Thursday, January 14, 2010

That’s My Name, Don’t Wear It Out

If you are a regular Facebook user, you have most likely seen the “how original were your parents” quiz. It turns out my parents received an F- in originality as Kimberly was the 4th most popular name in the year that I was born. Which really doesn’t surprise me because I went to elementary, jr. high, and high school with anywhere from three to five Kimberlys in each of my classes.
My parents named me for no other reason than because they liked the name. If I had been a boy they would have called me Sean.
I’ve never thought too much about my name since there’s not too much I can do about it. As a kid, my family called me Kimmy. I got to a point in my preteens that I couldn’t stand it and so now friends and family only call me Kimmy when they are making fun of me, which I also can’t stand. Throughout my life, most people have called me Kim. I don’t like Kim. To me it’s boring and sounds harsh. It’s funny though, because the few times that I have had a major change in my life(college, new jobs, etc.), I’ve tried to go by Kimberly. I’d initially introduce myself that way, but over time everyone just ended up calling me Kim.
I looked up my name on a couple of the baby name sites and it was difficult to pinpoint a true meaning. The name seems to have been city or town names before becoming a first name. Some of the meanings are “From The Meadow Of The Royal Fortress”, “Chief/Ruler”, and “Diamond”. I like the “diamond” meaning best, however I know my friends are giggling that “Chief/Ruler” is a meaning because they know I like to be in charge. Which is true.

Kruger Day 4 111I’ve only been to one city with my namesake, Kimberley, South Africa. It’s actually the capitol city of the Northern Cape Province. The city has had a turbulent history due to its diamond mining history.
Even though my name was very popular back in the 70s, its not anymore. In fact, off the top of my head I don’t think I know any Kimberlys anymore. I’m sure there are many, my age out there, but I don't seem to run into any too often.


  1. I don't know a single girl named Kimberly that is my daughter's age. If you were four, you'd be totally unique. :) One of the things that has always fascinated me about mainstream American culture is how people don't really focus on the meaning of a name. In my parent's culture (and I've incorporated this, as well), meaning is everything. It is vitally important to choose a name with a good meaning an many people believe that meaning determines character. Faiqa? Means Excellent. :D

  2. Umm, I meant "your name would be totally unique." *You* are, in fact, totally unique.

  3. I don't know any Kimberlys now, I did when I was in school though. I have at least 4 friends named Lisa...oh and Amy, I know lots of Amys.

    Kelly doesn't leave a whole lot of room for unwanted nicknames. I always hated that as a kid, I WANTED a nickname!! Now I am pretty happy with Kelly...I still would trade in my last name in a second...Smith!!

    There are several Kelly Smith's in my town, I have to regularly give my middle name AND birth date when making doctor appointments etc. They have written "Name Check" in big red letters on the front of my file...we wouldn't want to mix us up!!

    I always wanted a name that wasn't so flipping common!!

  4. Pretty unique? You are like the most freaking fabulous girl on the planet Kimmy : ). I mean Kimberly! : ) And you have the most fab dog on the planet! And you are the best cook on the planet. There isn't anything that is NOT great about you!

  5. I think Kimberly is a pretty name, I can't believe all your friends shorten it! I know one other Kimberly, so if you were in your late teens-early 20s, you'd have a pretty original name. Just sayin'. :)

  6. My parents got a C+ for my name, which is a better grade than I expected them to get.

    Does an F- mean that yours was the most common name the year you were born?

    I'd be happy to start calling you Kimberly if you want me to.

  7. my parents got a C- for my name. natalie just isn't that common among my age group.

    but lemme tell ya, i know TONS of ashleys. that was the most popular name the year i was born.

  8. and jason, yes F- means your name was really ridiculously common the year you were born. just sayin'

    my brothers names both got F+ because i don't think facebook gives out F- lol

  9. Yeah, I only know one Kim under 30. My name was big in the 50's and pretty rare by the time I had it. I don't know any Maureens under 30 right now.
    fun post.

  10. My parents got the D- . . . That's what you get when you choose a name that every "Tom, Dick and Harry" has. (Actually, I was named after my grandfather who was named Cassius, but whom everyone called Tom.)

    I have several Kimberly mom's at my school, but no kids. I have 3 Charlies and I had 3 Elliotts last year. I have a couple Finns right now. I had a bunch of Madisons for awhile and Sophias.

    My daughter's name is Josephine and she's having an experience opposite of yours. One of the reasons we chose the name is because of all the potential nicknames (Josie, Jo, Jo Jo, Fifi, Phine, etc.) but all of her friends call her Josephine. She's tried to convert them to a nickname over the years, but it won't stick!

  11. Can you believe my parents got a D+ for my name? It seems Janice was popular wayyyyy back then. Who wudda thought?

  12. I think mine came out to B+ however I don't think it was for originality in the actual name, I find my actually name rather unoriginal.

    To further your city namesakes, there is an area here in the north part of the state, which although technically is not a city, it is called the Kimberley.

    It is where they filmed the movie Australia.

  13. I knew Kimberlys when I was in elementary school, but now the only one I know of other than you is a man.