Googling Myself: I Need a New Name

When I got married almost 12 years ago I decided to keep my maiden name for a number of reasons.

  • I had been Lisa Kramer for a really long time and felt no need to change it.
  • I was in the middle of my doctoral program and felt like I was beginning to establish a name for myself (HA! That makes me laugh now).
  • I thought Lisa Lee sounded a little bit too much like a perky cheerleader name (no offense to any Lisa Lee’s out there) and I already battle the onus of being short and smiley. I didn’t need to add a cheerleader name to that.

However recent adventures in Googling my name have led me to rethink my name.

Don’t scoff, you know you do it to. :D

The problem is there are hundreds if not thousands of Lisa Kramer’s in the world. Adding my middle initial (A.) doesn’t help.

When you search for my name here are some of the results:

  • an Associate Professor of Finance at the Rotman School of Management (she appears a lot)
  • a Life Coach, Mentor, and Author at Living With Intention
  • perhaps my favorite, the character played by Debra Messing in Along Came Polly

If only I looked that good in a bikini

  •  a photographer
  • another of my favorites, articles by a sociologist who studies prostitution and graduated with her doctorate from the same university as me, at the same graduation ceremony
  • a contributing editor to the League of Ordinary Gentleman
  • an author of a historical novel
  • a campus recruiter
  • etc. etc. etc.

The only reason I show up anywhere near the top of the list is because I’ve +1’ed myself (not out of ego I swear–just to make it easier to find the real me in the list).

If you add modifiers like, theater or director and maybe blogs or writer, you get closer to me, but someone has to know to do that.

Now, I suppose I should be happy that all of these women are intelligent, successful and talented. Perhaps I shouldn’t complain. But how do you establish a good reputation and build a platform on your name when you share it with the rest of the universe?

Seriously, I was already contacted once by someone who wanted to publish one of the papers I had written from my doctoral research (YAY!) except that it wasn’t me, it was the other Lisa Kramer who went to school at the same time. (BOO!) Did I mention she was also good friends with one of my good friends from undergrad?

So I need a new name.

Perhaps I should adopt the fake relationship I created a few weeks back and become Lisa Bronte.

Or I could be Lisa Shakespeare. Or Lisa Kreuss (rhymes with Seuss).

I could use my name backwards, a name I always thought would be good for a fashion designer, and become Asil Naa Remark.

I could take on the Lee as we did for our daughter and truly become Lisa KramerLee (which everyone from Sarah’s school calls me anyway).

Or maybe I should just drop the Kramer all together and go by Dr. Lisa.

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.”

I guess it is all moot if I don’t get writing. I don’t want a pseudonym, but my name seems to mean everything and nothing all at once.

Perhaps I should just give in and take on Nathan’s last name. I’ve said this elsewhere on the blog, I always thought that name would be good for one specific career:

Dr Lisa (Westheimer) Lee, the Love Doctor--Radio Talk Show Host Extraordinaire

What should my name be? Contribute suggestions below and win a prize when I become rich and famous under that name . . . or simply the gift of a giggle today.

Update, 1 minute later:

I just found this on a friend’s Facebook status and couldn’t resist adding it here:

Everyone has 8 names –>
Your Real Name: Lisa
Your “Gangsta” Name (first 3 letters of your real name plus -izzle): Lisizzle
Your Detective Name (favorite color & favorite animal): Purple Dolphin
Your Soap Opera Name (middle name & street you live on) Ann Oxford
Your Star Wars Name (first 3 letters of your last name, first 2 letters of your middle name): Kraan
Your Superhero Name (2nd favorite color & favorite drink): Red Chai
Your Witness Protection Name (your mother’s and father’s middle names): Ruth Lee
Your Goth Name (black & one of your pets names) Black Lizzy

25 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Kathryn McCullough
    Dec 02, 2011 @ 08:03:14

    To be honest I know nothing about building a platform for yourself. I think I may have come close to doing the opposite–like digging a hole.

    My concern with Lisa Lee is that you may find yourself in a similar situation. “Lee” is pretty common, as well.

    I would be curious to know what others think–as I’m fairly ignorant about these things.



    • Lisa Wields Words
      Dec 02, 2011 @ 08:07:15


      You are building your platform by writing fabulous and poignant pieces of your memoir on your blog. I’m not worried about you.

      I doubt I will change my name, but it is fun to think about giving myself a more famous sounding name. And Lisa Lee would probably be just as bad,or worse as everyone would expect me to be Asian. (When I got married someone suggested I become Lisa Lee because it might help me get jobs). Actually, I just Googled Lisa Lee, and this post came up on the first page. BWAHAHAHAHA!


  2. lifeintheboomerlane
    Dec 02, 2011 @ 08:17:23

    Lisa Obama
    Lisa Rembrandt
    Lisa Pulitzer
    Lisa Vanderbuilt
    Lisa Ling (might as well feed off her accomplishments)
    Lisa House of Windsor
    Lisa Up Yo
    I think I’ll stop not, Lis ah I get carried away.


    • Lisa Wields Words
      Dec 02, 2011 @ 08:19:57

      I love them all, Renee. My friend from Japan (who I wrote about in a past post) always calls me Lisa Lisa . . . Maybe I should become LisaLisa Cultjam.


  3. Julie
    Dec 02, 2011 @ 08:27:30

    Why not add a hyphen Kramer-Lee or Lee-Kramer?


    • Lisa Wields Words
      Dec 02, 2011 @ 08:30:50

      Always a possibility, but I have noticed that my daughter (whose name is officially KramerLee) often gets called Kramer or Lee, so I don’t know that hyphenating or compounding makes much of a difference. Actually, some of the Lisa Kramer’s that come up in a Google search are hyphenated or double names in some way.


  4. LittleMissVix
    Dec 02, 2011 @ 08:38:56

    I think Lisa Lee is a great author name, especially if you’re writing MG, all the girls will love it and want that book!!


    • Lisa Wields Words
      Dec 02, 2011 @ 08:41:53

      And I could start all my press conferences and book signings with a Cheer! 40 something author crashes in front of screaming fans.


  5. thelifeofjamie
    Dec 02, 2011 @ 10:16:09

    How about Lisa Bobisa? Lisa Zzyxx (pronounced zizicks)?


    • Lisa Wields Words
      Dec 02, 2011 @ 10:18:17

      Lisa BobisaBananaFannaMoMisa works.
      Zzyxx? You want my last name to be the name for the Demon Prison in Fablehaven? I suppose that would certainly sell books, of an interesting demonic kind. ;)


  6. Arlee Bird
    Dec 02, 2011 @ 11:10:44

    Funny you should bring this up. I’m planning to do a similar post in a few weeks. I’ve had some readers requesting this.

    I faced the same quandary starting when I was in college in the 1970s. My real name is even more common than yours

    Let’s see? How about Lisa Carr? Kind of a play on words like my name “Arlee Bird”.

    A Faraway View


  7. Aligaeta
    Dec 02, 2011 @ 11:15:08

    What an entertaining post! But to change your name… I divorced the (gaeta) and still can’t give up the aligaeta online name I chose for myself back in the late 80’s. So, if I were to offer a new name to you it would be Lisa Le Words Kramer, WORD!


  8. critters and crayons
    Dec 02, 2011 @ 12:54:47

    Oh, the name angst. When I lived in El Paso, there was another woman with my name. She was wealthy, and director of a highly influential veterans non-profit, veterans advocate and acclaimed author. In essence, she was everything I aspired to be but was not. Routinely, I’d get calls- Is this YOU who is going to be on the radio today or at Barnes And Noble signing books? It was the worst insult. haha! I like your name. Maybe you should change it to: The Other Successful And Brilliant Lisa Kramer


    • Lisa Wields Words
      Dec 02, 2011 @ 13:38:58

      I like that. Or I could borrow a page from Prince and become the Creative Genius Formerly Known as Lisa Kramer. ;)


  9. Mrs Skinner
    Dec 02, 2011 @ 14:51:18

    I have to admit to being very impressed with Dr Lisa when I visited the children’s blogs!


    • Lisa Wields Words
      Dec 02, 2011 @ 15:03:56

      When I am working with kids, I prefer to go by Lisa, but some teacher’s don’t like that. So I try to be either Ms. Lisa or Dr. Lisa, which is why I chose that for responding to the kids blogs. I thought it might sound more responsible (plus it is real, I do have the doctorate, I might as well use it).


  10. TheIdiotSpeaketh
    Dec 02, 2011 @ 15:53:29

    Sunflower Lee Lifesong PHD No one will forget that :)


  11. bornstoryteller
    Dec 02, 2011 @ 21:10:08

    Lisa Wieldervurd


  12. thepetalpusher
    Dec 03, 2011 @ 20:26:06

    Lisa in Hawaiian would be: Lika.


  13. Dana
    Dec 07, 2011 @ 23:53:37

    I have the exact opposite problem. I don’t often use my ‘real’ name online for anything, just in case it shows up on google. (I placed terribly in a silly relay race over 10 years ago and it *STILL* comes up on google!! 99th out of 106 competitors- yikes!)

    With my maiden name, I’m the *ONLY* person who shows up on google, and everybody else with the same last name is in my immediate family. When I took on my partner’s last name after marriage, I started blending in (a bit) more online. Apparently the first and last name combo is really common in the Czech Republic, so at least I’m not the only one anymore. Too bad nobody can remember how to spell my last name, though– it makes it less likely for people to find me anyway! ;)

    As far as your pen name goes, maybe you can take a page out of early 1990s girl groups and be Lisa “Left Hand” KramerLee. That, or go Finnish and spell your first name “Liisa”. I still like “Dr. Lisa”, though. It has a nice ring to it!


    • Lisa Wields Words
      Dec 08, 2011 @ 08:09:15

      There are a few “interesting” things that come up about me (mostly in the form of horrendous pictures) but I envy you being the one and only. It wouldn’t be so bad if there weren’t so many brilliant and talented Lisa Kramer’s out there. ;)


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