survive . . . and what else? We may all be surprised along the way . . . come what may, thanks for being YOU, Mr. A.




About fedoralady

I'm an LA native--Lower Alabama, that is. My husband of more than 30 years and I live here on a portion of my family's former farm with two gorgeous calicos and a handsome GSD mix. My background is art education, and over the years I've been a teacher, department store photographer, sales associate and a journalist. My husband, his business partner and I have Pecan Ridge Productions, a video production company, for which I shoot & edit video and stills and manage marketing. I also still write part-time for the local paper. I love movies, music, art, photography and books, and my tastes in all of them are eclectic.

39 responses »

  1. My mom picked out Stephanie because she wanted (for unknown reasons) to call me “Stevie”–she never did tell me if there was a reason for that other than that she liked it. There was such a family uproar that I would up being Stephanie with no nickname (at that time).

    • I love the name Stephanie, perhaps in part from watching Stephanie Powers on TV as a little girl. Stevie is cute, too-makes me think of Stevie Nicks, one of my favorites. The people who knew me when I was younger are more likely to call me “Angela” vs. all those who got to know me as an adult. Don’t mind be calling either one.

    • That reminds me of 3 girls I grew up with. Tommie, Johnnie, and Billie. There father wanted boys. Never got a single one. Their Christian names were Thomasina, Johanna, And Wilamina Bergendorf. My mom owned a Hobby Shop with their Mom Blanche. His name was Mr…..

      • A lot of southern gals of a certain age have names like Johnnie Mae, Willie Ruth and Billie Sue–a typically male first name with a feminine middle name. Don’t see it too often these days though. 😀 Names are pretty fascinating!

        • I fotgot to sing “Happy Blog-a-versary.” *cough cough” mi mi mi….* You’ll have to forgive me, I have a terrible cold. Happy Blog-a-versary to you, *sneeze, snuffle*, I’m sure love to read you.” *cough, coug*, “I’m glad we’re are friends” *snort, sniffle, cough*, “friends to the ends.” *cough, cough*


        • My grandmother knew a family with thirteen kids and all of them, boys and girls, were named Billy/Billie but with different middle names: Billy John, Billie Sue, etc.

          • My grandmother was one of 13 children. I guess by the time little Norfleet came along, they had run out of names so they just made his up. I’ve tried finding it in those name meanings sites but my “search yields not results” – again, how did his parents look @ their newborn and decide to hang “Norfleet” on him? Most people call him Johnnie – go figure.

  2. Happy blogiversary, Angela! Time and again a pleasure to stop by on this site, fedoralady. Hope to read more stories LW………. Quite a lot of ladies you have to handle here… BTW my middle name is Marianne (my mothers name), which turned out to be very convenient in Italy, Spain and esp France (I better not talk about English speaking countries!! 😉 ), as my “old” German first name (Gerhild) constitutes a real challenge for many..

    • Thanks so much, Linda. 😀 Yes, Gerhild would likely be a challenge for a lot of people. “Marianne” is lovely (I think of Miss Dashwood)–we actually had a much-loved kitty named “Mary Ann” and her sister, “Ginger” (two characters in a sitcom popular in the US when we were kids).

      My maiden name is a challenge for a lot of people. With the vagaries of the English language, so many people have struggled to pronounce it properly (Kill-oh). One of my history teachers in college always addressed us by our last names with Mr. or Miss in front of it.And every week the dear man had to ask me how to pronounce it! LOL

  3. Happy blogoversary! And thanks for all the chuckles. (I went to school with a girl whose dad named her Stormy Knight. Srsly. I really felt for her, although she didn’t seem to get that there was anything… unusual about her name.)

    • Always happy to make someone smile. 😀 I’ve heard of people named Stormy Weather before, too. *sigh* Really not a nice thing to do to your kid. There is the famous story of the Texas politician whose last name was Hogg. He named his twin daughters “Ima” and “Ura.” :-/ A lot of radio personalities use some silly on-air name such as Lane Changes for the traffic reporter (we have a guy named that at an area radio station LOL)

  4. I have NEVER liked my name, will NEVER forgive Mama for hanging it on me. Kitty: diminutive of Katherine; means pure or clean. My middle name is Rena: Latinate feminine form of Rene’. I’m pretty sure Mama meant to name me Renee, but she didn’t or the nurse who filled out the birth certificate didn’t know how to spell the French spelling. Rena means peaceful. I was teased in all my youth – “meow”, “heeeeere kitty kitty kitty”; but it got really bad when Nine Lives cat food decided to name their spokescat “Morris” which is my maiden name. I’ve learned to enjoy the uniqueness of “Kitty.” I can count on one hand how many others I’ve met who have the same name. My sister’s name is just gosh-awful but she changed it. It never dawned on me to change mine to the beautiful romantic Katarina or Katie (how I would love to hear my name pouring forth from the lips of Sgt. John Porter). It is what it is and let’s face it. a Kitty by any other name would still be that ol’ purely peaceful hick gal who is an admirer of Richard Armitage.

    • Oh, dear, I bet the jokes did fly once that handsome ginger spokescat appeared! I hadn’t thought of that. Mistakes do get made on birth certificates. I recall reading where Oprah’s name was originally supposed to be Orpah, a Biblical name (I think I like Oprah better). My mother’s name was very unusual. Ova Dell. I have encountered maybe two people also named Ova in my lifetime, and one owned a clothing boutique in her hometown in Crossville. Tenn. Maybe it was a regional thing? Anyway, she hated the middle name in particular. “Ova hill, ova dell, as we hit the dust trail . . .” And one day as a girl she asked grandpa, “Daddy, who named me?” Grandpa Wood gave her a big, proud smile and said, “Why, I did, honey!” Now, she was a daddy’s girl, but her daddy (a hardshell Baptist preacher) wasn’t a man you argued with. “So I never said anything else about it . . .”

      • Ova Dell. Bless. How can some parents look @ their precious newborn and hang that on them. It does make me think of my sister’s name – Ora Alfredia. Ora for my great grandmother and Alfredia (I’m pretty sure Daddy didn’t spell it correctly) for a girl he knew when he was stationed in Germany. Sissa has dropped “Ora” and changed her name to Freida and threatens us within an inch of our lives if we tell so – shhhhh. Then there’s the story behind Great-granny Ora; she had sisters whose names were Cora and Nora and twin sisters whose names were Tennesee and Missouri. Ma & Pa didn’t like them from the get-go.

  5. Happy blogiversary! As for my name: Julia = my mom’s favorite Beatle was John. If he’d stayed married to his first wife it would have been Cynthia.

  6. Happy Blogiversary! Hard to believe it’s been two years, time fly’s while fangurling.

    Those names are parents stick us with. I got named after both grandma’s and my mom gave me nickname right away thank goodness.

    • Thank goodness for nicknames, indeed, and thanks, Katie. I’ve loved reading all the rest of the comments tonight. I had a dizzy spell hit me earlier and I went and stretched out with Benny after supper and ended up nodding off during Olympics. Now I have a lovely earache. Might explain why I got so dizzy earlier. I will reply to everyone later when I am feeling a bit better . . . love, love. I will leave you with this—I know a guy whose name is Nimrod. Yes. Nimrod. Goes by Rod, though.

  7. Happy blogversary, Angie! I had multiple reasons to dislike the name on my birth certificate, so I changed it legally in 1986. Might be the best $600 I ever spent.

  8. Happy blogversary Angie I love your blog. My full name is Janette my mom named me after a British film star from the 1950’s never use the full name though, think the origins are Scottish. Well after all the rain and floods we have had it is now snowing gotta love the British weather!!!

  9. Happy Blogiversary, dearest Angel of Alabama! My middle name is Amalia which is quite an old-fashioned name. My father adored it for some reason and wanted it to be my 1st name but mum wouldn’t let him-bless her, she didn’t want me to be teased for my “silly name” at kindergarten. So they settled for the much more (at the time) fashionable Judit. Phew!
    Anyway, I hope your 3rd blogging year will bring you happy experiences!! Many happy returns!
    Your Hungarian Honey

  10. Happy Blogiversary Angie!

    What a great discussion. I particularly enjoyed ‘Norfleet’ and the 13 Billy/Billie’s in one family.

    My name is the only one my parents ( who were soon to be divorced) could agree on- a compromise name. I don’t mind it now but I hated it as a child as it had a diminutive that led to some teasing. My father had pushed hard for Camilla – which I much preferred until Camilla Parker Bowles came on the scene. Then I was quite glad Daddy had lost that argument…

  11. Angie- happy blog anniversary! I’ve had to fight tooth and nail to be called Katharine, and not Kathy, outside of my immediate family because Australians always jump straight to a diminutive without really bothering to ask if it’s ok. My middle name is a family surname as well, but it’s quite pretty, so I don’t mind.

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