What’s in a name?

One of the things I remember vividly from my childhood is when I learned to write.  Really write. In cursive.  I remember my teacher (who that was, I don’t remember) telling me that penmenship was very important, especially when writing your name.  Your name is something of which you should be proud and a nice, neat signature is one way to show that pride.  I held onto that, and, I must say, I have a beautiful signature.   Someday, when I’m famous, it’ll be worth more just because it’ll be legible.

Not only do I take pride in my name, I LOVE my name.  I’m so glad my parents decided on Elizabeth instead of Emily (although I like Emily as well).  Here’s the thing with having a name like Elizabeth:  There are probably more nicknames for an Elizabeth than any other name.  Liz, Lizzy, Eliza, Beth, Betty, Betsy, E, Lid, Liddy, Libby, Ellie, etc.  Just to name a few.  You may be suprised by some of them, but it’s true.  These are real nicknames.  My sister calls me E and Lid.  My grandmother calls me Liddy. 

My parents, however, named me Elizabeth and that’s what they are going to call me.  Imagine their disappointment when I came home one day in junior high school and announced that from this point foward I was going by Liz.  To all of you who think that going by a nickname is a good thing to do, let this be fair warning:  once you go with a nickname, you can never go back.  Ever.  It’s like trying to stop the ocean from waving.  It just cannot be done.

I grew out of the  “Liz” stage after about six years and decided that when I went to college, I was going to go by Elizabeth.  I was a sophisticated woman, I needed to have a sophisticated name.  Evidently all nine letters were to hard for people to formulate into a word after a beer or six, so my name was automatically shortened to Liz.  I had failed at sophistication.

Clearly moving into the workforce after college calls for being sophisticated and look, my resume says “Elizabeth”.  Let’s give this another shot, shall we?  Yeah…  This is where I ran into the group that I will refer to as The Entitled.  The Entitled includes just about…. everyone who is a stranger to me.  Here is a typical example of an introduction:

Me: Hello, my name is Elizabeth.  It’s a pleasure to meet you.

Entitled Man:  Hello, Liz, my name is Diego.  Nice to meet you too.

Hmmm….what’s wrong with that exchange?

I tell you, this happens to me on a daily basis.  One day I may lose it and scream, “For the love of Pete!  Who gave you the green light to shorten my name? Show some respect, man!”  (it may vary slightly)

On that note, also, if you want to write me a note, please write out all nine letters.  What’s with Eliz.?(note the “.” Is your hand sooooo tired from the “Eliz” that you can’t finish the “abeth.”  When I write to Diego, I don’t say, “Dear Die.,”  I manage to work in that extra “go”.  Diego should be proud of that “go,” just like I’m proud of the “abeth.”


~ by zuzu on September 19, 2007.

5 Responses to “What’s in a name?”

  1. I HATE it when people shorten my name to Mol if they don’t know me. If we’re friends, fine. But not at our first meeting. It’s happened in situations like college classes and work things where you can’t really correct people so then it sticks.

    Like, you could call me Mol because we’re friends. But Diego? He could not.

  2. You know, I think this is a case of the pot calling the kettle black. How do you think Pete feels when you say for the love of Pete? What if he really prefers Peter? 😉

  3. I know Pete and he said I can call him that.

  4. Or when people think that Anna = Anne?
    Not the same name, folks!

    Are you sure you haven’t been secretly blogging for years? Because you ROCK!

  5. Mmmm, I concur. I hate it when perfect strangers think it’s okay to call me Marg. So not cool.

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