Friday, February 12, 2010

What's in a Name?

People are always asking me if "Kirby" is my real name. It is. According to my mom, that's what her mom planned to name her first son -- but she had four daughters. Mom thought it was too pretty for a boy's name so when she was expecting she decided I'd be Kirby if I was a girl and David (after my dad) if a boy. Her name choice upset my dad's then-commanding officer so much that he offered to pay my mom $25 if she named me something different. I think he was lobbying for Lenora.

And if Kirby isn't different enough, my maiden name is Miltenberger. It doesn't take much imagination to conjure up the kinds of things I was called as a kid. I really love my middle name which is Lane, but I don't get to use it much -- thus the name of this blog, Kirby's Lane.

Coincidentally, in the past few days writer friends have shared snippets they've found about my name:

From Karen Cushman: Kent Highways Service (KHS – part of Tory-run Kent County Council) plans to create a bus lane in St Dunstans, from Station Road West to the Towers. Other traffic heading towards the West Gate will have to turn into Station Road West. Kirbys Lane will be closed to all traffic at the St Dunstans end.

From a new writer friend in Austin, I learned about a restaurant (which we missed while there!) called Kerbey Lane Cafe. Check out their website -- I want one of their mugs!

Take that all you Sue Smiths and John Joneses!


  1. You have a great name, Kirby! It totally fits you, too--I think you'd be out of place named Leonora.

    Having gone through my whole life seeing my name everywhere only spelled with a -y and hence not quite my name, I understand being on the hunt for references to your name. A lady I know from church has totally bonded with me because her name is also Emilie, and whenever I see her it's like a meeting of the Secret Society of Spelling Emilie the Cool Way.

  2. I love it, Emilie! My friend, Bonny Becker, gets her name misspelled all the time, too.

  3. I first thought you're mom was maybe one of Kerbey Lane Cafe's many fans who often get the spelling wrong. :)

    Nifty name.

    Clint in New Hampshire