my parents knew exactly what they were doing.

In answer to the perennial questions: it is my exact given name, thank you; and of course people teased me when I was younger. (It was not fun to be called "Miss November" when I was 14 years old and flat as a board.) That said, a legal name change never once crossed my mind.

Here is one definition of the name "Sharyn."

SHARON: From the Hebrew for "of the plain." [Specifically, this plain.] The popularity of the name "Sharon" dropped sharply after World War II. Relatives: Sharen, Sharren, Sharyn, Charyn, Sharron, Charon, Sharry, Shari, Sherry. Namesakes: Shari Lewis [real name: Phyllis Hurwitz!], Ariel Sharon, "The Rose of Sharon." (But wait! Here is a song called "Rose of Sharyn.")

I detest nicknames and am grateful to my parents for giving me a name that does not easily abbreviate. Once an ex-boyfriend of mine called me "Shar." Note that he is an ex-boyfriend.

You can also check this source for another way of looking at "Sharyn." Warning: it's pretty depressing. I think they have only four name descriptions and none of us know it.

Other Sharyns:

Real Estate Sharyn (one of many)
Microbiology Sharyn
Sharyn McCrumb
Incoherent, Breast-Obsessed Sharyn
Canadian Foster Parent Sharyn
Child Starlet Sharyn
Quilting Sharyn
Sharyn the Painter
Tattooed Library Technician Sharyn
Sharyn, Columbia Professor
Church Dramatics Sharyn
Sharyn, the Wedding Photographer
Sharyn's Photo Album
Papercutting Sharyn
Sharyn GardenWeb
Sharyn of the Hip Domain (thanks to Jessamyn for this Sharyn. Jessamyn has a page of other Jessamyns, by the way)
The art of Sharyn
Sharyn edits films
Sharyn, Female Voice Talent (warning: loud singing)
Living, Working, and Playing Sharyn
Shuttle Tatting Sharyn (can you say this ten times fast?)
Sharyn, Bio Professor
The Sharyn Howard Mystery Series
Sharyn sings jazz
Playwright Sharyn
Catholic Primary School Principal Sharyn
Multimedia Sharyn
Sharyn works in watercolor and acrylic
Voiceover Sharyn
Sharyn, Blogger
Another blogging Sharyn
But this Sharyn hasn't updated since 2001
The following users are interested in Sharyn
Philosophy Professor Sharyn
Sharyn, the Public Health Researcher
Sharyn, the Australian photographer
You can buy linens from Sharyn
Meet the Sharyns of Flickr
Sharyn.net
Sharyn.info

Who is Sharyn? Googlism knows. So does Wikipedia.

Subset Sharyns
or: why not make this name even more confusing

International Artist Sharyne E. Walker
Office Specialist Sharyne
Sharyne, the Celtic Potter
Dr. Sharyne, Hematologist
Sharynne, Celtic Shaman Priestess

I took a quiz called "What's Your Name's Hidden Meaning?" Is it accurate? See for yourself.

You are the total package - suave, sexy, smart, and strong. You have the whole world under your spell, and you can influence almost everyone you know. You don't always resist your urges to crush the weak. Just remember, they don't have as much going for them as you do.

You are truly an original person. You have amazing ideas, and the power to carry them out. Success comes rather easily for you... especially in business and academia. Some people find you to be selfish and a bit overbearing. You're a strong person.

You are usually the best at everything ... you strive for perfection. You are confident, authoritative, and aggressive. You have the classic "Type A" personality.

You are wild, crazy, and a huge rebel. You're always up to something. You have a ton of energy, and most people can't handle you. You're very intense. You definitely are a handful, and you're likely to get in trouble. But your kind of trouble is a lot of fun.

You are a free spirit, and you resent anyone who tries to fence you in. You are unpredictable, adventurous, and always a little surprising. You may miss out by not settling down, but you're too busy having fun to care.

You are very intuitive and wise. You understand the world better than most people. You also have a very active imagination. You often get carried away with your thoughts. You are prone to a little paranoia and jealousy. You sometimes go overboard in interpreting signals.

the characters mean *thankfulness* and *genius.* This is what the word "Sharyn" looks like in Japanese. (See also here.)

As for "November": My father tells me that in 1850s Poland all Jews were assigned arbitrary last names so they could be taxed. Someone knew German, obviously, because the Polish word for the month of November is "Listopad," which translates to "falling leaves."

And yes, all Novembers are related, although it may be a reach to find the connection.

Other Novembers:

The November Coalition
Alan November, educational bigwig
The film Sweet November
november AG, "the molecular company"
The November Radiants
The revolutionary organization, 17 November
My distant cousin Baruch November is looking for love

Newsflash! I recently discovered that there is an actual reason why I am consistently late for everything. Turns out that I have my own time zone.

I was especially amused when China Miéville and Robyn Hitchcock each politely asked me: "Is that your real name?" (Before you ask: yes, those are indeed their given names, too.)

A short screed on how not to name your child
by the long-suffering Sharyn November

Parents-to-be: listen up. When you name your child, you are naming a person. You are not naming a pet, a computer, or a car. Please avoid "creative" spellings, names you think are "cute," bad initials (like PIG, ASS, et cetera), a first name that sounds like a last name, puns, names of dubious gender (although this does make a future sex change easier, should your child wish to have one), and nonsense. You also need to strike a balance. Do not choose a name that everyone else is choosing this year, because your child will be a clone. Remember: no matter what his or her name is, he or she will be teased, so please be thoughtful. Ideally, give your child a name with a variety of possible abbreviations (like Elizabeth or Thomas), as well as a decent middle name as an alternative, so she or he can choose.

If you yourself have what you consider a boringly normal name, and thus want to make sure your child's is "interesting," I suggest switching names. This way you will be "unique" and your child will not need therapy.

Your child will eventually grow up. Make sure s/he has a name that ages gracefully. Conversely, it should be a name that also fits a child (as opposed to a college dorm, one of the cast members of Fiddler on the Roof, a Civil War general, a mage, or a stripper).

Other pieces of advice: do not name your child after a film or TV star; a character from an obscure British or French novel or a soap opera; your favorite musician, author, or artist (or, dare I say it, children's book character); a god or goddess; a car; any aspect of your career; a perfume; a country, city, or state; Nature; or the wine you drank before conceiving. If you have more than one child, do not choose a name that rhymes and/or has the same initial letter. Your family will sound stupid.

Don't forget that a lot of surnames are a waste. For example, if your last name is Feldstein (I know no one named Feldstein, I just invented it for an example), do not name your daughter Madison. It's a clunker. Also, at last count, there were 4,375,827 other Madisons.

Hyphenated surnames are a mouthful, and often sound ludicrous. One surname is good enough.

Do not name your child after yourself. S/he is not an extension of you! If you want an extension of you, try a My Twinn doll.

If you don't like the above rules, I suggest you get a pet and name it. You can call a pet any damned thing you like and it won't care.

Thank you for your time.

Go home.