My actual real life name is Leslie. Supposedly I was named for a character in a novel that my grandmother read before my birth. Although I can’t be certain, I’ve always suspected that novel was Edna Ferber’s, Giant, which was published in 1952 and became a major studio film in 1956, the year I was born.
The absolutely gorgeous Elizabeth Taylor played the part of Leslie Benedict, and when I saw the film I felt such a sense of vindication. Finally here was a character with my name, and oh, what a character she was: Beautiful and smart and fashionable. It bothered me some that her name was pronounced with a “z” sound while mine has the softer “sss” pronunciation, but I was willing to overlook that. After all, my grandmother read the name in a book. The movie folks likely had gotten it all wrong.
Leslie wasn’t a common name for girls back in my day, and it’s never going to make the top ten list for female children, as names like Linda and Sophia, Ashley and Jennifer have over the years. I have met a handful of female Leslies, though, some pronounced with an s others with the z. We’re a pretty select group.
Yesterday Studly Doright sent me an email with information about another Leslie.
Welcome to the club, Hurricane Leslie. I hope they pronounce your name correctly.