What’s Behind a Name?

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Growing up I was surrounded by girls commonly named Jessica, Sarah, Nicole and Melissa. Instead of choosing one of the popular names of the year, my parents chose an unconventional name for me. I was not too old when I began to realize my name was not as common as other girls. Even as a child it was easy to see that most kids were not being asked the same questions about their names as I was being asked about mine.

My parents named me Summer, so I was frequently asked if I was born in the summertime. I was not. I was born in the middle of fall or autumn, so one might think that a more suited name for myself would have been Autumn. Assumptions that my parents must love the summer season would usually soon follow. For my mother, summer was not her favorite season. In fact, my mother often told me of the very hot summer months she spent pregnant prior to my birth.

At a certain point in my childhood, I began to believe that a unique name like mine must have a fun, sentimental or exciting story behind it. One day anticipating a story that would change the way I viewed my name, I begged my mother to tell me the story. Here is the story:

She overheard another mother talking to her dark-haired daughter, who was named Summer, while waiting to see the doctor. The end. The story was certainly not life-changing.

When I was a teenager, my dad came home letting us know that he looked up the meaning of everyone in the family. He started with himself and went around the table to tell me the meaning of my name last. After hearing meanings for my parents and sisters such as brave, gentle, courtly and sweet song, my sisters and I were expecting something grand behind my name. My dad looked at me and told me my name meant “a season.” My sisters quietly chuckled as I again processed my name with no story and no unique meaning.

The one unique story associated with my name has to do with my initials. My dad and mom were married while my dad finished a journalism degree at the University of Georgia. I was born during one of the Bulldog’s most successful seasons, resulting in numerous jokes that my parents should name me after one of the football players on the team. My mother who is not a football fan and listened to the jokes as a very pregnant woman did not find them at all numerous. The week I was born, the Bulldogs were named the Southeastern Conference Champions. My initials happened to be SEC. Friend’s quickly pointed out, that my mother had accidentally named me for not one football player, but the whole team. Although I am not the biggest football fan myself, I have never forgotten that it was the same season of the Georgia Bulldogs last National Championship due to my dad proudly telling the story around my initials for years.

Writer Bio: Summer Bolte


I spend most of my time and days with my three kids, husband and dog. My kids frequently play near me as I garden, cook, DIY and volunteer. My most unusual paying job has to be feeding fruit flies in a research lab, and my most fullfilling job was being an oncology nurse for seven years.  



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