From Debra to Kaitlin … and Why

It’s easy to guess why someone does why they do, but it is easier to ask why and get the answer. So, for all those who want to know, but did not ask …

My initial and birth first name was Debra, spelled incorrectly according to the nun teachers, because in the Bible it is spelled Deborah. Deborah was Hebrew, a prophetess and judge in the Old Testament. Taken from the Hebrew Dvora meaning bee.

However, I had always admired women with the name Kate, most often the short form of Katherine … strong, intelligent, and likeable women, so when I wanted to change my name to disassociate from a traumatic past, I chose Kaitlin instead because it has both strong and soft elements. Because people did not use my name Debra correctly, shortening it, etc. when considering a new first name I wanted to ensure people would call me Kaitlin rather than any of the variations they chose. I also chose Kaitlin because I knew my names would be on books one day and to honour my Irish heritage, and my mom, I chose Kaitlin because it is “A form of Caitlin, the Irish form of Katherine, which is taken from the French form, Catheline. Originally from the Greek, Katharus, meaning “pure.” Kaitlin represents my mom’s Irish heritage and my last name, Trepanier, reflects my dad’s French heritage.

And in 2008, I reverted to my maiden name from my married name Webber of 19 years, though I carried the last name for 32 years.

I considered going back to my initial first name, but Kaitlin remains my name of choice that feels right to me when I hear someone say my name because I am still carrying emotional baggage from being Debra, Debbie, and Deb.

Thanks for caring and for respecting my wishes.


Specialist Writer Speaker Social Entrepreneur Founder and President

of/for Connecting The Dots With The Respect Principle

Smashwords interview @

© All Rights Reserved 2014-2021

March 18, 2021


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