Samantha Lee Lemmerman
Instructor Deb Dusek
College Composition 110-08
13 April 2011
My Name Is Samantha
In high school I had always noticed that I was the one with the longest name ever. Samantha Lemmerman might not be the longest name in the world, but for a school with only 180 students kindergarten through twelfth grade, it was pretty long. I found that my name was very unique when I was younger. With twenty letters in my full name, I've had mixed feelings on it.
There have been a few famous Sams that I know of, Samuel Adams from the beer commercials and Samantha Jones of Sex and the City. I suppose one could say that all Samanthas and Sams were named from Samuel, the character in the bible. I, however, was not. My mother told me just the other day that after she had found out she was pregnant at the daycare she worked at, both her and Sharon, her boss, loved the name Sam. Even if I was boy I was destined to be named Sam. It was a good thing I was not a boy though as my father has a heavy dislike for the name Samuel. In high school I had the longest first name that I knew of, besides a Mac who was a year younger than myself, his full name was Mackenzie. Even the name Sam was scarce in my school. Our history teacher's son was named Sam, he was the only Sam I knew until senior year. The Chokio-Alberta class of 2010 gained one more, Samantha Allison. I had gone from being the only Sam to one of two Sams and I did not like it one bit. Once I hit college, I knew four Sams. One of which that just so happens to be my neighbor on my floor. The eight letter name means listener and is an Aramaic name (Lansky 359). I used to feel that 'listener' did not suit me, as I gained the talking gene from my aunt, but as I begin to think about it, I've never been able to really express my feelings. Instead I was people's listener. When I was in kindergarten I remember having to write out my full name, Samantha, instead of just Sam. Confusion was all I could think about. I had gone from Sam to Samantha in a tenth of a second, or however long it took me to write out Samantha. For a few years it was Sam or Sammie. Once I got to high school it was every variation I knew of. I even tried S once, my health teacher was not too happy about that. When I began to write and publish short stories online I did so under the name Samantha Lee. That was about ninth or tenth grade. Since then it's been Samantha Lee Lemmerman, as long as I had enough time to write it out. While I looked through Bruce Lansky's book, found a handful of other variations of Samantha including; Samanatha, Samanta, and Sammantha (359). They were odd variations, I must admit, but my favorite variations were; Zamantha and Xamantha, Zam and Xam for short (359). In 2006, Samantha was ranked number 10 while Emily was number one. Between the boys and girls top ten names, Samantha and Sophia were the only names to start with S ("Social Security Presents America's Favorite Baby Names for 2006").
In my small home town of Chokio, there is a family with the last name Lee, they own a well drilling company. Then you have Lee jeans. Lee Harvey Oswald, which reminds me that when I was in fifth grade my teacher, Mrs. Marty, gave us the afternoon off. It was November 22nd, the anniversary of John Fitzgerald Kennedy's assignation. All afternoon my class watched a documentary on JFK's death, I watched it, the rest of my class sat there passing notes and drawing crude pictures on their desks. The whole time all I could think was one thing. And when my mom got home from work I asked her why she had named me after a killer. After that day I began to read everything I could get my eyes on about the Kennedy dynasty. I found out that I shared middle names with Jacqueline Lee Bouvier Kennedy Onassis. However when I asked my mom why she named me Samantha Lee, she told me that my parents were tossing out middle names and she thought Samantha Lee sounded pretty. The name Lee originated in Germany and the three small letters pushed together into Lee means "from the sheltered place" (Astoria 186). Does this match me? In a way, sort of. If my class had had a Most Naive category in our Senior Hall of Fame, I would have been number one.
There is no pretty way to write Lemmerman. Believe me, I have tried every way imaginable. Even though its only two letters different than Zimmerman, a common name in my hometown, there are a lot of people that cannot pronounce it correctly. Through my cousin Mic Lemmerman, he can trace all the Lemmermans and has figured out that we are all related. The name Lemmerman also comes from Germany and it a pet form of the name Lemmer, which means "'people,' 'beloved,' 'famous'" (Hanks 421). It was hard enough having such a long first name, but no, I had to have a long last name as well. Substitutes and new teachers were a pain because half of them could not pronounce it correctly. No matter how I tried to write it; cursive, flowy, elegant, whatever way I tried it did not look any form of pretty. Most of the time it is written with loops and squiggles.
Even though I've changed my name numerous times I still have mixed feelings. I know it will never grow longer or shorter until I marry. I still have not found an attractive way to write my name either. But I still love the fact that I had the longest name in my class.
Astoria, Dorothy. The Name Book: Over 10,000 Names-Their Meanings, Origins, and Spiritual Significance. Minneapolis: Bethany House Publications. 1997. Print. 04 April 2011.
Hanks, Patrick-Editor. Dictionary of American Family Names. Vol. 2. Oxford University Press. 2003 Print. O4 April 2011.
Lansky, Bruce. 100,000+ Baby Names. New York: Meadowbrook Press, 2006. Print. 04 April 2011.
"Social Security Presents America's Favorite Baby Names for 2006" The United States Social Security Administration. Web. 05 April 2011.