What’s in a Name?

My comment on another blog has sort of spurred my own post. So, here goes…

Why do we call ourselves by a given name? Why don’t we take more care over naming our children? When so many of us have nicknames, why not just call ourselves them?

My own name irks me. It’s my name, but it certainly doesn’t describe me. It doesn’t even particularly suit me, and people seem to find it perfectly acceptable to openly mock it (I’ve not lumped anyone yet.). Online, I may be Ruby Doom, or The HippyGeek and both of these are of my own choosing and formulation. In school, kids shorten my name to Mrs B, or in one case B-Dog (this was irony at its best considering the company we were in), certain faculty referred to me as BandCamp which I hope refers more to my geek chic rather than other activities linked to the character! Any one of these reflects me.

In reality, I’ve lived 33 years with the name Holly.

It’s not something you can shorten, and I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve arrived at official appointments and people have said “oh! I was expecting a little girl”. Why? Do little girls with cutesy names spontaneously combust at age 12?

Or sing a certain Christmas carol (it’s not funny). This is generally restricted to the humour of men over a certain age who think it’s funny to croone at me. The look returned should really say it all. If not, I may resort to a Christmas taser.

Or say “my dog is called Holly!”. Thanks? I share a name with the animal who probably craps in your slippers. I guess if you took away my caffeine….

Or ask me if I was born near Christmas – now that one’s easy my answer “yes I was, but actually my mum named me after her childhood friend who was abducted and never seen again. Mum thinks she was probably killed”. True story.

So, with the new job starting tomorrow, I wonder what name I will be given there. This summer, I’ve definitely been the HippyGeek.

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3 thoughts on “What’s in a Name?

  1. “When so many of us have nicknames, why not just call ourselves them?” <– I do, though it makes this complicated on the internet sometimes.

    I use "Michelle" for some official stuff but that sounds like way more of a nickname to me than what people usually call me…maybe I'm doing it all wrong.

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