I have an unusual name. My mom said my dad got to choose my middle name because she got to pick my first name. He wanted to name me Mona Lisa, and thank The Lord he lost that argument, but he did come up with something equally puzzling given that he was a 17 year old country boy; he chose Andora.
What does this name mean you ask? Well, there is a country named Andorra, which I am certain my father had never heard of until I was in my 20’s and asked him why he named me after said country. He responded with a puzzled look on his face and chuckled; “I just liked the sound of it. I didn’t know it was a country.”
Also, there was a certain television witch whose name was similar to mine. Since the show aired in the 60s, was quite popular in re-runs for years, and I was born in 1965, everyone seems to assume I am named for the character Endora on Be-Witched. I am NOT named for this character and as a child I was quick to point that fact out. Actually, I still point it out.
So what does my name mean? I never have found an “official” meaning, however, I have always been a writer so I made up my own back story for the name when I was about ten years old; and this is how it goes….
Long ago in the times when myths were being born and legends were only beginning, there was a well known bad girl named Pandora. Oh she was a beautiful but very naughty girl and was always getting into things she shouldn’t. One day, as the story goes, she opened a box, clearly labeled “Keep Out”. The things that came out of that box were terrible and awesome; much too big for a young girl to contain and so Pandora ran and ran and didn’t look back and the awfulness continued unchecked for some time. Thankfully, there was a kind young maiden named Andora who lived in the neighboring village. She was good and full of love for all of humanity. Seeing the trouble that was afoot she did what any good and kind young maiden would do; she went to work cleaning up all the bad stuff. She began putting the troubles back in the box, one by one. Some were pretty slimy and not at all content to stay put so they slithered their way back out, but Andora was faithful, and remains so even now, gathering troubles and doing her best to rid the world of all the awful unleashed so long ago.
So there it was; the unofficial “official” meaning of the name Andora. My name finally had a meaning even though I’d had to make it up.
As a child I wasn’t fond of either of my given names, and I was less fond of the other things I was called over the years. My nick names weren’t so bad; standard fare really like Annie, Ann, Andi, and other such common derivatives but as an adult and especially as an artist I have enjoyed the fact that there are relatively few Andoras in the world. Thanks to the advent of the internet, I know there are more who share my name around this wonderful globe, a few even older than me, but to my knowledge, I am the only one with a back story. I’m happy to share the story.