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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Baby Naming Issue: Anna with an L

Anna's mom writes:
Help! I need some advice/help desperately. Although it's rather a moot point as my baby is a teenager. When she was born I educated myself as much as possible on baby names. I wanted timeless, beautiful, classic, and most importantly, a name that could not be teased. I chose "Anna Caroline".

Beautiful, no? Problem is, our last name starts with an "L" and now she is signing all of her papers "Anna L." HOW DID I MISS THIS???? As far as I know she has not been teased, and I am hoping that the rising popularity of names like Annalisa will help. It's funny because as I search baby sites, middle names beginning with "L" such as Lee, Lynn, and Louise are often recommended for the name Anna. Do these people not know or care that their daughters will be called Anna L.? Or am I making a much bigger deal than I should out of this?

I've touched on the problem of "Annal-" names (especially when the second N is knocked out, as in Analyn and Analise), but hadn't thought of it with L-surnames. Hm. (*thinks*) Well, I think for me this falls into the category of things I would want to be forewarned about but wouldn't necessarily consider dealbreakers. Other things in this category include initials that mean something but not something bad: EMT, LID, HI, IQ, etc.

If your daughter is deliberately signing her name this way, and she's made it to teenagerhood without anyone noticing the issue, I'd say it's a relatively safe thing. But what about the rest of you? If your surname started with L, would you avoid the Anna-type names? If you have a non-L surname, and you used Anna for a first name, would you avoid L middle names?


Cat said...

I wouldn't worry about it, honestly. Annal is more like annals than anal. I really doubt anyone would notice, since out loud it's pronounced An-na Ell rather than anything really resembling anal. If she were Ana L I'd see a problem, but, like swistle said, it'll be fine since she got to teenagerdom without anyone noticing. Myself, I'm not too fond of Anna names, so it would never be a problem for me. I would never use Ana with a L surname or L middle name, however.

Dallas said...

Dont worry about it, especially if of doesn't bother your daughter. My husband and I both have first names that end with "as" and our last name (and my maiden name) start with S, but it hasnt been an issue, other than the slurring S sound, no one has really connected it into body part terms, or if they did, I probably started it myself to just be goofy.

Bird said...

It took a lot of concentration to figure out what the problem was with the name. I wouldn't worry about it.

Meredith said...

Okay, look - I had to read this post THREE times to figure out the "problem" with Anna L.

Maybe I am naive? I don't know, I am usually pretty good at figuring out the name jokes - I chalk it up to my years as a fourth grade teacher. I wouldn't worry if she has made it this far without the joke. Besides, one day she may choose to get married and take a different last name.

But what a great mom to wonder and worry about her daughter's name causing distress. I think it is sweet that Anna's mom is so thoughtful.

Daycare Girl said...

I just have to say that I love Anna Caroline! So beautiful.

I wouldn't worry about the L thing if she isn't.

baby boy said...

I dont think its a big thing, she made this far with no one teased her.

anonymouseandcheese said...

Let's be honest here. Kids are going to make fun of other kids for something. It might be their ears that stick out funny or their freckles or the fact they forgot to zip their pants after they went to the bathroom; and it might be their name. Can we avoid some really obvious open doors to jokes by not naming our kid "Clownface"? Absolutely, but if it's not their name, it's just going to be something else.

My name is a shortened version of Elizabeth and I got called a shortened version of "lesbian" in middle school and I certainly survived the whole ordeal without any permanent damage. Personally, I preferred that nickname to some of the others that were given to classmates based on non-name factors.

P.S. I also had to read "Annal" a few times before I got the "anal" reference and I LOVE "Anna Caroline".

Misty said...

You know, when I see Anna L, I see Annual for some reason. I think the double n kinda saves you.

And I love the name Anna Caroline. Beautiful and classic. Just what you were going for!

Jill said...

In college I realized that my friend's initials were ASS. I giggled, and she treated it more like 'har de har har, I've never heard *that* before' and that was the end of it. If anyone did laugh, I think it would be a pretty short-term gag. Plus, with all the crazy names people are using now, I highly doubt "Anna L" would be at the top of the list for name jokes.

Steph the WonderWorrier said...

I also didn't read Anna L. as "anal" right away.

I tend to seperate first names from the rest of the name, and "Anna" is such a well-known first name that I highly doubt people view her name as anything other than "Anna Initial". I wouldn't be too worried.

I agree that it conjures up images of the word "annual" more than "anal". Misty was right on the ball there. And she won't put her initial on everything her whole life (eventually it becomes full names or just first names), so it'll pass. No worries.

Love Anna Caroline too. Gorgeous name!

Kim O. said...

I wouldn't have thought twice about it.

Anonymous said...

Don't worry. I didn't even know what you were talking about when you said "Anna L."