What's in a name?
Shakespeare's Juliet supposed names were meaningless conventions. A name is a name is a name. Far be it from me to scoff at the bearded Bard of Avalon, but methinks his star-cross'd character had it all wrong.
My name is Ryan, and it suits me to a tee.
Like me, it's petite and to the point. One hand, its androgynous nature lends my persona an air of mystery. On the other hand, the juxtaposition of my boyish name and feminine aura strikes a quirky contrast some are intrigued by.
Then there's my two-letter, fuss-free nickname: Ry. For me and those closest to me, it resonates as a term of endearment. If you only know me as Ryan, chances are we're still on an acquaintance/awkward side-hug level. The crossover to the Ry-side, however, signifies a more meaningful connection.
At an early age, I knew the initial inspiration behind my name sprang from Ryan's Hope, an ABC soap opera that ran from 1975 to 1989. As the years passed, I vividly remember Mom telling me how much thought and care she put into naming me. She loved the idea of giving me a name that subverted peoples' expectations. Truth be told, it made middle school somewhat of a nightmare, but at 36-years-old, I dig it.
So what does my mom share with Idaho moms of the 1800s? I'd like to believe it was the desire to name their babies after a piece of their heart. For the most part, we'll never know why Idaho moms of the 1800s fancied the names they did. But if there's anything to be gleaned from the story behind my name or maybe even yours, it's that they probably put a great deal of heart and consideration into them. For a peak into the past, I referenced records from our neighborhood cemetery in Star
Idaho's Most Popular & Interesting Names of the 1800s
Ann - Lacy - Lela - Hazel - Margaret - Cecil - Edna - Alice - Jess Blanche - Clarence - David - Ida - James - Jemma - John - Joseph
Julia - Huston - Mabel - Minnie - Rose - Sanira - Sarah - Triend William - Annis - Sue - Kittie - Robert - Benjamin - Hattie
Henry - Loretta - Albert - Ezekiel - Walter - Wilburn - Olive - Orville Ray - Snow - Francis - Susie - Stella - Allie - Arthur - Nyla - Senoretta
Willis - Verna - Laura - Virgil - Kate - Geniv - Betty - Dellar - Truman Maggie - Susan - Dawson - Elmer - Melvina
Ada - Agnes - Lavona - Dolly - Catherine - Hannah - Emmaroy - Milton Earl - Grover - Lucy - Mae - Hyram - Moses - Elsie - Lilly
Bert - Lina - Rose - Petty - Rollo - Willodeen - Nadine - Nellie - Grace - Mattie - Herman - Ben - Byron - Clara - Fay - Jennie - Sylvanus