1. What does your first name mean?
Caitlín (Irish; kayt-LEEN, though most people pronounce it kayt-LIN), but I must admit I'm not certain of it's etymology. Different books say different things. Some suggest it's a Gaelicised version of the Greek name Catherine, brought to Eire by the Normans; others seem to imply Caitlín and Catharine merely sound alike. Whatever. There are an insane number of variants, including, but I'm sure not limited to: Cait, Caitilin, Caitlan, Caitland, Caitlann, Caitlinn, Caitlyn, Caitlynn, Caitrin, Catelan, Cateline, Catelinn, Catelyn, Catelynn, Catlin, Catline, Catlyn, Catriona, Cayelin, Caylin, Kaitlan, Kaitlann, Kaitlin, Kaitlinn, Kaitlyn, Kaitlynn, Katelan, Katelin, Katelyn, Katelynn, Kayelin and Kayelyn. Meaning? "Pure." It is to laugh, yes?
2. What does your middle name mean?
Rebekah. Hebrew. "Bound. Captivating. A knotted cord." At least that's somewhat accurate.
3. What does your last name mean?
Kiernan. From the Irish, "Mac Thighearnain." Lots of variants, including MacKiernan, Tiernan, Tierny, McKernan, McKernon, McKernin, McKernen & etc. "First found in county Cavan where they held a family seat from ancient times." And " Carnan, a heap; figuratively, a strong man, a thick-set, stout man. Cearnan, local, a square, a quadrangle."
4. So what does your name mean when put together?
Hence, I am a "pure and captivating quadrangle."
5. What would you have been named if you were the opposite gender?
Let's not go there.
6. Any other name oddities?
I once used the stage name "Aleisha Palance" for a whole three years. My Nebari name is Nar'eth ni'glecti Mericale. Or, rather, Caitlín R. Kiernan is the human alias for Nar'eth ni'glecti Mericale. I've sometimes considered changing my name to Merricat (thank you, Shirley Jackson). I've also considered changing it to Sebastian (thank you, Tennessee Williams).
7. Do you like your name?
Not as much as I used to like it.
8. What do you like best about it?
That it's Irish. That my signature is illegible, save the C and K.
9. What do you like least about it?
That no one ever spells it correctly, and there have been grand and hilarious mispronunciations. That my middle initial is often ignored.
10. If you had to change your name (witness protection program, whatever), what would you want it to be?
Well, I've already listed Merricat and Sebastian. I've also considered coming clean and legally changing it to Nar'eth ni'glecti Mericale. At least then people would have an excuse for mispronouncing it.