My brother says, "everyone had a name thing." Names are important. They are how people refer to us. We write them on all our stuff. In some cases they say things about our personality (or at least our parents' personalities). I'm a Genie in a time when there were a million Jenny's. I'm also a Genevieve which not everyone can say and even fewer can spell. My initials at birth were the same as my dad (GAP). When I was married the first time, I made my maiden name my middle name as many Southern women do. When I got married the second time I was unwilling to sacrifice any names so I have four now. Two first, a middle (that's my maiden) and a last.
However at work, I still use my maiden name exclusively. Did you know that Jennifer Aniston was actually Jennifer Aniston Pitt when she was married to Brad but just never used that name in her career? So yeah, like that. (There's my only connection to Brad Pitt, for the record.)
When it came to the SCA, I don't even remember choosing my name. I wanted to be French and I liked the images from Tres Riches Heures so there you have it. Isabel seemed like a nice name and it certainly was easy to document. You couldn't swing a cat in the 15th century without hitting an Isabel. Avignon seemed like a nice town and I liked the song "Sur le pont d'Avignon. L'on y dans, l'on y dans." So it was decided. I still remember my father commenting that if they had named me Isabel, I would have picked Genevieve for myself.
Fast forward two decades and there are Isabel's everywhere. Also, for such a seemingly simple name, it kicks everyone's ass. Isabel, Isobel, Ysabella, Isabella, Iseulte, Isolte, Izzy. People just see the first letter and panic. Also, I had no idea how many people can't pronounce French names. It's a lyrical language. If theres a d with an apostrophe in front of a word with a vowel, you mush them together. It's Dah-ving-yohn. There is no "duh" anywhere in there.
I wanted to look for another name to play with, but I didn't want to ditch Isabel. Isabel got her Award of Arms from Arielle the Golden. Isabel apprenticed to Snaeulf and Shrew. Isabel is the protege of Mistress Keilyn Fitzwarin. Isabel was the baroness of Black Diamond. Isabel is the baroness of Marinus.
After 19 years in the SCA, though, I'm finally trying something new with rapier. And Isabel isn't really a rapier fighter. But this Spanish dude is. Thus my new male persona name was born: Bartome (BAR-toh-may) Gomez (GO-mez). And I think for the next few months I'll spell it phonetically at the list field table.
What's your name thing? According to Perry (not Harry, Terry, Larry or Barry but Perry as in Perry Mason), everyone has one.