Wednesday, August 6, 2008

What's in a Name?

"What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet."

Romeo and Juliet (II, ii, 1-2)
I've been thinking about names lately, preferably nick-names. Why do we choose the nicknames we do? For example, here in blogland my name shows up as "Kel" where as I sign everything ~K. I have always signed things in this manner, by using my first initial...I can't remember how it started or why, but it has been many, many years since I first started doing this. Kel on the other hand is a shortened version of my legal name Kelli. This seems logical but at the same time it kind of reminds me of a childlike name, kind of fun and whimsical but not really grown up. (Yes, I have friends who call me Kel, most of which are long term friends. )

My hub on the other hand, he refuses to go by anything other than the name listed on his birth certificate. There will be no shortened version, no cute 'nickname', no lighthearted names used by only his family...nope, he will just not answer to anything other than his name.

What's the big deal?

Well with the hub, it goes back to his father (the hub is a Jr and his son is the III) - I however, have noticed that my daughter DQ questions her names. She has her legal name and then there is the shortened version of her name which is interchangeable depending on who is talking to her. When she was learning to write her name she would tell you her first name, her last name and her nickname. Even to this day she thinks she has 4 names - 1st, middle, last and nickname. She's asked me once or twice why I call her by her nickname, and honestly I don't have an answer except to say that is her name too.

In blogland, we are given an opportunity to choose our own name and some of us don't stray from our traditional name, some of us choose an alias to protect our identity and some of us choose a new name that is more of a reflection of our personality. Some names like Elizabeth have multiple variations - Liz, Lizzy, Beth, Lizbeth etc. and they can change with time as we grow and reflect the image we convey outwardly.

I guess what intrigues me most is that our names are given to us by our parents (both good and bad) is that some of us have a very strong attachment to it while some of us change it to suit us as we go.

Does it matter to you what people call you? If so, how do you choose YOUR nickname?


krissy said...

My legal name is Kristina. I go by that when I am dealing with legal things are when I am in trouble with my mom.

Nick Name has always been Krissy, and everyone pretty much calls me Krissy. Sometimes people call me Kris, but not very often.

K is a signature name as well. I do get a lot of people who yell out "K" so it is a toss up between Krissy and K.

And a lot of times it is bitch. And I'm perfectly okay with that!

J & J Acres said...

My legal name is Jennifer. My friends and family call me Jen. I'm not really a Jenny though. No one calls me that. Nicknames are funny things though.

Semi-Charmed Wife said...

My full name is Jennifer but my mom called me Jeni when I was little. When I got to school, everyone thought the way she spelled it was weird, so I changed it to Jenny. Then when I was 19, I decided Jenny sounded young, and started going by Jen (with people I know well) or Jennifer (with people I don't know).

It really bothers me when someone outside my family calls me Jenny--that's for blood relatives ONLY!

La Petite Chic said...

Hmmm, good question! My legal name is Katie, I'm not a Katherine. People always find that shocking. So my name, what most Katherine's use as a nickname, is my actual name. My family calls me Kate and most of my friends call me by my maiden name, Sloan. As athletes, we all went by our last names. Lastly, I sign a lot of things KT. Just easier I guess!


My given name is Cynthia. I've never been called that except when I was in trouble, and on legal documents. I hate being called Cynthia! Everyone else calls me Cyndy, except one friend always calls me Cyn. And hubby just calls me "Love".

GoteeMan said...

Legal name is Jeffrey (don't even think about it, I am no "Fresh Prince" butler dude)... way too weak and formal sounding to me. It means "peaceful" or "peace of God". I shorten it to Jeff or "J" to those who know me.

Or as I tell my wife, K, "I don't care what you call me, baby - just call me..."


Jojo said...

Well my name is not Jojo and no it's isn't joanne or whatever. It's mongolian and hard to pronounce, which is why I was nicknamed Jojo by my middle school volleyball team so they could quickly call me out during games. And since then, it just stuck. I like the sound of my name in Mongolian but not in english. I think I'll always be a Jojo though :)

Zandria said...

I don't guess it matters to me what people call me as long as they're CLOSE. With a name like Zandria, sometimes I get it pronounced wrong, or sometimes someone I've just met will think I've said "Andria" (and sometimes I don't bother to correct them). Most of my close friends and family call me Zan. Once in a while I'll get Zanny or Zandy, but that's rare. :)