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Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Just Say No to "Lana"

There was a time in America when people could relate to the name "Lana" through the actress, Lana Turner. That time was thirty five ago. I found it somewhat annoying in my youth, when every introduction was followed by "Lana...Like Lana Turner?" Yeah, sure. Like Lana Turner (whoever that is, I mean, I'm 6 for Chrissake!) Whatever.
Those days, that generation & even Lana Turner, herself, are gone now. According to namestatistics;

"LANA is the 470th most common female first name
.029% of females in the US are named LANA.
Around 35,525 US females are named LANA!"

Take my word for it. In our post-Lana-Turner world, do NOT name your child "Lana." Regardless of how very simple it seems (heck it's only 4 letters long & only 3 of those are different,) no one will ever get it right, even when it's written down for them &/or they see it on a regular basis. At best, they may be referred to as Alana or Lanna. At least that's close. At worst they will be called;
among many other increasingly mind-bending possibilities, including, in one case, Susan.
The origin of the name is dubious at best. Some say it's from the Old German for "precious," the Irish Gaelic for "little rock," the Greek "light" or Hawaiian "afloat; calm as still waters." One thing is certain; it's the Spanish word for "wool." Regardless, this precious little rock wool light is growing increasingly UNcalm as my name continues to be mangled hither & yon. I even came up with a sure-fire way to help remember it; it's the word "anal" backwards. How could anyone forget that, right? Still & always, my name proves to be the most difficult word-puzzle ever created by humankind.
If you love your daughters, name them something simple & common, like "Mary," "Heather" or the ever-popular "Caitlyn." I beg you for their sake, do not inflict the constant annoyance that is "Lana."


Chris Eldin said...

Why, oh why, did you put anal into my brain?

I am terrible with names, and I cringe in so many situations. I'd rather not say anyone's name at all if I weren't sure of it. I know it's disrespectful. My roommate's father back in college called me "Wendy" for four years. My roommate would always correct him. But to him, I was Wendy. I like that name except it reminds me of burgers...

Lana, btw, is a beautiful name. I love it.

Miladysa said...


Aww - do you have a nickname?

My name is a pain too - many a time I have wished my parents had named me something plain.

What name would you choose for yourself?

Charles Gramlich said...

I continue to be amazed at the times your name gets screwed up. Maybe it's too simple. I'm sorry sweetums. Lana means Love to me.

Nomad Flavor said...

How in-the-heck does someone get "Susan" out of "Lana"? (LOL)...I guess they themselves didn't want to be forgotten! (LOL)

Nice Pic "Lana". :o)

Lana Gramlich said...

Chris; I actually mind it LESS if someone says my name wrong, particularly if they don't know me well--that kind of thing's to be expected & I'm not the best at names, myself, sometimes--but when it's written down & it still gets bungled--like every time I try to publicize an art event--that makes me want to pull my hair out! So much for attempts at increasing my name recognition. There is no such thing as "branding" for a Lana! For my Feb. artist of the month show I actually changed my business name (on cards, fliers, etc.,) to "Eye Candy." At least THAT should be memorable!

Miladysa; Unfortunately I don't really have a nickname down here. Back in Canada a number of people referred to me as "Spike" for some reason (which I never liked, either.) I don't even know which name I WOULD pick, given a choice. Perhaps I'd just go with my middle name, "Rose."

Charles; You're too sweet, as always, but we both know that "Charles" is the true root of the word "love." :)

Nomad Flavor; Perhaps "Susan" because they knew there was an "an" in there somewhere. Who knows. I never had this problem in Canada, where the name's more popular. The worst flub I ever got there was Alana, which I could live with. Here in the US however...Forget it!

Lauren said...

From someone with a common name, I always wanted something a little more interesting. I like your name, I think it's pretty.

Also, thanks for the link to the name statistics site. Very interesting. Although it says that Lauren is only .137%, it is the 162nd most popular. Laura is the 22nd most popular name. No wonder people call me Laura all the time.

For googling purposes I read that people are trying to give their kids more unique names so that they can be googled more accurately. They actually pay consultants money for that kind of thing.

Trust me, a unique name is better. :)

Lynda Lehmann said...

Lana, this is hysterical!

Could your name trouble you more than mine does me? Lynda Lehmann is most often taken for "Lydia Lemon"! The "y" in Lynda stumps people.

And even though Lehmann is a fairly common name derived from the German, they invariably say "lemon."

But I'll pass your advice onto others, along with the admonition not to name their daughters "Lynda" with a "y." :)

PS - I'm clear on your name and I LIKE it!

Shauna Roberts said...

Even if people screw it up a lot, "Lana" is still a pretty name.

I always enjoyed having an unusual name when I was small and was miffed back in the 80s or 90s when it spiked in popularity. Right now, it's the 654th most common female name, with 20,825 of us in the US.

For some reason, "Roberts" appears to be a common last name for "Shauna" and I have many Google-twins. (I suspect you have none.)

If it makes you feel any better, my husband's last name is 70,4437th most common, with only 1250 people in the US sharing it. Some people who've known him for YEARS still can't spell it and/or pronounce it (not kidding).

Christina said...

Ahhh childhood!

I went by my middle name (and still do at times) and people would always sing the song with my middle name in it and I thought everyone just knew this one song that my father obviously made up...

I was six at the time too, so when I got older, I realized it was a Beatles song and was very popular.

I know how you feel on this one.

Lana Gramlich said...

Lauren; I appreciate it, but I'm afraid I still must disagree. I'm not concerned with Googling--as an artist, I desperately need name recognition. As of now, I have absolutely none, as no two listings have ever had the same name (nevermind an accurate one!)

Lynda; Thanks, hon. You know of what I speak! Lydia Lemon? You poor, poor woman! <:( *hug*

Shauna; I used to have a Google twin (before we were married.) I got in touch w/the "other" Lana Jackman once. She hated the name, said she'd married into it (& assumed I had--and hated it--too.) Not that anyone ever got Jackman, either. I was always "Jackson" (which was ironic, as that was my biological mother's last name.)
GRAMLICH is the #21559 most common last name
.0005% of last names in the US are GRAMLICH.
Around 1250 people have GRAMLICH as a last name! (Just like your hubby's.)
So I hear you on that, too. Of course, no one gets that right, either. Although it's pronounced GRAM-lick, I get GRAM-litch all the time. I could deal if they'd even get the last name right, but no dice on that, either. <:( Lana Gramlich is a disaster waiting to happen.

Christina; My own parents had me convinced that Johnny Cash had recorded "Give My Love to Rose" just for me (it's my middle name.) I didn't understand how that could be, but I was quite flattered...until I realized the truth. :( *sympie hugs*

Travis said...

I like the name Lana.

Erik Donald France said...

That's wild, Lana! But I sympathize, given how many butcher my name. When it's butchered in "official" correspondence, it's particularly irksome. Tells me people 1) aren't paying attention to details and/or 2) are sloppily throwing their writing together or 3) are dyslexic or 4) are retarded in some way. On the other hand, when people get it right, I'm pleasantly surprised ;->

Lana Gramlich said...

Travis; I appreciate that, but as of right now, you can have it. :(

Erik; What kills me, too, is that I go out of my way to spell it for people. L-A-N (as in "Nancy")-A. HOW does that turn into Alexis? There's a light sign over the main road in the town where my "Artist of the Month" show is. I may go down there this weekend to get a picture of my name on it. I'll bet you $50 it's wrong. If it's not, I may need to be resuscitated at the side of the road.

Doson said...

I saw you the other day murmuring somewhere in the internet. :D
And now I won't use this beauftiful name LANA if i ever get a daughter. ;)

Michelle (artscapes) said...

LOL! You're too funny...
I grew up with the last name "Basic". You wouldn't believe how often people got that wrong!!

YogaforCynics said...

Listen, Banana, my first name rhymes with "gay"--we can only hope that, in these somewhat less homophobic times, that's not being used (or taken) as an insult so much, but when I was in 7th grade.....

earthtoholly said...

I remember Lana Turner (unfortunately!) and I don't think I've EVER known of anyone else named Lana. But drjay's onto school did you ever get "Lana Banana"? :o)

Lana Gramlich said...

Doson; If you will heed my warning, it was worth my effort. ;)

Michelle; Really? They even screwed up "Basic?" That's incredibly ironic...

Jay; I can still sympathize. My last name was "Jackman." (You can imagine what school kids do with that, too, I'm sure.)

Holly; Surely you jest. I was "Lana Banana" well into my 30s, actually. I've had a respite from it since I moved back to the US (about 5.5 years ago.) Perhaps now THAT moniker, at least, is finally over.

Bird said...

Wow, people get your name wrong? I'm sure I've known a Lana before, maybe it's more common in the UK or something... it just doesn't seem to be a name you could easily screw up.

Bu LOL LOL LOL I don't think you should go round telling people your name is Anal backwards, then they might remember you for allll the wrong reasons!

Chrissy said...

I don't know anyone called Lana except yourself.....
I think it is really pretty and individual.
I hated being individial when I was younger, now I love it..I cannot imagine you with a common type name - sorry ;-)

Lana Gramlich said...

Bird; Yes, people have been getting my name wrong for decades now (& it's getting really tired.) As for the anal thing, that's what I've been reduced to. That does actually help people from time to time & I need all the help they can get!

Chrissy; I appreciate it, but I've SOOOO had it with this name! :\

Larry said...

Life ain't easy for a boy named Sue
and apparently, for girls named Lana in the post Lana Turner era.

Lana Gramlich said...

Larry; Well, life may be easy (these days,) but it grows increasingly frustrating. :(

Glennis said...

Amazing so many could get such a simple name wrong, I know a Lana, no one calls her any thing else. Its a pretty name. Funny you say the ever popular Katlyn or Catlyn no one is called that out here, its not at all popular. Sophie is last years most popular name according to statistics. And Jack for boys, strange quite old fashioned names.

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