“I love that my name is very rare in the US,” says Anneliese, whose name is pronounced ah-nah-LEE-zah. “I’ve only met one other Anneliese (spelled and pronounced the same) in my life, although I know of a few — including some babies!”
Anneliese’s name is indeed rare here. It wasn’t ranked in the U.S. top 1,000 in 1972, the year she was born. In fact, the only time it ever ranked on the list was in 2005, at 917th place (below Alani, above Chanel).
When Anneliese moved to Wisconsin, the people she met — many of whom were of German extraction — were surprised to meet a young Anneliese. “To German ears Anneliese sounds like Ethel or Mildred…you expect an elderly lady.”
What does Anneliese like most about her name?
I love that it allows me to be like Cher and Madonna and be known by only one name. I love that when people meet me they always say, “What a beautiful name.”
She also loves the origin of her name: “I was named for my Oma’s sister, Anneliese.” (Oma is the German word for grandmother.)
What does Anneliese like least about her name?
When I was a child I disliked being the only one in my class without a personalized license plate for my bike. I also disliked the first day of school…there would always be a big pause when the teacher got to my name on the roll, and then inevitable mispronunciation. I usually don’t correct the pronunciation, often because I’m so used to it I truly don’t hear it anymore. Good friends and my husband will correct people, though, which I find endearing.
She also dislikes “official documents and forms that only allow 8 spaces for a first name,” which is quite understandable.
Thank you, Anneliese!