The Stories Behind Names

Pen names are masks that allow us to unmask ourselves. - C. Astrid Weber

Quote from C. Astrid Weber

Sigmund Freud once said that a human being’s name is a principal component in his person and perhaps a piece of his soul. Even the Bible says that God called us each by name.

What’s in a name, really?

Names are important to us, whether for personal, social, or professional purposes. Understanding the relationship between our name and our personality and what it had and will have attracted into your lives is a way towards self-discovery.

They say that our names has its own power.

Somehow, our name has an influential force on our way of thinking and it could even tell us what we were meant to be, what to expect during the phases of your lives, etc.

Names help us to connect with other people.

Isn’t it that the first thing we ask about other people is their name? We even come up with nicknames or aliases just to identify some people or associate a character trait to a person in a positive or negative way.

Names also give credibility.

Somehow, if we mention a name or two to someone, it provides personal reference or some kind of endorsement. Names also give opportunity for us to enter into a deal, contract, or any other business. That’s why businesses and personalities try to keep their reputation clean.

Names set us apart.

It is the distinctive identification or branding that we can’t get rid off easily. Once our name is called, it brings a specific association with a face and character.

One time, I tried to look for what my name means and it gave me this result:

Your name of Marissa has created your spontaneous, friendly personality. You are outgoing and take an interest in others and, as a result, are very well -liked. Although you do lack confidence in many ways, you have an air of poise and composure which leaves the impression that you have everything under control . Many people would find it hard to believe you were lacking in self-assurance at times.” At first, I would say it is correct.

When I started writing novels and comics, I used my nickname Issa instead of my first name on my byline. I believed that my nickname would make my author name distinctive and at the same time, distance it from my official signature and full name.

In 2003 up to 2004, I used a pen name for a daily dream interpretation column I wrote for Diyaryong Imbestigador as a disguise and to separate it from my other forms of writing which I am known for.

I used to be called Marie during high school and college. After I took the Med. Tech. Board Exam in 1990, I had a job in sales. My product/sales trainer called me Isa for the first time. Take note, that has just one s. Also, “isa” in Filipino means one (the number). That same period, I saw a book entitled, “The Lost Years of Jesus: Documentary Evidence of Jesus’ 17-Year Journey to the East” (Livingston. Mont.: Summit University Press; 1984). It is about the hidden life of Jesus Christ written by Elizabeth Clare Prophet. It was written in that book that “Issa” was Jesus’ name during his stay in Tibet and India. From then on, I took that nickname and never regretted it.

The name of Issa has good qualities: positivity and expressiveness. It makes me more of a good-natured person who enjoys the company of people. However, the same name analysis result said: “…but it should not be used because it does not offer enough depth of thinking:…” And I asked myself, “What?!” But then again, that name analysis website is offering name analysis as its business.

How about you, is there a story behind your name?


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