This all refers to my real given name - Dale - not my lj username.
1. Are you named for anyone? If so, explain.
I'm equally named for Dale Evans and a great uncle named David.
In Ashkenazic Jewish tradition, babies are usually named for dead relatives. I would have been David if I had been a boy. Up until two weeks before I was born, I would have been Deborah if a girl.
My family was living in rural North Dakota at the time, while my father was experiencing the life of a country doctor and deciding what he'd like to specialize in. My mother went home to Winnipeg to have babies, two weeks before her due date. About two weeks after her due date - and still two weeks before I was born, as it turned out - my father went to the movies to break up the monotony of being home alone. He saw a Roy Rogers movie and called my mother up with the idea that they should name the baby "Dale" if it turned out to be a girl. Neither of them had ever heard of the name except for Dale Evans, so they didn't realize it's more often a man's name. I usually say I got off easy; I could have been Trigger.
2. Do you have your children's names picked out already? If so, is there any significance?
My children are 17, 13, and 11, so their names were picked out a while ago :-). Doran (rhymes with Warren or snorin') is a name with both Jewish and Celtic roots, which we liked because it reflects our different heritages. We both like unusual names, but didn't want a made up one, and wanted one relatively easy to spell and pronounce. We also liked the nickname "Dory" but didn't want to name him "Dorian" because of the unsavory literary connotations, so Doran gave us the opportunity to call him Dory without anyone asking about the picture in his attic. That said, afaik he's never been called Dory :-). He's Doran Saul. His Hebrew name is Doron which means "gift".
When you name your first kid Doran, you really can't name the next two Mary and Jane. Kendra means "knowing" in Scottish and it's probably the most common of their three names, albeit still unusual. She's Kendra Lillian and her Hebrew name is Leah. She's named for my maternal grandmother who was Lillian/Leah.
Zara's name has a long tradition in English literature, usually signifying a kind of exotic character. It's a character in a play by Congreve named Zara who says "Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned." Princess Anne of England named her daughter Zara, which caused quite a scandal at the time because it's such an unusual and non-traditional name. This was before the heir to the throne was recorded wishing to be reincarnated as a tampon, so the bar for scandal was much lower. Her name is pronounced to rhyme with Guadalajara or tiara, not Sarah, but a lot of people get it wrong. We knew when we named her that she'd spend her life saying, "No it's not Sarah." I've clocked a good many hours over the years, saying "No, it's not Gail" and don't feel psychologically scarred by it, so we were willing to let her deal, too. Her name comes from a Hebrew word, Zarakh, meaning "rising" (as in the sun or the moon, not bread) so we made that her Hebrew name, too.
3. If you were born a member of the opposite sex, what would your name have been?
4. If you could re-name yourself, what name would you pick and why?
Well, I certainly could rename myself, but have no desire to. As a child, I sometimes wanted to change my name, or to add a middle name, since I have none. But I never could decide on one I liked. As a child I disliked my name because: it's androgynous, it's unusual, and it's not susceptible to nicknaming. As an adult I love my name because: it's androgynous, it's unusual, and it's not susceptible to nicknames.
5. Are there any mispronunciations/typos that people do w/ your name constantly?
I get called "Gail" a lot.