The Emilys of Kenyon

Image-to-Be: The Deli's "Which Emily Is It?" sandwich: turkey, Muenster cheese, and honey mustard on grilled rye. Since I'm vegetarian, I substituted the turkey with avocado.

The Deli’s “Which Emily Is It?” sandwich: turkey, Muenster cheese, and honey mustard on grilled rye. (Since I’m vegetarian, I substituted my turkey with avocado. No regrets.)

As an Emma of Kenyon, I’ve had my fare share of “Not you, the other one!” Little did I realize that I had it easy.

 Currently sitting at #6 is a name which has long endured in the top ten American baby names. There is a community of over 300,000 Emilys in the US, of which a considerable number seem to have found themselves in Gambier, Ohio. Emily is the most popular name at Kenyon.

When I reached out to learn more about the Emilys of Kenyon, I found that many of them disliked their name and were very aware of the presence of those sharing it on campus, some saying they’ve learned not to respond when they hear the name, so often is it meant for someone else. Though having that in common, I found them to be a varied group of people regardless.

The conversation was enlightening, though sometimes confusing.

The conversation was charming, though sometimes confusing.

Emilys of Kenyon have reportedly been named after sisters, great-grandmothers, best friends, band members, and one Emily Dickinson. (An Emily commented, “Aren’t all Emilys named a little bit after her?”) They have collected nicknames from “Em” to “Monkey” and all seem to have a strong aversion to ever naming their offspring anything within the top 100 baby names.

There’s an Emily passionate about reality television, sweet tea, and her horoscope, while another feels strongly about chocolate pudding and our very own feral cats. One Emily lists her current greatest interest as “fantasizing about other names I could have been called but wasn’t.”

There were also a few strong and specific opinions about what sandwich they felt they should be represented by (really the best judge of character):

  • Veggie burger, topped with bleu cheese, caramelized onions and arugula
  • Nutella, peanut butter and chips on whole wheat
  • BLT with fried green tomatoes and pimento cheese (“obviously”)

As her final comment to me on Emilyness, one added: “Seriously, being an Emily really isn’t all that bad. It’s kind of like a permanent ego check (because at least once a day, you’ll realize that you’re not the Emily someone was talking about).”

Are you an Emily? How do you feel about being one? How do you feel regardless? Let us know.

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