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November 03, 2011

Naming Yourself

Elaine Viets

DonaGelsinger-AngelsCareMy grandfather called me Angel.
Spend five minutes with me, and you’ll know that nickname doesn’t fit. No one ever called me Angel after Grandpa passed away.
In fact, I’ve never had a nickname. One friend tried Lainie, but that didn’t stick, either.
When Catholic children are confirmed – about age 11 – we get to choose another new name. Did I choose a then-cool name like Kathleen, Susan, Linda?









Nope, I picked Agnes, the patron saint of young girls who was martyred for refusing to marry the emperor’s son. At age 11, I embraced my inner dork and became Elaine Frances Agnes Viets.

Eleven seems to be about the time girls try on new names. In my latest Josie Marcus mystery shopper novel, “Death on a Platter,” 11-year-old Amelia is experimenting with her name. She tries first Mel, then M.
“Amelia is a baby name,” she tells her mother, Josie. “Mel is more sophisticated.”
Josie is hurt that her daughter had rejected her given name. Amelia’s late father had been a dashing helicopter pilot. Josie had named her for Amelia Earhart, the woman explorer.



Josie’s own mother, Jane, was amused. Here’s the scene from “Death on a Platter.”

“I love it when chickens come home to roost,” Jane said. “You’ve forgotten how many times you changed your name when you were her age. Remember when you wanted to be called Josephine?”
“I did?” Josie asked.
“And you were quite the little empress. I even made you an empire-waist gown for Halloween.”
Josie had vague memory of a long high-waisted yellow dress with puffed sleeves and a crown with plastic jewels.
“Your Highness left the throne when you couldn’t learn French.”
“I never was good at languages,” Josie said.

220px-Josephine_de_Beauharnais,_Keizerin_der_FransenThe yellow empire dress was the good part of that memory. She hoped her mother wouldn’t recall Josie draping herself languidly on the living room couch like the real Josephine. She’d asked her mother to serve her dinner. Jane had had a few choice words about that stunt.
“After Josephine, you tried on Jo for size,” her mother said. “That was your Little Women phase.”

Josephine-Sarah-Marcus-c1881 “I liked Louise May Alcott,” Josie said. “Jo was the smart sister. Amy was pretty, but a simp.”
Jane continued relentlessly. “That phase lasted a couple of months. Next you were Joey. You said Josie was too girly.”
Josie thought she heard a chicken clucking. She felt embarrassed for her 11-year-old self.
“Then it was Jay-Jay.” Jane was really piling on the guilt.
Josie remembered practicing two versions of that name on a lined tablet. She’d written Jay-Jay and J. J. with blimp-like J’s that she’d thought looked elegant.
“You told me that Josie was old and boring,” Jane said. “Like those were two worst things anyone could be.”
Please stop, Josie begged mentally. “What made me go back to Josie?”
“You read a history of the Wild West that said Josie Marcus was the woman Wyatt Earp loved,” Jane said. “There was some doubt that Josie Marcus had even married the lawman. That’s when you decided your name was romantic, even dangerous.”
Josie felt a hot blush burn her cheeks. Trust me to pick a woman with an uncertain reputation, she thought.
“Amelia is acting like a normal girl her age, Josie.” Jane’s voice was crisp. “She’s trying on identities the way we try on clothes. When she finds a name that fits her, she’ll keep it, just like you did.”
“Thanks, Mom. That’s smart advice.”
“I get smarter as you get older,” Jane said.

Did your given name fit you? Did you try on other names for size until you found one that worked better?


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Never really liked my name, no real reason why. Named for my father's older brother and my mother's father, I just kind of accepted it. I am, however, "William", not "Bill". Nothing makes my back teeth grind together more than introducing myself to someone, saying "William Simon", and the response is "Nice to meet you, Bill." If I wanted to be called "Bill", I'd introduce myself that way.

Then again, I took advantage of Writer's Prerogative, and use 'Will Graham' as my pseudonym. Graham is a very different sort of fellow than I am in real life, much handsomer, more charming, and he does stuff I would never even dare to think of! It works out nicely...:)

I was named after the Nat King Cole song "Sweet Lorraine." I hated it. I wanted to be cool. In Jr. High, I started calling myself Lori. (And put a BIG dot over the I.) I never really felt like a Lori, though. And when I was about 20, there were about five different Loris in the group I was hanging with. I went back to Lorraine. But then nobody would call me that. So I had a shirt made with the name on it and when we got together, I wore that--or a pin with the name Lorraine on it. (Hard to come by.) Now everyone calls me La-raine. In my family (my parents were English) it was pronounced LOR-raine ... and that's how I think of myself. LOR-raine. I like it.

Elaine, you're a brave woman to share your confirmation name! Mine was meant to be Rose Marie, two words, but apparently the bishop (cardinal?) thought I was being hoggy, and he pronounced me "Rosemary". Which was my favorite aunt's name, anyway. But still. How embarrassing to get caught out by the Church hierarchy.

Other than the boy I had a severe crush on in fifth grade, who called me the ever-lovely Manure, the only persona who called me by a nickname was my dad, who called me Sugar. Those two names counterbalanced one another nicely, fortunately.

"Person", not "persona". Sorry.

I didn’t really dislike my name but was not very fond of it when I was little. I was named after a French ancestor. It was a rare name in Russia where I grew up and I wanted to be like everyone. Ha-ha, it’s been for years now that it’s in the top five for the newborns.
I liked nevertheless the Russian short name of Paulina that conveyed a notion of cuteness, teasing and mischievousness. For years nobody has been calling me by this little name and now when I’m in touch again with my classmates of the third grade or something they still call me like this. It’s funny.

Carol is a name that just does not lend itself to shortening so all my nicknames were mild (mostly) taunts at my size or personality. In grade school it was teenie weenie Sweeney, in work life it was sometimes mouse, Mighty Mouse, elf, or some other mildly annoying reference to my size. But if it's said with affection I'll answer to just about anything.

I have four copies of Death on a Platter expected in the mail today!! Congratulations, Elaine.

I was going to email Elaine about this today, but I might as well share it with everyone. Yael, known to the readers of TLC as Princess One, likes a series of books from Scholastic called "Coke or Pepsi." Each page is a set of questions to ask your friends, like; "Do you prefer Coke or Pepsi?" One question that shows up about every fourth set is "What do people call you?" Her consistent answer is "Princess One." Princess Two is not quite so fond of Princess Two, but does like "Littlest Bit."

I was informed that Katy, one of Princess One's friends would prefer to be called Katherine. Why yes, she just turned 10.

Elaine, see you next week.

I never liked my name when I was younger. So common! But when I chose a pen name for romances, I chose...Ruth! Exciting, right?

I have had a lot of nicknames. my ex called me Hilda, for the cartoon character who wanted to get married. He gave everyone nicknames, a charming thing that makes people feel seen.

Oh, please. I'm Harriet. My mother and I have never fully come to terms with it.

When I was in --oh, fourth grade, I used to send in for photos of movie stars, but I thought Harriet Sablosky wasn't a cool enough name to use. (Maybe I figured they wouldn't send it to such an unimpressive-sounding person?)

So I decided to think of the most glamorous, most wonderful name I could, and just use that.

So I told them my name was Rita Capri.

William, I would never dream of calling you Bill. That name goes with a glad-hander, at least in my mind.
Rita Capri? Naw, Hank is much better, Harriet.
My middle name is Frances, which was my Grandmother's name. She was nicknamed "Fanny" and hated it for many reasons.

I was supposed to be James Karl Pietsch Jr. But that didn’t happen, as I was born a girl. So, I am Julia Ann. I’m not sure where my first name came from, but my middle name was my paternal grandmothers name.

I went through phases while in school, one year I was Julia, the next I was Julie, and back again. Today, I introduce myself as Julie, but sign everything Julia, as that is my legal name. People get so confused by this, and constantly ask me after they first meet me, “So, what is your name? What should I call you?” I don’t think of it as a big deal, but to some people it is. I mean, Julie is a nickname for Julia, what’s the problem?

The only people who call me Jul or Juls are my Mom and two aunts. Every once in awhile a non-family member will call me that and I get weirded out by it. I guess because I always think of it as a family only name.

I do have a few other nicknames, Peach, Peaches, and Peachy all deriving from the pronunciation of my last name. All are fine by me.

I guess I'm one of the lucky ones because my mom named me Alicia and it has always suited me perfectly. My middle name is Jean, after my dynamic grandmother, so my brothers call me AJ. Nobody else calls me AJ, not even my sister, and I love that I have a special name only used by my brothers. Should I ever have need for a pen name, it will be AJ something or other.

"Rita Capri" sounds like the name of a Bond Girl....:)

Hank, I can't imagine you as a Rita. Hank fits you perfectly.

I like my name, basically because it was different and unique. The only problem I had was no matter how I pronounced my name, people heard "Joanne"

Dru Ann, your name is so unique, you may need a name tag.
Juls/Julia, I like your Peach Blossom nickname.

My legal name is Joan Elaine. I was named after Joan of Arc. My aunt, who was my primary babysitter, had a niece in-law named Joanne whom she did not like. She refused to call me Joan & always used Elaine. My dad, who with his 4 brother spoiled their only sister, told my mom to let it be & I ended up as Elaine. I toyed with varieties. My mom called me Jody as a pet name. I even thought I'd try Jei, my initials. I was going to be Joan when I started college, but 2 girls from my area remembered me as Elaine & that took care of that. Later, right after I graduated from college, I was working as a waitress. There had been an Ellen, a Helen, and & Eileen at my last job, so I was using Jody. I met my husband on a blind date & gave him the choice of Jody or Elaine. I've been Jody for far more years than I was Elaine now. The relatives have gotten used to it, though the first few years I'd sign my Christmas cards as Jody (Elaine).

To my paternal relatives I am "Mary Frances" because there are so many Marys and because the Frances was Grandma's name (Dad decided on the name of his first daughter when he was still a boy). When I was contrary, Dad would call me Frances Mary. I have mostly forgotten the nicknames my brothers made up for me -- I've finally realized that the purpose of mean brothers was to toughen me up for teaching . . . not much phased me . .

*not much fazed me
. . . not even when the snakes got loose from the science room . . .

My mother's name is Agnes, and she's always hated it. However, the martyr thing explains a lot. ;) She made sure her nine kids each had "normal" names. My sister's nickname for her: Agony. I picked Elizabeth for my confirmation name. :)

I don't know why I was called Laura, I guess they just liked the name. I was apparently almost Sarah. My family always called me Laurie, which carried over into school and friends and lasted through high school. Then I got my first job, and filled out the paperwork with my legal name, Laura - they called me Laura, I got sick of correcting them, and I've been Laura ever since. You can tell when I met people in my life by what they call me. My husband calls me Laura, and my siblings all call me Laurie, and it's kind of funny when they're talking to each other, lol. However, one of my aunts (Frances - "Franny") called me Laura my whole life, since she thought it was a pretty name. My brother's name for me when I was young was Larry. Nice.

My daughter is Mary Kate, after Maureen O'Hara's character in The Quiet Man. However, her legal name is first name Mary, middle name Kathryn - so she gets called Mary a lot, which she doesn't like. The best nickname she's had is when a little boy at daycare couldn't pronounce her name, and called her Mary Cake. We still call her that sometimes. She also gets called "MK".

As a Deborah I believe it was the Debbie Reynolds popular name in the early 50's. There were a ton of us Debbies in school.
I was artistically Tuffin in the late 60's but dropped it to Dee for the Dance Theatre programs at college. My grandfather called me Dee while my grandmother called me Dee-Dee. To this day older people say Dee-Dee.
My friend's young son decided I needed a new role model after my divorce and got me a Xena action figure. Ta-Dah...Xena Princess Warrior was born!
My father calls me Sweetie. It's a Virginia thing I think.
When he says Deborah, however, run for the hills!

Rita Capri does sound like a Bond girl! LOL

Laura, I love "Mary Cake". That story is adorable.

My mother's name is Joan Pauline (her twin brother who died at birth was John Paul). Mother's family pronounces her first name "JO'wen", and the friends she made when she was married to my first stepdad call her Joanne, those she knew from my second stepdad call her Joan. Her co-workers from the insurance company where she worked for 37 years knew her as Joanie. I can always tell who people are this way, and to which era of Mother's life they belong.

My daughter Robin has a bunch of nicknames, although hardly anyone uses them now. The most hated one came in third grade when the boy who sat next to her on the bus called her "Bird". She came home daily crying about it, until I told her to laugh at him, and tell him she liked him for giving her a nickname. That shut him up. :-)

I'm named for nothing in particular, just something my mother liked - Kerry Sue. She always claimed that the priest who baptized me, shocked that no saint's name was included, christened me "Katrina Susanna", but that apparently didn't take :)

I had no real problem with my name growing up, even though the only other Kerrys (actually Carys) in my school were boys. I think I always felt that it suited me. Now my only problem is that very few people spell it correctly on hearing it. "That's C-a . . .", "K-e-r-r-y, you know, the Irish way."

I've never had nicknames. One of my aunts always calls me "Kerry Sue", and my husband calls me "Ker", the only person to have done so. It all works!

Oh - and my confirmation name is Frances, for his love of animals. So just call me Kerry Sue Frances Kilburn. I've never taken a husband's last name, either - it always felt important to me to keep my whole name intact. Names have power . . .

Kerry, St. Francis is my favorite saint! I always relate to his animal loving nature. ;) I like his prayer/song too.

O Elaine, where do I begin? :)

I agree that names do have power and so often impact our self-identity.

At various times, I have hated or loved my name, Tracy. During high school in the 70s, I always wanted to be a Pam, Susan, Debbie or Cathy. One of the popular names. I was the only female Tracy in a high school of 1500, the other Tracy was a guy. During my life I have met more guys with the name than girls.

In my 20s and 30s I loved it, loved that it was unique. No one ever spelled it correctly, several people would ask what Tracy was short for - they all thought Theresa - and I was called Stacy a good deal. Now, at 50, I dislike it again. It just seems to lack sophistication for my age.

My nicknames have been Trace and Tray throughout the years and they're fine by me. My father named me after his favorite comic strip character, Dick Tracy. My middle name is Lane (which I would now prefer as a first name) and when I asked my parents how they came up with that, they just said they saw it on a street sign and liked it.

I named my son Lee. Faced with the choices of Robert, John Jr. or other family names I disliked I went with Lee. He hated it for awhile(in high school he wished to be known as Roman) but now at 21 he loves it. I explained it was perfect on applications or resumes being gender-neutral (somewhat like my name)and now he has finally accepted it and thanked me for giving him a unique name. Plus, no one can shorten it, although someone did ask him once if it was short for Leroy and he almost killed them. He has rarely run into other Lees throughout school, even though this is the south. But he too, has met more girls named Lee than guys.

I like Tracy -- it sounds lively. Kerry Sue, I remember that church rule: You had to be named for a saint. The nuns frowned on Elaine until my mother explained that it was French for Helen.
A Sandy in my class was officially listed as Mary Sandra -- there was no St. Sandy.

As a child, my mom read a book where the main character's name was Shannon and decided that if she ever had a daughter, she'd name her Shannon. Since it wasn't a common name in my age group, people often confused it with Sharon, which I immediately corrected. I've never had a nickname, except for family and friends shortening it to Shan, which I don't mind, if I know the person. If we've just met, I don't like people assuming they can call me Shan instead of Shannon.

P.S. I have a friend who I've known since high school. Her parents enthusiastically named her Dixie Joy. While majoring in Pre-Law in college she had her named LEGALLY changed to DJ and her mother was heartbroken. My cousin, Faydeen, is a VP at an insurance company and goes by Fay at work. I have seen many, many southern women with "unique" southern-type names change their names for their careers.

Elaine, also wanted to mention that I loved Pumped for Murder and am looking forward to getting Death on a Platter!

I have a slue of names due to Confirmation, Holy Communion and Baptism.
I am Marie Anna Simone Theresa.
I always wanted a more romantic name and thought that I should have been a Susan.
When West Side Story the musical came out the song Maria came out and forever changed my mind about my name. I had just met my husband to be and so I would prance around and sing Maria.
Of course when Julia Andrews starred in The Sound of Music Maria became my all time favorite name.

Elaine I am downloading your new novel today. I think I have read most of your books. They are an automatic buy for me.

Marie, your name is romantic: Marie Anna Simone Theresa.
Tracy, I sympathize with Faydeen and Dixie Joy. Advice for naming girls now is for parents to ask themselves: How would that name look on business letterhead?

Hank, it could only be better if it were Rita Caprita.

Jody, as a kid. Wolfie in college.

I would rather be Elizabeth than Nancy.

I'm a Debra, not Deborah and can completely relate to Xena's situation. I went by different spelling variations of Debbie during my growing up years -- yep, at about age 11. First it was Debby, then Debbe, then Debb. My in-laws still call me Debbie although I now go by Deb or Debra. I went to Deb after I moved to an office that had a Debbie (that's her legal name) and a Debra, so to keep us all straight, it was Deb.

My dad and brothers called me Princess when I was a teenager and it was NOT meant in a nice way (all three brothers are younger) and I have since told them they can refer to me as Goddess since I have princesses of my own.

My middle name is Suzanne and it was for my paternal grandmother -- better than Myrtle or Garnett, so I'm fine with it. When we named our daughters, we chose names that didn't have nicknames -- Sarah and Laura -- because hubby is a Michael and he DOES NOT like nicknames. He will go by Michael Paul in my family because I also have a brother named Michael.

We now have a very interesting situation in our family. Youngest brother is engaged to a very lovely lady. However, her name is Laura -- no biggie, except her middle name is the same as my daughter Laura, which is Jean (my mom's name). Funny thing is that bro's Laura doesn't go by Laura, she goes by Lo, but was introduced as Laura so everyone but me calls her that. She prefers Lo, so that's what I use. To make the situation even more interesting, her birthday is the same day as my mom's, May 11.

I don't even remember what names I wanted to try out way back when dial phones were the norm -- I'm sure I had a few.

OMG, I'm Laura Jean too! :)

Debra, I guess you couldn't call your family member to be Lo J?
Nancy P, Elizabeth sounds regal.

::adjusts crown::

Our two adopted children came to us with very good names, but they wanted new ones When it was time to go to court to finalize their adoption they settled on two. Our son chose the name of another person in our family, and our daughter chose the first name of a friend and for her middle she chose the first name of her counselor at school.

Our other children seemed to like their names, although our oldest boy prefers Steve to Step. Our oldest daughter recently changed her name legally to just her middle name, and she begged me not to tell her actual mother (who lives near Kiehle-Step-Scout-Steve-Stephen) -um- Scout and me. [She is back in the hospital at Loma Linda and is just not doing well with side effects of dialysis and more surgery.]

On my name:
Reine is the French spelling. My name is legally Reen. My mother wanted to name me Marie-Reine, a very old family name going back many generations to France. My father wanted me to have an Irish name, so they settled on Maureen, which was enough like Marie-Reine to make her happy. Didn't impress her "mémère and pépère", though! Eventually I was called Reine: pronounced "Wren" by my French and Métis relatives; pronounced "Rain" by my Mi'kmaq relatives, and pronounced "Reenie" by my Irish relatives. All are now happy. Silly? Somewhere along the line I legalized "Reen," because that's how my relatives spelled it, Including my aunt Reen. So there you are - the boring story of my name. Name changes are big and the norm in my family.

I was called Gay by my family and they still call me that. Since I was 21 I have been Gaylin to everyone else. I like my name, it is unique. I was in Grade 8 when gay started meaning Gay and suffered tremendously for it. I lived in a town that was so rednecked it should have been called Crimson . . . A job I had when I was 21 wouldn't put Gay on a name tag so I started using my whole name and kept it that way. When my family called me Gay, it sounds harsh and short. I really like full names. I am named after a distant cousin, his is spelled Galin. Oh yeah, thanks to Planet of the Apes for more teasing.

It was pretty funny when my sisters kids were little and they called me Auntie Gay.

My initials are GMC and for awhile in grade 9 a friend called me Truck, thankfully that one never caught on.

A little irony(?) . . . after all my name changes I rebelled at confirmation and refused to pick one. I was also upset that my real mother was taking me to the cathedral in Boston and that Auntie-Mom couldn't(?) be there. The bishop said he would choose a name for me. I was a little excited thinking it would be special. Mary. It was Mary. Of course it was Mary. What else would a bishop choose for a wild girl?

Nothing boring about your name, Reine, and it seems to have made everyone happy.
Ugh -- aren't kids cruel in the 8th Grade, Gaylin? That's the real Planet of the Apes.
Nancy P, you seem like more of a tiara person to me.

Elaine -- I love Lo J, I'll give it a try, but since she's a Lutheran Pastor it might not fly, but then again -- who knows.

Laura (in PA) -- that's totally awesome. If your birthday is March 13, that would be really wild.

My given name is Karen, a name I've thought of as 'enh' all my life. I longed for a name throughout my childhood that would lend itself to a derivative name. My middle name is Louise and of course my brothers came up with the hated nickname of "Weezie" to torment me.

I acquired a nickname with my marriage, but it's not unique as I share "Peach" with my husband, daughter, and sister-in-law. That means I still get called Karen by everyone on both sides of the family.

My mother on the the other hand has names galore. My grandparents decided to name their first born after their mothers who answered to Bertha and Maude. Fortunately for my mother, they decided to go with middle names and instead of Bertha Maude she became Florence Rebecca.

Now she gets: Flo, Becky, Becky Sue (my dad calls her this), Becky B., but whatever you do don't ever call her Flossie.

Rita Capri. OMG, Hank. I love it!!!

Text from Miss J in hospital: "I didn't change my name to my middle name, Jean. I changed it to my nickname, Jeanie. I totally dropped my first name and my middle name but kept the nickname for my middle name as my first name. And I am ok. They are doing surgery, but I don't know when. I hope to be home on Saturday."

I am a Deborah...from the biblical Deborah. I think it fits. I respond to many variations of my name, although one current nickname is cruising the lady towards a bruising as she calls me D. What, too lazy to even say Deb? Debby? Debs? Sigh.

Middle is Kathleen. I like it. Don't think it was from anywhere in particular.

I was almost a Diane. Hmmmm..nope. But this was my mom's best friend's name, so she really wanted it, but didn't think I looked like a Diane. Which works for me.

My grandmother was Florence Emma. After finding a diary of my grandfather's (after he died), I found out that her nickname was Flip back in the 20's. I knew that she was called Flossie.

And my mom was Julianne Elizabeth. Joey was her nickname, courtesy of my ornery grandfather. At least her name was spelled correctly on the birth certificate...her aunt had the same name (also same birth day month/day... March 21), but was Julian Elizabeth. LOL!

PS: My middle name was Geneviève, and I envied the middle names of my cousins in Salem - Jean (pronounced the French way after our granparents' surname) - every single one of them. Torture. Just torture.

Elaine, whew. Much less responsibility.

My middle name is also Louise, and so is another Karen friend's. Her birthday is also the same as mine, October 5th. I guess Karen Louise trips off the tongue satisfactorily.

My middle daughter's middle name is Charlotte, after my great-grandmother Charlotte, aka Lottie, aka Little Grandma, because she was so tiny. When my daughter played pretend she was always "Charlotte", and still loves her middle name. What is weird is that my daughter is also of small stature. Charlotte is French for "little woman".

Peach, my oldest daughter's nickname is Weezie, but it has nothing to do with her own name. And she happens to like it. Go figure.

DebbraSue - nope - August 12. But that would have made me go buy a lottery ticket, lol.

Lots of naming going on in my family right now. Our family has increased by two in the past 6 days. Ella Jane was born last Friday. Both her names are from a great great grandmother on each side of her family. Olivia Margaret was born early this morning. Don't know where those names came from. Now I have two great-nieces to go along with my four great-nephews, Jackson, Harrison, Rhys and Jonah.

It's strange to see the names Sarah and Emma now belongs to young, sexy women. When I was growing up, only old ladies who wore Evening in Paris perfume had those names.
Speaking of sexy, Reine, wasn't Genevieve King Arthur's queen? Another song for you.

It's funny that the name fashion in different countries. If I remember correctly in the US the names like Nicole, Jacqueline were quite common for young girls while in France these are old ladies' names. I cannot remember now a vice versa exemples but there are certainly some.

OMG, Elaine . . . hadn't thought of that - another queen name!

Peach, my niece is named Ella. She turned 22 yesterday, Ella Jewel! Her brother gave her the middle name, he was 6 when he picked it out.
When she was born my great grandmother was Ella was still alive, making that 5 generations alive with an Ella at both ends.

Olivia is a terrific name as well. Congratulations.

Ella of a tradition there, Gaylin.

: )
Elaine you made me laugh.
And I just remembered my mom's middle name is Elaine! Haven't thought about that in a long time. Her first name is Shirley - named after Miss Temple of course.

I promise not to sing "Good Ship Lollypop."

Late to the party today. My legal name is Diana Sue (the Sue after my mom) and I never really was imaginative enough to come up with new names as a kid. My youngest great niece calls me Auntie Di so that is my only nickname in recent years. My lovely SIL calls me Diane which irritates me no end because she knows it is wrong. Funny how it doesn't bother me if other people do it though. lol

My older sister couldn't say Clifton so my oldest brother became "Kick". The nickname stuck and most people never knew his real name. When he died my mom decided to have the funeral home list his name on the board as Kick because she figured people wouldn't know who it was if they put Clifton.

My sister's name was Dorothy Lee Estelle. (the Lee after my Dad) I'm sure glad she came first.

See you next week Elaine.

I love your blog today,Elaine, and enjoyed all the comments. Had to leave work early today for a medical procedure and looked forward to reading TLC while in the waiting room, on my Kindle. I have spent time there in the past with TLC. This time around, Wi Fi would not work. Okay. I told myself I will do it when I get home. Wi Fi would not work for the next SIX hours. I finally was able to access the blog, and I wrote a long response with two fingers on my Kindle. Either Kindle or Typepad would not let me post it. (Thinking VERY bad words now.) I am afraid to spend time trying to rewrite it. I will summarize: Call me Deb!Do NOT call me Debbie! If you prefer the name Deborah,then feel free to use that. Do NOT call me Debbie!

I hope Kindle/Typepad allows me to post this.

From Deb (NOT Debbie)

Obviously, I can relate to this one, Elaine, having been born Susan Jane Kozak. I changed my name legally in 1981. It just felt like the right thing to do.

Oops. Make that Susan Jane Caroline Kozak. I admire that Agnes, but I didn't have your courage. Caroline is a perfectly nice Saint, but she's no Agnes.

I forgot to say that I was allowed to name my youngest sibling. My parents were torn between the names Denise and Wendy. As the oldest child, I was allowed to cast the tie-breaking vote. Having just seen and LOVED a live performance of Peter Pan on TV a few weeks earlier, I picked Wendy. Wendy is SO lucky that I was not similarly enthralled by Rapunzel...

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