What’s In a Name?

When my best friend Evelyn and I were teenagers, we read a lot of ‘Jane’ magazine, listened to a lot of Hole, and even wrote a ‘zine, “Kult Zero”–(‘K’ because was cooler) for a brief period of time.  But because we were too busy using Alanis Morisette’s “Jagged Little Pill’  as a pubescent Rosetta-stone to identify how we felt about boys, the zine didn’t last long.


But mostly it was just us, smoking cigarettes we pinched from my mother, listening to music and imagining the kind of awesome women we were going to be.  The first thing of the agenda was to make our names more awesome.  We really admired the application of an apostrophe, a la D’arcy from “Smashing Pumpkins”.  A’licia.  Ali’cia.  Alici’a.  Eve’lyn.  E’velyn.  Ev’elyn.  The possibilities weren’t mathematically endless, but there were some options.  If we were crushing on a guy, and “Jagged Little Pill” made us realize that we were in fact “Head over Feet”,  we would then toy with the marital name game, pairing our first names with their last.  Evelyn’s name always went beautifully with others, whereas mine did not.  But her thighs were much skinner than mine, so she’d probably get married far sooner than me anyway.

When I  met my husband, and I told my mother about him on the phone.  She asked me his about last name.  “Ashcroft”,  I tell her.  “Alicia Ashcroft…good writer’s name”.  “I know right?”  My maiden name would have been sufficient,  Alicia Price was short and sweet, but Ashcroft has a lovely sing-song quality.  I once had a fiercely feminist professor that justified changing her name after marriage: “I loved how his name sounded, why wouldn’t I take it?”  Then again, I think I’d have a good enough first name to drop my surname and go it alone.  I think it’s the vowel at the end–“Alicia”, like I could totally have a talk show.   It’s not so common, and Alicia Keys will always be “Alicia Keys”, and therefore, there is a small window of time where I could come on the scene and Ms Keys will rue the day she had a last name–“Argh! Why didn’t I think of that?”

ALICIA-KEYS-GIRL-ON-FIRE-PROMO-THAT-GRAPE-JUICEJesus, girlfriend…calm down, I understand that you’re jealous, but there’s no need to set your piano alight.  I’m frankly, I’m not sure what the deal is with your beret.  I would seriously rethink the whole look.

The thing is, your name has to be unique enough to stand alone.  I don’t think you could be called “Brenda”, and it stand up on it’s own.  It’s people like Madonna, Oprah, Beyonce–names that can not be replicated.  Unless you are damn crazy, you couldn’t name your baby ‘Beyonce’.  Tina Knowles did it first and ruined the fun for everyone else.  Now, it just wouldn’t work.  It’s too recognizable.  But good for them, their names are apart of their whole fame platform.  They are those names.  No one ever says: “Did you mean Madonna Jenkins? Oprah Henderson? Beyonce Sipowtiz?” It’s like “Highlander”, there can only be one.

beyonce and oprah

“Bitch please, I invented having just one-name”.

Although I feel like it started with Madonna, who’s been around so long she once roamed the earth along with the dinosaurs.

madonna black white

Or was it Cher?


Needless to say, Adele is doing well without the last name.


Rihanna’s got one name, an eye-patch and a perfectly stupid finger tattoo…she’s got it all!


God help me, Lady Gaga doesn’t quite fit into my one-named theme, but an eye-patch sub-theme has a occurred, so I’m rolling with it. After all, it’s my blog bitches, so you better step it line. I’m A’licia, I can do what I please!  And please, you could refer to ‘Gaga’ and no one would wrinkle their nose and say “You mean Senator Gaga? Emperor Gaga? Beloved surgeon Doctor Gaga?”

gaga eye ptach

Oh no, I’ve gone off the rails, But Bette Davis is out to prove you can have a last name and still be a stone cold bad ass.  So maybe I’ll keep the last name, and get an eye-patch instead.

The-Anniversary-1All Images Courtesy of Google

3 thoughts on “What’s In a Name?

  1. remindmagger

    I knew a hairdresser once named Mona who refused to marry a guy whose last name at Lott. There’s love, and there are names.

  2. Ev

    Oh, friend, how I simultaneously miss and do not miss our younger days ;) I do miss my skinnier thighs, that is for sure. Hilarious, as always.

    p.s. As if I’ve ever smoked a cigarette in my life, hee!

    • aliciaashcroft

      Sorry to throw you under the bus-cheeky cigarette wise, but just wait until my mother reads this and realizes what we were up to–uh oh!


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