Snagged from enigmaticblues
1. What is your first name? How do you feel about it?
Hedwig. I really, really like my name. True, it may not be as mellifluous as others, but it suits me and I'm pleased my Mum chose it.
2. Do you feel that a name can influence the course of a person's life? Their personality?
It's a very old belief, and one that I subscribe to - up to a certain point. I wouldn't expect every Hannibal to grow up to be a military genius, or every Cassandra to become a luckless prophet of doom; but I do believe that a child saddled with an unfortunate name that leads to teasing in the playground can be scarred for life. It doesn't even have to be a name; in some cases, initials can be embarrassing enough.
3. Can a person's name sway your opinion of them? Why or why not?
Not really. Although I do get a picture in my head of someone when I first hear their names, I'm not going to think less of them for having a name I don't care for, or that has a bad connotation for me. I try not to judge a book by its cover--or title.
4. How do you feel about the current trend toward androgynous first names?
This is probably more of an American trend; over here, girls are still given girls' names and boys, boys' names. The naming convention in the Netherlands isn't as strict as it is in other European countries, but there are still rules to be followed, and anyone wanting to call their son Sue or equivalent thereof would likely be refused registration. However, if they could prove a boy's name would be in common enough usage for girls in another county (e.g., Robin), they could get the go-ahead, after all.
5. Are there any names that speak powerfully to you, whether by association or imagination?
Certainly. They're the names I picked out long ago for any children I might have, and which sadly, I won't get to bestow on any offspring...but I've named my cat Manasse, which was top of my list of boys' names. I've always liked it, ever since I first heard it in Bible class at the age of 8 or 9. It means, "He causes to forget", and even though I'm not sure what it is that needs forgetting, its meaning hasn't put me off the name at all. (I care about the etymology of names; would never understand why someone would name their dark-haired, dark-skinned, dark-eyed baby Bianca, for instance). My list of girls' names was even longer, and heavily influenced by my penchant for medieval Dutch literature -- Badeloch, Blancefloer, Hadewych (which is actually the true Dutch form of my own name), Sanderijn, and Tesselschade; heroines all, strong and smart, as I would hope any daughter of mine would be...But as I said, I won't have children so the list goes to waste.