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What's in a name, Susan

Updated on December 12, 2012

What runs through your head if and when you meet a person called Susan? For me it is "oh no here we go again" Don't ask me why I have problems with people called Susan but I do.

If I look back at my various workplaces over the last forty plus years a wide variety of women called Susan spring to mind. They do not do so in a warm, friendly way but rather as an unpleasant experience.

Online those people called Susan, or using that name as a pen name, have not been problematic. In the flesh it has been a different scenario. One Susan at work was a tall, statuesque lady with an exaggerated sense of self worth. Her mission in life was it seemed to make people suffer. Especially people with my Christian name. It turned out that my name had a bad association for her. It was the name of her much hated stepmother. Strange how mud sticks even when there is nowhere for it to stick. It meant that I was doomed in this person;s eyes from day one of working together.

Now I have always tried to treat each new Susan as an individual. A person who will be different to the others. One who will prove to be the exception to what has become a rule. In recent years I have always been disappointed. There must be good Susan's out there. Nice people who are warm and friendly. Just where they are escapes me.

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Definitions

I was curious about the name Susan. Often the name we are given bears little relation to the person we become. Sometimes though when you look at the meaning or origin of a first name there are peculiar similarities.

Susan:

  • English in origin
  • Comes from the name Susanna

There are always a few different meanings given for any name. In the case of Susan it seems she may be Introverted, discreet and reserved, tending to protect herself from a world that worries her a little.

Now that sounds the opposite of most of the Susan's I have encountered. On the contrary they have been extroverts, gossipy, anything goes types of bullies who have cared little for others or the world.

I needed to look further and this time I read that the name Susan had its origins in Hebrew. Now it seemed words such as lily, valiant, courageous and more were being bandied about. That did not sound like any of my Susan's who were on the whole venomous.

Looking a little further I read that Susan originated in Egypt centuries ago. Now descriptive words such as joyful, cheerful and joyous were being used. Surely that cannot be right but it seems that it is.

The truth of the matter is that I have been unlucky enough to come across a handful of people called Susan that have not been nice people. It has made me hold back when meeting a new person by that name. That is a shame. In reality what is in a name is nothing. Our parents or parent choose a name sometimes before we are born, and always before we have grown into the person who will habit this planet.

The next time I meet a person called Susan will I try to remember all of this and take it as it comes? Will I hell. Why run the risk. Sorry Susan.

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    • Sue Berry profile image

      Sue Berry 3 years ago from Lanzarote

      I totally agree, I've changed my name to Sue because everone I worked with called Susan ended up being a huge problem as they became my friend and enemy at the same time - very strange!!

    • ethel smith profile image
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      Eileen Kersey 4 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      I wonder to taffy lol. I do seem to have problems with Susans. Thanks for stopping by and welcome to Hubpages :)

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      Taffy86 4 years ago

      Hahahaha Oh my I was just having this kind of conversation with a friend of mine who's mother-in-law is named susan and someone at my work named susan. Neither of which are pleasant women. I wonder what the deal is?

    • ethel smith profile image
      Author

      Eileen Kersey 4 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      They do a bit like Sue with me :)

    • SweetiePie profile image

      SweetiePie 4 years ago from Southern California, USA

      I am sorry about this lady. I had experiences in years past when I was in school with people who were so hurtful to me, and sometimes those names bring back certain associations.

    • ethel smith profile image
      Author

      Eileen Kersey 4 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      As it should be Peggy, thanks for stopping by

    • ethel smith profile image
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      Eileen Kersey 4 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      Now I have known a Suzanne who was a lovely, warm and frindly woman. Your Suzy sounds brainy as well lucky girl

    • ethel smith profile image
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      Eileen Kersey 4 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      Hahah you must be one of the Susan's I know

    • ethel smith profile image
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      Eileen Kersey 4 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      Ethel is my pen name online. I am sure you are a lovely person :)

    • ethel smith profile image
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      Eileen Kersey 4 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      Ah say no more :)

    • ethel smith profile image
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      Eileen Kersey 4 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      Thanks to you all. It was lighthearted as I wrote but I have worked with four dreadful people who have all been called Susan and a couple who have been slightly better. Isn't it a strange coincidence

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Fortunately I have never been plagued with a number of bad associations with any one particular name. The girls / women I know named Susan are all nice people.

    • alancaster149 profile image

      Alan R Lancaster 4 years ago from Forest Gate, London E7, U K (ex-pat Yorkshire)

      This has to be hilarious - you weren't serious when you wrote this, were you? - and intewresting at the same time. My youngest one's name is Suzanne (picked that one myself, along with her older sister's name Joanne). They're both gregarious and popular from being young. Suzy's in her last year at Sheffield doing maths and physics, working her socks off down to zero hour.

    • kashmir56 profile image

      Thomas Silvia 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi my friend, this was very interesting, maybe you just had to many bad Susan in your life .

    • sueroy333 profile image

      Susan Mills 4 years ago from Indiana

      My name is also Susan. I can only say, "Thank God" most of my friends are online, where I am nice and friendly.

      In real life I take candy from children and kick puppies.

    • profile image

      Sueswan 4 years ago

      Hi Ethel,

      I am introverted. I treat others with respect and kindness. I was bullied growing up because I was quiet.

      I know only one Ethel and she is my great aunt. She is a lovely lady. Sadly she is suffering with Alzheimer's.

      Take care :-)

    • Uninvited Writer profile image

      Susan Keeping 4 years ago from Kitchener, Ontario

      I did have some troubles with two men named Andrew...

    • sholland10 profile image

      Susan Holland 4 years ago from Southwest Missouri

      Gee, I felt pretty good about myself until I read this. I guess as you said with the co-worker who constantly identified you with her step-mother that you have felt the same about women with the name Susan. There are lots of good Susan's out there - two of them have already commented, and I think I'm okay, too. LOL I'm an extrovert, but I am too chicken to be a bully. I try to see the good in everyone and sometimes that isn't the case and I get hurt, but I would rather keep thinking good of others and take the risk.

      Interesting...

      Good luck with your search!

      Susan :-)

    • ethel smith profile image
      Author

      Eileen Kersey 4 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      Girls maybe it is UK Susan's. It was half written in fun but based on fact. Do any names plague you?

    • Uninvited Writer profile image

      Susan Keeping 4 years ago from Kitchener, Ontario

      As someone named Susan I have to disagree. I am definitely an introvert, I have never bullied anyone (was bullied in fact). I think I am a very nice person and if you don't want to get to know me it'll be your loss :)

    • Just Ask Susan profile image

      Susan Zutautas 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Sorry you've had so many problems with people named Susan :( Interesting though.