The Books My Girls’ Names Come From

If you’ve been around for a while, you may know that I never use my girls’ real names on my blog or social media.

From the moment Ella was born, we used a pseudonym for her and with the strong book focus of my blog, it seemed like a fun idea to use book character names for their online names.

(Fun fact: originally, I called Ella Enna on my blog. A few weeks later, we decided we wanted to save Enna as a possible name for a future daughter and I switched it to Ella. We never ended up using Enna for any the other three girls, so we could have stuck with Enna, but . . . who was going to know that back in 2010?).

With each birth, it’s been fun to not only pick a real name for our daughters but also a blog name.

The Books My Girls’ Names Come From

If you’re curious about where each of their names comes from, here they are

  • Ella comes from Ella Enchanted, one of my all-time favorite children’s novels.
  • Ani comes from The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale. (Enna, the name we considered using for Ani in real life, is from this same series).
  • Star is from the B is for Betsy series by Carolyn Haywood. Star is the name of Betsy’s little sister, born in book three, Back to School for Betsy on Christmas Day.
  • Tally is from the Uglies series by Scott Westerfeld. Bart and I both read/listened to them before we had any kids and loved them. Bart, especially, was taken with the name Tally and kept suggesting it as a real name (that was a hard no from me), so we used it as her blog name instead.

By the way, whenever it comes up that I use fake names for them, the most two common questions are “Do they know their blog names?” and “Do you accidentally call them their blog names in real life?”

They all do know their blog names, although it’s probably only the two older girls who could tell you what they are – I’m not sure that Star and Tally could come up with them on their own.

And no, I never call them their blog names by accident. It would be like calling them their middle names by accident – it wouldn’t even occur to my brain to try to pull those names up when I’m talking about them or calling to them.

I DO, however, call them by each other’s real names ALLLLLL the time.

Any other questions about their blog names?


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  1. What! I have been reading your blog for about four years and I never knew this. First it was that you aren’t in to having pets. Then for some reason I thought you would have a southern accent but you most certainly do not. And now this! MIND BLOWN!

  2. I don’t know how long I followed you before I realized those aren’t their real names. I think Star was pretty little when I started following you and it wasn’t until 2ish years ago I finally figured out they had different real names.
    I’ve been reading the Betsy books to my 2nd grader and they’ve been fun to revisit (I read a few of them many times as a kid).
    I only have 2 kids but CONSTANTLY call them the wrong names. My brain seems to flip them on purpose.

  3. My oldests real name came from a book. Her name is Tegan and I was dead set on naming my daughter that from the time I was 17 years old and read My Best Friends Girl. Also, fun fact…. My maiden name is Janssen and I have a cousin whose first name is Janssen too!! 🙂

  4. Feeling good that I got 2/4 right 😂. I Had no idea on Star and I had Tally wrong. I love that you do this, so fun.

  5. I admire that you protect your girls and their privacy in this way!

    What are some baby names for girls (real names, not blog names haha) that you liked but didn’t use? I’m collecting inspiration for future use 🙂

  6. I have been following you for a few years now (possibly longer) and I thought those were your daughter’s real names!! I never knew!!

  7. I remember Enna! But I’ve been reading since the days before you had pictures on your blog 😂 A long, long time ago!

  8. I did not know your girls had blog names, but I think they need to have their privacy. I did notice the first letter of each of their names spells East…so there’s that. Also, I just finished reading Ella Enchanted with my oldest kid. Great book!

  9. Our first dog was Tali, short for Taliesin, aka Frank Lloyd Wright’s famous buildings (there’s an east and west). My husband got her before I entered his life so that name could never be used for our daughter!

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