Hey … What’s Up With Your Name?

Lanaya … my first name. La-what?

I know … I am sure there are several of you who read my blog every day and really have NO clue as to how to say my name.

OK…let’s see if I can break this down for you …

So, does that make more sense? No, well, I tried.

I get asked most of  the time if I am Hawaiian. I’m not. I get asked if I am from Puerto Rico. I’m not. Most people think I have some kind of Latin flare because I sport a year round, natural tan, curly hair and really big brown eyes, and curves. Let’s not forget the curves. So here it is. My mom is white, my dad is black (well, 1/2 black.) On any given Sunday he is mistaken for Tiger Woods or Denzel Washington, it depends on the length of his hair. It’s kind of creepy actually.

Ask my parents about my name and they will both tell you different stories. Mom says when she was pregnant and found out I was a girl she wanted to have the name start with L and end in A, like hers, Laura. My dad will tell you it’s because they had a friend in high school that was named Lanee (like Renee but with an L.) Whatever the case, here it is, my name, Lanaya.

When I was eight I met a woman who told me the real origin of my name, after telling me I spelled it wrong. (What a bitch! I was eight!) Anyways, it’s Swedish. Bet you didn’t see that coming. It’s the national flower of Sweden, correctly spelled Linnaea and was named for famous botanist Carl Linnaeus. Wikipedia this dude (or just click that link over there  <– …he’s kind of cool!)

It’s called the twin flower because of how it grows. Very fitting for me since I am a Gemini, the twin constellation! Talk about blowing my parents away with this information!

So, now you know a little bit more about Lanaya!

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  1. Very interesting!! Even after I was born, my parents wanted to name me Laura – until they ran into a friend of theirs in the hospital on their way to the nursery to get me & she said something about her niece Robin, so they stole the name right then and there. Honestly, I would have preferred Laura – Robin comes with a lot of ridicule when you're young.

    • I like the name Robin ,.. but I do get that you probably had some names thrown at you when you were young. I've had so many nicknames…My first name produced Shanaynay and lots of others and my last name was Ewald so I got called an Ewok ~ oh yeah … like the little fuzzies from Star Wars :)

  2. I love your name when I first met you, I thought that is a beautiful name and I was pronouncing it right YAY!

    • Every once in a while I will get people that see it and they are spot on with the pronunciation…Nice work! Gold stars for you! :)

  3. jnine0712 says:

    Cute post and will say this people had trouble pronouncing Janine. So it isn't a stretch that they would have trouble with Lanaya. That said I too am a gemini and even more reason why I love you and are friends with you :) :)
    My recent post Lazy Sunday Morning Conversations

    • LOL ~ I almost died when I saw that you were a Gemini! I knew we were so much alike from our posts but seriously? That's awesome!

  4. @VioletImperfect says:

    I won't lie, I have wondered. I have been pronouncing it pretty close I think. LOL. It makes me wonder how people pronounce my name, I pronounce it Lez-Lee, not Less-Lee.
    Your name has a way cooler meaning than mine, mine has something to do with a Scottish Fortress. LOL.

  5. Good to know! I had been pronouncing it wrong in my head this whole time! haha!
    My recent post Thursday Thrill – A Day in Bed

    • Haha … you and a zillion others! I figured I would set the record straight. Oh and (gasp!) I am doing my first Vlog next week ~ so you'll get to see me in person…Scary!

  6. Glad to know I have been pronouncing your name right all along. I love your name and fits you perfect.
    xoxo tiffani http://www.tiffanigoff.com
    My recent post When nothing you do seems right…

  7. Well, see I would have said it right! Not hard. I wish I had a cool story behind my name. My son is a Gemini. Me now I am a hybrid of the astrological world…..Right on the Taurus/Gemini split {Yeah, I am a hand full some days}. Before they decided to change the dates. I act like both so I am sticking to that. Funny little horse with sound words. : ) That was super crappy of someone to say that to you. Something is seriously wrong with some adults out there. It's my name, I will spell it how I want..right.

    I have that problem with my maiden name…french/indian/cajun roots- Gregoire- Pronounced: Grig wa. It really gets people when they see my full name because I kept my maiden name and added a hyphen with my married name but since that is the limit for letting in most systems there is no hyphen and it looks like this Gregoireperdew and you can see people pause and debate the way they will tackle the pronunciation…funny.
    My recent post &quot;Inspiration in Progress&quot; #3

    • I was curious about your maiden name … Now that I know it's French the pronunciation makes sense. With both names together you sound like a mustard! Love it :)

  8. I love your name, and I love your daughter's name too. 3 of my 4 kids have unique names. I think it's neat because everyone in the room knows who you are talking about when you say such a name. If you say, "Dave did it!' no one raises an eyebrow (lots of Dave's). If you say Lanaya did it…mm hmm, good or bad you're nailed. :)

  9. I absolutely love your name, it's beautiful and unique. :)

  10. notinjersey says:

    ha! of course I was saying it la-nye-uh. Now I like it even more! what an interesting story. everyone says my name wrong too btw. it rhymes with Sarah.
    My recent post January In Review

    • That's cool ~ I would never have known it rhymed with Sarah … Now I know how to say yours too because I was saying Dar-ruh.

  11. NuggetOnABudget says:

    This was so cool to read! I actually thought your name was pronounced "Luh-ni-ah"…as in the "ni" was like "n-eye". So I'm glad that you wrote this so I can think of your name correctly now :) I totally understand how you feel though about the pronounciation stuff…no one ever knows how to pronounce my name either. It was worse when I was growing up, and therefore I hated my name. Now I love it because it's different. Most people call me "Kara" or "K-air-a", or even "Kiara". I know, lame. It's actually said like "K-ear-a". Most people spell it Kira. My parents got the name from this sci-fi movie from the 80s called The Dark Crystal. And it was claymation, LOL. It's kinda cool, though. It was fun getting to know you even more mama!
    My recent post get to know: a mom of twins {aka supermom}.

  12. LOL ~ I'm a comment reader too :)

  13. Alejandra says:

    Lol goodness!! I was definitely saying it differently in my head! And I could’ve sworn that you were Hispanic up until recently when you posted a pic of you and your dad. And I REALLY didn’t expect it to be Swedish! Thanks for clarifying!

  14. Honestly, I always knew how to pronounce your name, but the illustration should help those who don't know. Made me chuckle. ;)

  15. javeriyasayeedsiddiqui says:

    Haha! Finally this post. Ok, now I know the meaning and it sounds really sweet. :D I would like to know Reagan's meaning too. Oh by the way I thought you were Spanish/Latin too.

    My recent post Cook n Grow Kitchen Giveaway

  16. I've always thought your name was really pretty. :) It's neat learning the meaning of it, I am obsessed with names and their meanings!
    My recent post Flashback Friday

  17. That is so cool!!! I love it. I thought it was Hawaiian as well…LOL but regardless it's so pretty and different. This is so cool to know how people got their names. I did a post a lot time ago about how we chose our daughters name. She has a different name too people seem to ask how we came up with it
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  18. You have a beautiful name! I like that it is the same as the Swedish flower, but spelt differently…my daughter's name is Addison, but I actually spell it differently…I wanted it to be a little unique. So I can appreciate that about yours :)

    • Thank you Marty ~ I am loving my name now but man when I was young I just wanted to be like everyone else! I'm glad I am not :)

  19. Thanks for sharing about yourself. I like your original name.
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  20. I love this post! I get asked funny/weird questions/comments about my name too! My name is Anjali (Pronouced Un-ja-lee, with the emphasis on the 'un'), so it's not really spelt how it's said, and it's also an Indian name, I'm not Indian, and probably the palest New Zealander you'll ever meet, so it's confusing for people. haha :) Great post.
    P.S Thanks for being a part of the $100 Amazon give away! I'm really excited about it!
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    • LOL ~ I love your name. I have a friend in Pennsylvania with your same name! Coincidence!! Thank you for coming by and saying hello! Good luck :)

  21. Luh-neigh-uh. That is cute. Your name is beautiful. Thanks for bringing a smile to my face with that visual. I was actually saying Luh – nye – Uh. So now I know the correct way. Thanks girl.

  22. brittneilynn21 says:

    I think it is a very beautiful name. Your parents are so funny for their 2 different responses lol! xoxo
    My recent post Blogger Opportunity: Christmas Cash Giveaway Event!

  23. I have a friend who's daughter is named Linnea, pronounced like yours. It's a very pretty name and I had never heard of the origin of it.