Why I’m Named Jane

One of my Rhody blogging friends, Carla at All of Me…Now, has started a fun project for 2013 called Mom Before Mom. The idea is to tell the stories of life before motherhood, the stories which have made us who we are. As Carla says, “So much of memory keeping is focused on capturing our children’s experience but what of our own? Who will capture the mother’s journey as a woman? Who will honor our journey if we don’t honor it first?”

I loved the idea and wanted to join in… even though I’m not a mother yet. I’ve always loved hearing about my Mom’s life before she married my Dad and had children, so I thought joining in on this project would be a fun way to record things about myself for my future children.

Here is prompt #1: How did you get your name? Did you always love it? Have you ever wanted to change it?

I love my name. To me, it’s simple and classic, and I like that combination in a name.

I don’t know if I have always loved it, but I don’t remember ever wishing I had a different name. I’ve always liked that although my name is rather common, I’ve never met a ton of other people who share my name, especially people my own age (although, ironically, my best friend growing up was also named Jane. We called ourselves “Jane Squared”).

As far as why I’m named Jane, this is the story as I know it (my Mom can chime in in the comments if I’m missing something!): While I wasn’t necessarily named after Jane Austen, my Mom loved her as an author, and also loved her name. One day while my parents were driving, before my Mom was even pregnant with me, she said to my Dad, “If we ever have another girl, what do you think of the name Jane?” My Dad said he loved it, and that was that. When I eventually arrived, that was my name. My middle name is Hillary, and I’m not really sure about its origins. I believe my parents simply liked the name and thought it fit nicely after Jane.

Most everyone in my family calls me Janie, as do Brian and some of my close friends, but to hear someone I barely know call me Janie just sounds weird. I think the only other nickname I’ve ever had is Jet – that’s my Dad’s nickname for me. Oh, and for reasons unknown to me, my nephews Alex, Ben and Henry call me Dudley!

Brian and I already have names picked out for when we have children. I think they are simple and classic, just like my name, and I hope someday our future children can say they love their names, too!

P.S. Like my Mom, I’m a huge Jane Austen fan. 🙂

Read the name stories of some of my fellow bloggers here!

Where did your name come from?

About Audrey

Audrey McClelland has been a digital influencer since 2005. She’s a mom of 5 and shares tips on her three favorite things: parenting, fashion and beauty. She’s also a Contemporary Romance Author.

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  1. 1.15.13

    Can I start calling you Janie?

  2. 1.15.13

    Fun – I love hearing how some of our parents picked out our names so easily, some were stuck with last minute scrambles, etc. And I love the name Jane – very classic 😉

  3. 1.15.13

    Jane, Janie, Jet & Dudley…love it! I have to say I’ve never had a nickname…although a few people would call me by my last name, but that doesn’t really count! I had names picked out for years for babies… Ava wasn’t one of them & neither was Sophie! The names we picked pout for a boy changed from one pregnancy to the next. Funny how things change… Let’s see if the names you like stay the same!?!

  4. 1.15.13

    I love the name Jane, you are right, it is classic but cool too, and think Jane Austen is a great person to be named for if that is the case! Thanks for sharing your story.

  5. 1.15.13
    mel said:

    I also love the name Jane. It is short, sweet, and classy!

  6. 1.15.13

    Jane is my Mom’s name and my middle name! I’m partial – but love it!

  7. 1.16.13

    I love your name too. It’s classic and pretty but fun too. In high school, I remember how one of my friend’s sisters was named Jane and she was …da bomb. You’re a lucky girl!

  8. 1.16.13
    Sheri said:

    I love your name too!! Classic and timeless. Dudley? Lets get the boys to vlog about how they came about that one.

  9. 1.16.13

    How sweet baby, how sweet name. Like and love this name. JANE really cute <3

  10. 1.17.13

    My Jane… I can add, because I was there, that Dad and I also loved a strong, classic name to go along with your older sister’s name, Audrey. It’s funny, though, because so many people back then asked if we named you two for the Meadows’ sisters, entertainers Audrey and Jane. Um. NO. But that’s OK. After you were named, Nana also told me that Dad was going to be JANE if he were a girl. THAT was just perfect to me. Jane means “God’s gracious gift”, and that’s exactly what you are to us and to our family. Your middle name, Hillary, came to us when we discovered its meaning – “cheerful one”. We loved the 3-syllable Hillary with the 1-syllable Jane and you certainly lived up to both of your names. I love this name link, and think it’s special for everyone to know all about his/her first great gift… the NAME. xoxox!

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