why did she choose ayn rand?

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i get it about keeping the monogrammed luggage- but what governed alyssa's choice of ayn rand?

on a different topic- i'd like to see if my wife may be related- is there a genealogy available? if related, she'd be within a generation or so, i think

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I am new on this forum but I think I can answer your question.

I have read Alissa Zinovievna Rossenbaum changed her name to Ayn Rand like the name of a Finnish-Estonian writer called Aino Kallas. I don´t know the cause of her surname "Rand".


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Allan Gotthelf points out that the merger that created the Remington-Rand brand didn't happen until several years after Rand came to the US. (Maybe there was just a "Rand"?) He speculates that the origin of the name was that, if you spell her original name out in Cyrillic characters, it looks like "Ayn Rand" in English. (Got that?) Barbara Branden replies that the Remington-Rand story was AR's own account.


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Here are some links and quotes discussing this:

Bill Tingley, who used to be a Russian linguist, mentioned that it was derived from cursive Cyrillic as opposed to print Cyrillic in a post called Mystery Solved. He wrote out "Rosanbaum" in Russian, then fiddled with it, and came up with two very interesting images given in the quote from his post below.

Take a look ...


Now this ...


"Ayn", a Finnish first name, clearly comes from the last half of "Rosanbaum".  With a little imagination regarding the "R", "Rand" comes from the first half.  Voila!

Here is a post I wrote here on OL on Mar 22, 2006 giving a quote from Barbara.

When Barbara used to post on SoloHQ, she wrote a series of articles called "Holding Court." In one of them, she wrote the following:
There is one issue I’ll clear up now, since it has been touched on in SOLO posts: the issue of how Rand chose her pen name. I wrote in Passion that her cousin, Fern, with whose family Rand - then Alice Rosenbaum - stayed when she first arrived in America, told me:  “She had an old typewriter that she had come with. One day, she was sitting at the typewriter and she called me over. She said, ‘I’m going to be called Ayn’. . . And she wrote it in her slanty foreign handwriting: A Y N. ‘But I need a last name,’ she said. ‘I want it to begin with an R, because that’s my real initial.’ She was writing down different possible names, and then she looked at the typewriter – it was a Remington Rand - and she said, ‘Ayn Remington . . . No, that’s wrong. . . I know! - Ayn Rand!’ That’s how she got her name.”

What I did not mention, because I did not think that Fern’s story would be questioned, was that I heard the identical story from Ayn.

That was in Holding Court - June 14, 2005.

Barbara further complimented this on an OL post dated May 27, 2006.

It may well be that I was mistaken in thinking that Rand brought with her to America the typewriter in question; perhaps she bought it here or her relatives bought it for her. But I do know that I was told that she got her last name from that typewriter by both Rand and by her niece, Fern Brown.

When Rand lived with her cousin Fern Brown in Chicago, she would have been around 20 or 21 and Fern around 8 years old. Rand went to Hollywood in August 1926. The first written record of her using the name "Rand" apparently is a studio pass for the DeMille Studio dated September 13, 1926, handwritten by Cecil B. DeMille himself. A reproduction of it is in Jeff Britting's Ayn Rand (2004. New York: Overlook Duckworth), p. 34.

Nathaniel Branden also gives states that he heard the story from Rand. Below is a part of a post of mine on OL dated Mar 23, 2006 discussing this.

Nathaniel Branden wrote about this in Judgment Day (p. 73). The time would be around 1950-1951 and the following statement by Rand happened during visits with him and Barbara to the residence of Ayn and Frank. (Leonard Peikoff had been visiting for the summer, but the narrative implies that he went back to school by this time).  
As the months passed and our friendship with Ayn and Frank progressed, we learned more details of their past - where they had been born, their relationship with their families, and a little about their early struggles.

Ayn was born on February 2, 1905, in the city of St. Petersburg (subsequently called Petrograd and eventually Leningrad), which is the setting of We the Living. "Ayn Rand was not my original name," she told us. "My first name was Alice. I adopted the name Ayn from a Finnish writer and I adopted the name Rand soon after coming to America - from my Remington-Rand typewriter! I never tell anyone my original family name because if I still have relatives living in Russia, they'd be endangered." Many years would pass before I would learn that her original name had been Alice Rosenbaum.

To qualify, in the "Author's Note" (p. ix) NB wrote:

In instances where I reproduce conversations that took place many years ago, I am not suggesting that all of the words reported are verbatim, but I am confident they are faithful to the essence of what was said and to the spirit and mood of the occasion.

As Barbara stated that she heard the same story, (...)

I speculate that others probably heard the story too over the years (and that there might have been a time when Rand stopped telling it), but given the anti-Branden agenda and all the bruhaha now out in public, I don't expect any person related to ARI coming forth if they did.

The Ayn Rand Institute had an explanation called What is the origin of "Rand"? from the June 2000 issue of Impact (ARI's monthly newsletter).


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