Thursday, July 16, 2009



Marisa - pronounced ma-REES-ah

I have a beautiful name. I didn’t always think this, but as I grow older I appreciate more and more its uniqueness. As a child I hated my name. I hated that other kids couldn’t pronounce it, hence I earned the nick name “Meecie,” or “Meece”, as my father continued to call me until he passed away when I was 40.

I hated that every time I got off the school bus at the end of the day, I was taunted with “Meecie Mouse, get in your house,” by the other kids.

I hated that there was no one who shared my name, and I longed for a more common name, like Julie or Katie or Linda…any damn name but Marisa, although I see the name Marisa popping up quite often in recent years.

I hated that all throughout school my teachers continued to call me
Ma-riss-sa and I had to correct them over and over again until they finally got it right, only to repeat the process all over again when a new school year meant a new teacher.

As an adult, I just gave up and for the most part ignored it when people miss-pronounced my name, especially those whom I was unlikely to meet again, but I have began lately to assert myself and not settle for being called by any other name.

My name was bestowed on me by my mother, not at birth, but at some later date. On my birth certificate and baptismal certificate, I was registered as “Marcia,” but for reasons of her own my mother started to call me Marisa. It was the only name I knew until I turned 16 and needed my birth certificate to apply for my beginner’s licence.

I’m not sure how my name change came about. One theory is that my mother read my name in a book after my birth and liked it so much she started using it. Another is that she wanted to name me Marisa from the start but bowed to pressure from her mother-in-law to choose a more acceptable name. I will never know. It is just one more of many questions I wish I had asked my mother when I had the chance.

Is it any wonder I have an identity complex. It made for a lot of confusion, remembering what name to sign on documents, to the point I had my name legally changed to what I had grown up with, Marisa, a name I now love and plan to keep. Perhaps some day it will be passed down to a future grandchild or great-grandchild.

The meaning of the name Marisa is - Sea Of Bitterness
The origin of the name Marisa is Italian

The meaning of my name, Sea Of Bitterness, is not a true depiction of my character or nature. I am not a sea of bitterness... a kiddie pool maybe from time to time, but most certainly not an ocean.


  1. I love the name Marisa...I have a cousin with the same name only she spells it with 2 (s) is intriguing wondering how your name change truly did come about. At any rate its a beautiful name glad you have come to terms with accepting it!!

  2. I hated my name growing up too....Melanie...why did it have to be so different? And don't even get me started on the various and cruel things that can be done with it....Smelly Melly being my personal favourite....

    I still prefer to go simply with Mel....someday perhaps I'll embrace the whole thing...but I haven't still doesn't feel like it fits...

  3. Ha, a sea of bitterness, that would be a tough name to live up too..

    Marisa is a very nice name.. Try being generic. Jennifer. Hmm my parents were so original back in 77 that I had always 4-5 Jennifer's in my class. Annoying let me tell ya.

  4. Mom, I had no idea that this was so! When did you have your name legally changed?

    It's kind of like my story, where I didn't know that my first name was hyphenated, thinking the second part of my first name was actually part of my middle name! I think I found out at the bank when we were there doing something with my account.

    And you are definitely not not a sea of bitterness.

  5. I love that name! I almost named my daughter that. It's beautiful, romantic, and strong. I love names that are not mainstream.

  6. what a beautiful story. i myself have had a difficult life with my name. not teasing too much, but always having to correct people and spell things out. which is hard to do when you're a shy kid! but ultimately it made me love my name that much more. after all, i feel like i've worked for it in a way! it has built my attachment to the name.

    i think it's great that you are sharing the story of your name~ very honoring.

  7. Thanks everyone for the wonderful comments on my name. I'm glad I came "out". I do prefer Marisa to Marjean which was just a merging of my first and middle original was that?

    Mountainmamma, We would love to know your name. Don't keep us in suspense.

    Melanie, I love your name. It's soft and musical.

    Grace, We will have to talk about our names when we see each other on the weekend and I will fill you in. You were only little when I had mine changed legally so you wouldn't remember. As for your name we always called you by your hyphenated name, Grace-Elaine, when you were little but I guess we just dropped it to Grace as you got older. I didn't realize you didn't remember.
    ...something to chat about on the weekend.

  8. You told your story beautifully and your name is lovely.

  9. So, I have to say, I adore your name and am glad that you now feel comfortable to be with us in your true form! Hooray!

    I have to say I could SO relate to this story because I hated, hated, hated being named Holly. Especially when born in the middle of July. I still can't say that I love it.

    And, I still believe an 100 year old named Holly will seem a bit out of place, but well, there it is...

    To answer your question on my blog? Michael and I were dating for three months when he decided to move to a new state and take on a new opportunity. We realized that we didn't want to be without each other through that process. So, I packed up my old life, and came with.

    We've been together five years; married this November for three. It has been quite an adventure!

    Thanks for being a member of my blog community, Marisa!

  10. Oh, I love my name, too. And, everyone always massacres it. I just answer to anything directed my way that starts with an R.

  11. Sea of Bitterness!! I never knew that was the meaning of Marisa, or maybe I would have thought twice about naming my daughter that way. Because she is not even a "kiddie pool" of bitterness... :)
    But I´m glad we did because I still love that name. We pronounce her name just like yours too. But now that she lives in Canada, most people say Ma-riss´sa or call her by her nickname "Misa" (spoken Meesa).
    I find it fascinating that the blogging world has brought us together! :)