There is often an interesting story behind a name, and it can be an interesting trigger for some creative writing. Here are some questions to think about, in relation to your name. See if they prompt interesting answers, and give you any ideas for recording “The Story of Your Name”.


  • How did you get your name and why was it chosen? Which parent chose your name? Is there a favourite family story about how you got your name?
  • What does your name mean? Does your name mean something in a different language?
  • Is it a traditional name in your family, i.e. are you named after a relative, or do you have other relatives with the same name?
  • Are you named after someone famous? Why?
  • Is the name you are called by not your first name, but a second name, or a nickname, or a variation on your formal name?
  • Is your name misspelled often? Do people mispronounce your name?
  • How do you feel about your name?
  • Is there a name you have often thought you’d rather have, or ought to have?
  • What about the sound of your name? Do you feel it is a hard or soft sound? Warm or cool? If your name was a colour, what colour would it be?
  • Very often, people have multiple names, or variations of their name, for different situations and people – a different name for friends, family, work colleagues & employers, bank managers, doctors etc. The different variations can be like different hats that we wear for different occasions. Sometimes they are hats we choose to put on outselves, and sometimes people put the hats on us without us having a choice about it. What is the story of your name(s) in this respect?


You can relate this exercise to any middle names you have, as well as your first name.