21 August 2012

What's Your Name?

I've always loved my name. I don't want to be "normal" and I'm so glad my parents gave me an uncommon name. I also think it's a beautiful-sounding name, and I love the story of Queen Esther in the Bible (I was named after her). So, I'm glad my name is Esther.

However, there are drawbacks to having an uncommon name. Most people don't know how to spell it, and some can't pronounce it. I work in a call centre and, while a few callers get it right, most have no idea what I said when I introduce myself. Surprisingly, most of those who don't hear me clearly don't ask me to repeat my name--they just call me "Astra." And that's weird, because I've never met--or heard of--anyone named Astra. It's pretty, but where are they getting it from?

I've also been called Heather, Aster, Easter, and even Erica.

And almost everyone spells it "Ester." You know, like "polyester"? (That's a chemical compound.) I told someone once my name is "Esther with an h," and they wrote "Hester." Wow. I've gotten into the habit of automatically spelling it out for people when they ask for my name.

Although I've had all these problems, when I have kids, I'm still not giving them common names. After all, my last name is Jones, and that's already common enough. I love choosing and making up names--maybe that's one of the reasons I'm a writer. I'll never have enough children to use all the names I love, so I'll have to use them for my characters.

So, what's your name? Is it common or uncommon? Do you get called other things by people who misheard you? Do you like weird names?


  1. It's always nice to meet another Esther, and especially another Jones! Growing up, my 4-H group actually had me plus another girl named Hester! People were always confusing our names and acting like we intentionally joyed in providing a spelling rubix-cube for them. We routinely saw people spell Hester as Hesther, and Esther as Eshter. (Because we told them to spell Hester but move the H, I suppose)