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  • Kristan Higgins

By any other name

Updated: May 3, 2022

Kristan Higgins is my real name. I didn’t change it when I married McIrish for the simple reason that I didn’t want to. I don’t have many Higgins relatives, my dad had died recently, so I figured I’d keep my name. Plus, I liked how it sounded better, to be honest.


Kristan is my mother’s maiden name, the last name of her Hungarian grandfather. So both parents are fully represented in my name. McIrish rarely calls me Kristan; I’m honey or, even better, The Bunny. Adorable, is it not?

The thing is, Kristan…right? Or Kristin, Kristen, Christen, Christin, Krystin. It was a hugely popular name, though my mom swears she didn’t know a single child with the same name. Aside from my family origins, I found my name quite uninspired throughout my childhood. It was neither hip enough, unusual enough nor classic enough to be a great name, I thought. I yearned to have another name.


Misty, for example. Oh, stop laughing! I loved that name! The fact that I also loved Misty of Chincoteague probably had something to do with this. But I knew a girl named Misty, and she was so pretty and knew how to dress, and also got kissed by boys in public and everything, so clearly she was all I was not.

Jessica. That seemed like the ultimate perfect name. Never mind that every other girl was named Jessica, I too wanted to be Jessica! Or…Jesse. How cool would that be! Note: Jesse Hayworth, aka Jessica Andersen, my friend, and fellow author, is totally living my dream.

Sarah. This is a lovely, perfect name, simple and pretty. My best friend’s mom is named Sarah, as well as a sweet girl I once babysat.


But when the time came that I had good reason to use another name—authorhood—I opted to keep Kristan Higgins. Seemed like a rose by any other name wouldn’t smell as sweet.


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