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What's in a name?


We put out an appeal on Twitter asking for people who wanted their first names to be analysed - and were inundated with replies.

Everyone from Laurens to Sarahs and Camillas to Haifas wanted some insight on the possible meanings of their names. Below, we've asked expert Laurence Y. Payg to examine eight first names in highest demand.

Laurence is currently the UK's only professional name analyst and once helped little-known model Laura Hollins change her title to Agyness Deyn.

Read about his interpretation of Lauren, Sarah, Jennie and more, below. We've also included some amusing tweets about names that we weren't able to answer - but if anyone has a clue as to what they mean please let us know on Twitter or in the comments section, below.



Sarah thoms ‏ @Sarahthoms14

"@StylistMagazine Mine's means dull, boring, ordinary and everyone knows at least 8 of us! Sad face!"

Sarah can be creative as she easily understands layouts, drawings and designs. She instinctively knows how objects and colours will work together and this can give her the talent to paint or draw and also to be good with design, interior and fashion. She loves music and should use this to assist her in relaxing. This name indicates that she can be a very deep thinker with the tendency to magnify small problems. It also indicates stress in relationships and extra care in this area is advised.


Bright, lively, fun loving and very impulsive! All lovely qualities but she can be her own worst enemy because she can be too impulsive- rushing into relationships, getting involved in other people’s problems and then regretting it later. Ideally suited to the caring professions because she loves to look after others; she would be good as a doctor/nurse, police officer, or even in the armed forces. Easily bored she needs variety in all areas of her life (including relationships) to hold her attention.


Lauren KT ‏ @FashionLNorth

@StylistMagazine I think mine means 'laurel wreath' (Greek myths and Ceaser - Julius, not the dog food)

Rather introvert and so prefers working quietly in the background rather than pushing herself forward. This can mean that she may be overlooked when promotion comes around. She is very conscientious and can work with tiny detail as she is good with her hands. Quite diplomatic, she is good at sorting out other people’s problems but sadly not as good at sorting out her own.


Jo ‏@RedHeadFashion

"Mine's Johanna, which a Times article once described as pretentious and unemployable! Bet it was an Ann who was jealous."

Johanna Derry ‏ @carrieobagg

"@RedHeadFashion @stylistmagazine Not surprised! I'm Johanna too, and apparently it means 'God's gift'... Can't help it. I was named that way"

Forget what The Times and name books tell you about this name as Johanna is a great name with lots of positive qualities. Good at organising both in the home and your career, excellent at dealing with people, especially face to face. You love helping others and would make an ideal teacher/ instructor or even a therapist or counsellor as you are excellent in all forms of communication. This name gives you a love of learning, literature and music and because you are observant you would make an excellent author. If all of that was not enough you also have excellent intuition and you should always trust the first thought in your mind about people or situations.


martha alexander ‏ @marthalondon

"@StylistMagazine Martha - apparently a Hebrew name meaning 'mistress of the house'. However, I am unaccomplished domestically (slovenly)."

You are giving, sincere with a love of animals and nature but you need to learn to say NO to others or people around you will simply drain you. You have a very active imagination which you need to harness in positive ways by being creative. If you are not creative then your imagination tends to make you worry and magnify your problems. Normally you are hard-working and you mix well with others but often you would simply love a little more time and space just for yourself.


@Abi Babey

"@StylistMagazine .. Abigail. Apparently it means " house maid " x"

Excellent memory and you can use this to great effect in any career where you need to memorise faces, information or detail. You love socialising and when you have guests you will fuss around them like a mother hen giving them food, drink and entertainment. This name makes you excellent in all forms of communications- written, spoken and electronic and you put this skill to very good use in both your career and your personal life.


Normally this name makes you very hardworking which makes you an asset to any employer. You are extrovert and possibly need to tone down certain areas of your life to add balance. You understand drawings, diagrams and layouts and because you are creative you are good at fashion and design though at times you may go to extremes in these areas. Be careful where your “friends” are concerned as they are likely to lead you astray and could even get you into trouble.


Indicates that you have good intuition and you should always listen to your inner voice. At times you can even be psychic and could be interested in the psychic subjects. You are a courteous person who appreciates good manners in others. Often talkative you are an expressive person with a tendency to daydream and be romantic! You love music, animals, children and being loved. This makes you a very giving person and if you give too much to others this can be very tiring and draining.

You can find out more about what Laurence's work visiting his website.

And some of your other tweets about names... if any of you can cast some light on what they mean, let us know in the comments section, below

Tamsin Reinsch ‏ @tamsinkr

@StylistMagazine im a Tamsin, have never met another person who shares it and i dont have a clue what it means, or why my parents picked it!

Yelena ‏ @SociaLatte

"@StylistMagazine Hi, my name is Yelena. I have read that it means torch and to elope. Let me know what the expert says."

Laura Dew ‏ @LauraDew24

"@StylistMagazine Mine is Laura, keen to know something more interesting than 'derived from crown of laurel leaves'!"

Amy McNichol ‏ @AmyMcNichol

"@StylistMagazine Super duper boring first name: Amy. Gosh, hope it doesn't come back that I am as boring as my name..."

Lianne Marie Binks ‏ @LianneMarieB

"@StylistMagazine ME! Lianne Marie. 2 words, no hyphen. I was told it meant "butterfly" as a child. I think they LIED TO ME."

Verity Altomare ‏ @Verity_a

"@StylistMagazine Verity - People always assume I'm either in my 70's or very posh, of which I am neither! :S"

cailin hill ‏ @modelburnbook

"@StylistMagazine CAILIN CAILIN CAILIN!!! I have an inferiority complex from everyone calling me "Caitlin" #sadface"

helen ‏ @helen_em

"@stylistmagazine Mine's Helen - I like to think with some (though not all) of the same attributes as Helen of Troy!"

Alice Emanuel ‏ @alicewoah

"@StylistMagazine Alice! A keyring told me it was Truth, but I think thats lies.."

Louise Westall ‏ @cheese_fancier

"@StylistMagazine Mine's Louise, meaning famous warrior. I'm pretty stroppy but a bit of a wuss really"



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