She Named Me Lauren

My mom said my name was supposed to be Danielle or Nicole. A family friend had her baby first and she named her daughter Nicole, so my mom said she and my dad decided to go back to the drawing board.

She said she loved the legendary 1950’s actress Lauren Bacall because she thought she was strong and sophisticated. Her signature deep, husky voice made her unique and unforgettable. My mom said she wanted her daughter to be strong, sophisticated and unforgettable. The funny thing is, Lauren Bacall’s birth name was actually Betty. She personally changed her name at the start of her acting career.

I’ve always loved my name. As a child, I never knew what it meant, but I liked it because it was different. In the 1970’s there weren’t a lot of other young girls named Lauren. As I got older and began to ask questions about why my mom and dad chose the name, I researched the origin of my name.

Lauren is a Latin name which means “of laurel leaves” or “victory of wisdom”. Historically, wreaths made of laurel leaves were given as a symbol of victory in the Pythian ancient Greek Games. In the bible, it is an emblem of prosperity and symbolizes Christ’s resurrection. When I read this, I honestly said “Whoa!” I have a lot to live up to. LOL!

Recently, six-year-old son was given a homework assignment called “What’s in a name?” He has to do a project about the meaning of his name. When I saw this I immediately thought about all I had learned when I researched my own name. I am excited to share with him why he was named after his father.

The choosing of our names is no coincidence. Whether it’s because of lineage, liking, or symbolic significance, our names are powerful markers of our identities. I thank my mother and father for choosing my name. I sincerely hope I have lived up to all they hoped I would be.

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