Sunday, May 15, 2011 | By: Brianna

What's in a name?

Thank you, Google!

Q: So. Brianna. That’s a nice name.

A: Thanks. That’s not a question.

Q: Where’d the name “Brianna” come from?

A: When I was in my mommy's tummy, my parents called me "Otto." I'm not really sure where "Otto" came from, but I suspect it's because my dad's German, and it must have been a lot of fun to watch my grandparents' faces contort when my parents explained that I was girl and I would be called "Otto." The same thing happened to my brother, but they called him "Wolfgang." Oddly enough, both of those names ended up being used for cars. Well, "Otto" was used for my dad's work van...

Anyway, after the joke of what my parents were going to call me, they had to come up with what they were actually going to name me when I was born. My dad was dead set on calling me “Rebecca,” but my mom wasn’t too keen on that name because she wanted to call me “Amelia.” If I had to choose between those two options today, I would probably be more excited about the name “Amelia.” And that’s not just because of my habit of disagreeing with my dad, it’s mostly because “Rebecca” probably wouldn’t fit me today. Granted, I could go by “Reba” or “Becca” or “Becky.” While if I were “Amelia,” I have the choice of “Amy” or my full name, and that would be it. Today I also have the advantage of looking at Doctor Who's most recent companion, and saying, "Hey, her name's Amelia!" I might like having a name that started with a vowel though.

Q: That doesn't answer my question.

A: I'm getting there! So because my parents couldn't agree on a name, my mom suggested, "What about Brianna?" My dad asked why, and she explained that I would be named for him. I mean, I'm the first child, and aren't first children usually named after their fathers? If we're talking traditional, yes. A little girl running around with the name "Brian" would just be silly. I can imagine it now:

Little Girl: Hi, I'm Brian!

Little Boy: No, I'm Brian!

Little Girl: That's my name too!

Little Boy: But Brian's a boy name...

Little Girl cries.

I can only imagine what all the girl Taylors and all the boy Sasha's go through.
So that's the reason behind the spelling of my name as well. Okay, so I could conceivably have a single "n," but that would just look weird. Briana. There are also a ton of other weird ways that you could spell my name, so I'm really glad that my parents chose the simplest one. Breana. Bryana. Breeanna. Brieana. Oh, the possibilities. And just think of the nicknames...none of which I have because I don't like being called "Bri." My dad called me "B" for a little while there, but I convinced him that that was his nickname at work, but really, I think "B" might be the only nickname that could actually work for me. My mom calls me "Anna" every now and again, but that's rare.

Besides, all the Brianna's I know who go by "Bri" are dancers. With the exception of one. Well, and me.

"What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet."
- William Shakespeare


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