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On Naming: Zandra Meet Elizabeth…

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“We are motivated by a keen desire for praise, and the better a man is the more he is inspired by glory. The very philosophers themselves, even in those books which they write in contempt of glory, inscribe their names.” Marcus Tullius Cicero

On Naming: Zandra Meet Elizabeth... Queen Elizabeth I at her coronation

On Naming: Zandra Meet Elizabeth... Queen Elizabeth II on a visit to NASA

Some of us come into the world and embrace the names our parents bestow on us, whilst others begrudge our parents for giving us names we don’t particularly like. Whether we like our names or not, the fact is that until we are able to choose a pseudonym or change our name completely, we are stuck with it. My mother named me Elizabeth and, as much as I didn’t care for the name as a child, everyone around me, including my parents, told me what a magnificent name I had. I wanted a different name… I just didn’t know which one; anything exotic and unusual would suffice, I used to say.

According to Behind the Name,

“Elizabeth is From Ελισαβετ (Elisabet), the Greek form of the Hebrew name אֱלִישֶׁבַע (‘Elisheva’) meaning “my God is an oath” or perhaps “my God is abundance”. The Hebrew form appears in the Old Testament where Elisheba is the wife of Aaron, while the Greek form appears in the New Testament where Elizabeth is the mother of John the Baptist. It has been very popular in England since the reign of Queen Elizabeth I in the 16th century.”

It is a lovely name but I always wanted something… more. You know, like Zandra; a name I fell in love with after I fell in love with designer, Zandra Rhodes’, gorgeous silk dresses and outrageous/creative spirit. There was a certain je ne sais quoi ring to that name, and I loved it for quite a while until life, and other far more important demands, distracted me. 😉

On Naming: Zandra Meet Elizabeth... Zandra Rhodes photo by Phil Konstantin

“╔═════════ ೋღ❤ღೋ ═════════╗
╚═════════ ೋღ❤ღೋ ═════════╝”
When I finally asked my mother why she chose the name, (my dad gave me other legal names), she informed me that because I was born in England, she had taken the liberty to name me after her favorite queen; Queen Elizabeth I. She had studied about her life in school and admired her gumption and her trust in God. Queen Elizabeth II was equally admired, my mom assured me, “but I named you after Good Queen Bess, the virgin queen…” I couldn’t argue with that…. From time to time, I imagined having other names;  just something a little different.

“Some people think that if they change the names of things, the things themselves will have changed, too” David McKay

On Naming: Zandra Meet Elizabeth... Queen Elizabeth I rainbow portrait

On Naming: Zandra Meet Elizabeth... Queen Elizabeth I coat of arms - reads "always the same..."

To write this piece, I went back to read up on my famous namesake, Elizabeth I and I must say, I do still like her. She was a leader who understood the power of the democratic process. A popular quote from the queen was “I mean to direct all my actions by good advice and counsel.” For those who don’t know, Elizabeth was the daughter of Henry VIII and  Anne Boleyn;  her mother was executed when she was 2  1/2 years old.  A skilled, albeit indecisive leader, and formidable opponent who “trusted in God, honest advice, and the love of her subjects for the success of her rule,” Elizabeth was also the first Tudor to understand that a monarch could only rule effectively by popular consent. Towards the end of her reign, Britain experienced an economic downturn but, nevertheless, she is remembered for heralding the Elizabethan era; a time of popular literature and drama.

Over the years, I have come to accept and make peace with my name. I have been called Liz, Lizzy, Eliz, E, and Beth, but never Betty or Bess. As a teen, I liked Liz but as an adult I prefer Elizabeth. When I add my name to blogs and such, I use Eliz because it’s different and saves me time on the spelling. If I could change my name, I might just go for E; now that might not be much of a name, eh? What are your thoughts? Where did you get your name? Do you have fond memories of it? Do share. Thank You! 🙂

This post was inspired by a WP Daily Post prompt: What is the story behind your given name?

Positive Motivation Tip: Your name is an important identifier; treasure it and honor it… It might be all you have when the dust settles.

PHOTO CREDITS: Photograph of Queen Elizabeth I, Elizabeth I in Rainbow portrait, Queen Elizabeth II, Elizabeth I Coat of Arms, and Zandra Rhodes by Phil Konstantin via Wikipedia

Until Next Time…
Ask. Believe. Receive. ©
Elizabeth Obih-Frank
Mirth and Motivation
Positive Kismet

23 Comments leave one →
  1. 09/05/2011 12:59 am

    Well done. Elizabeth I remains one of my stars. Keep sharing and help all stay strong.

    • 09/05/2011 1:30 am

      Thank you Katherine for your kind words… The sentiments are mutual.
      WoW! Glad to know someone else likes her too! TY! 🙂

  2. 09/05/2011 12:04 am

    I actually did a post back in January about the origin of my name…you can read it here if you want:

    • 09/05/2011 1:28 am

      Sure… I’ll check it out. Although I think I read it sometime ago. TY! 🙂

  3. 09/05/2011 7:12 am

    Elizabeth is a beautiful name. I didn’t really know my true name until I started school because everyone called me jeanie (middle name is jean). As I grew up I decided I liked barbara better than jeanie. I cringe at the thought of barbie and make it known that is not acceptable.
    My inlaws named my husband gordan david never intending to call him gordan. It has caused him a lot of grief going by his middle name. Sometimes legal documents don’t jive because one says g.david, or g.d., or whatever. I think you should name a child what you intend to call them. Save the cutesy stuff for the dog.
    Thanks for the post!

    • 10/05/2011 10:00 pm

      I concur. My parents wanted to name me Kathleen after my grandmother, and call me Kathy. But instead of making Kathleen my first name, they made it my middle name, and named me Lisa Kathleen. It has been a battle since kindergarten–I am always refrred to as “Lisa” and have to correct everyone that I am called Kathy. When I got married, it didn’t end. My legal signature uses two middle initials–one for my middle name, which I go by and one for my maiden name. I swore when I had kids, their first name would be the name we called them.

  4. 09/05/2011 7:14 am

    What a delightful post! And lovely inspirations for you 🙂

  5. 09/05/2011 7:21 am

    Interesting post on the origin of the name Elizabeth. I am often drawn to documentaries and movies on Queen Elizabeth.

    Oftentimes people comment on how “pretty” my name is (Teresita) but that’s not until I correct their pronunciation! “Terry” was a nickname given to me by a teacher in elementary school–probably because she couldn’t pronounce my name. My father would say, “Your name is Teresita, not Terry!”

  6. 09/05/2011 7:42 am

    The name Penny is of Greek origin and means “silent worker, weaver”. My name is originial, not by the nick name “Penelope”- I’m thankful that I was a girl, if I had been a boy-he was going to be called “Benny” !! 🙂

  7. 09/05/2011 9:03 am

    Enjoyable post, and educational! Thanks. I was named after my mother’s best friend. I always liked that. An added bonus for me was that Cecelia was the patron saint of musicians, and I happened to be a musician: piano. I earned a music scholarship but by my sophomore year decided that music was not for me. I enjoyed music and playing the piano, but making a career of it was more smothering than fun. So, I changed my major and lost my scholarship. Parents weren’t too happy, but we all survived and the subject long ago faded into oblivion.
    Thanks for another great, thought provoking post.

  8. 09/05/2011 9:08 am

    My parents gave their five children two names each. I love mine but some usually call me by my last name. Elizabeth is a beautiful name and I admired Elizabeth I. Thanks for sharing. I was reading and watching about the Tudors. 🙂

  9. 09/05/2011 9:12 am

    I can’t imagine what it would have been like to have your mom executed when you were 2 1/2…wow…and she was a great woman regardless of that past…how inspiring!

  10. InsideJourneys permalink
    09/05/2011 10:05 am

    Elizabeth is a beautiful name. It has power in it. Thanks for the stories about your namesake, such a powerful woman.
    I’m not sure how my mother decided on my name since there were a couple others to choose from. My grandfather thought I was going to be a boy and suggested Robert. He called me Bobbie until the day I was born. My aunt suggested Peta Gaye. I don’t remember if I ever heard the story of how I ended up with Marcia.
    Years ago, when I looked up the meaning, I discovered it was of Latin derivation and meant “strong.” I liked that, still do. Just checked thinkbabynames and it tells me that it means ‘dedicated to Mars.” It’s also the feminine of Marcus.
    Marcia reached its peak in the 50s and 60s. So now when I meet another Marcia, if they’re not Asians (who adopt an Anglicized name), I can guess when they were born.

  11. 09/05/2011 10:42 am

    My mother named me Gay. I’ve always disliked that name. I don’t like how it sounds, because it feels harsh to me. And I don’t like that a special interest group co-opted my name for their own. I can’t put my name on a license plate or walk into a room and say “Hi, I’m Gay!” without risking a wrong impression. For years, coincidentally, I’ve thought I’d rather be named Elizabeth!

    I’ve been blessed with the ability to converse with discarnate beings. One of my particular friends for many years has been a powerful and kind Black Dragon that my sister introduced to me. I can’t say enough good things about him. It was about eight years after we met that he gave me the gift of a name, Orea (oh RAY ah). I was just starting to use the internet at the time, and the Dragon let me know that he wanted me to use my new name there. I thought it was a made up name until two years later when I met a woman who was living in Athens, Greece. The first thing she said to me was, “Did you know your name means ‘Beautiful’ in Greek?” I didn’t, and I was floored. I always sensed the name was a special gift, and then I knew why.

    My new friend came back to me two weeks later with this story: Her boiler went on the blink, and she had to call in the boiler repairman. He is a student of languages, and he was talking to her while he worked about an interesting facet of the Greek language. Their alphabet has two letter O’s. One is the Omicron and the other is the Omega, and, he told her, the meaning of the word changes depending on which letter is used. Of all of the words he could have chosen as an example, she continued, He chose the word “orea.” (!) Because the word “orea” is spelled with an Omega instead of an Omicron, it has an extra layer of meaning. It doesn’t just mean “beautiful,” it means “beautiful, close to the gods, with a touch of magic.”

    This happened in 1999, and I am still awed and humbled that he thought enough of me to give me a name like that.


  12. 09/05/2011 11:10 am

    How nice to be named after a queen. We named our son after Alexander the Great.

  13. 09/05/2011 5:26 pm

    I’ve always liked my name. My synesthesia probably has something to do with it, though, since it’s such a bright lovely yellow. When I was younger I never changed my first name – I always wanted to add more names! I think eight middle names was my record.

    We picked our children’s names based on what we liked, and what sounded okay being yelled out the back door. 😉 (And of course, for me, the colour was important, too!)

  14. 09/05/2011 8:38 pm

    Ooh I love the name Zandra! Like a short version of Alexandra, but not the more conventional “Alex”

  15. 09/05/2011 9:23 pm

    My sister is Elizabeth . . . but goes by Betsy.

    I sign my paintings . . . “N”

  16. 10/05/2011 3:12 am

    My parents had chosen Cushla to be my name, but my grandmother would hear none of it. She would not tolerate her first grandchild having an Irish name. So my sister got it instead.

  17. 10/05/2011 8:58 am

    Great post and pictures! My second name is Elizabeth. My mother said it was only a coincidence in that Queen Elizabeth visited Australia in the year I was born. Royalty often sets the name trends going though.

  18. 11/05/2011 1:49 am

    What an interesting writing prompt and great story behind your name, Elizabeth! It’s fun to know more about you. My mom just wanted a name that started with K – I don’t know why! It was between Katherine and Karen and she went with Karen (which was very popular at the time – one year there were about four Karens in my grade school classes!) Like you, I wanted something more exotic… My mom had a funny book when I was young that was full of names and each name had a little funny description next to it (not origins but silly little personalities that the writer associated with certain names). Wish I still had it. 🙂

  19. 18/05/2011 1:06 am

    I like your name. It’s very regal. I also like the story of Elizabeth I’s mother, hence the fondness for that name. But I also see the attraction of Zandra. It is exotic and unique.

    Hey, you can go with E! It’s very cool nowadays to have one-letter names! 😉


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