Friday, 3 April 2009

What's in a name

For the purposes of this post, substitute * for a. I am trying to be smarter then google and make sure people thinking "Whatever happened to B*rb*r*" don't find me via here. I mean, it wouldn't be quite the way I'd choose to reconnect with say, that girl I used to scoop icecream with when I was at uni (not for fun - it was a job).


My name is B*rb*r* N*nce.

I didn't change it when I got married. We had great intentions of hyphening but never seemed to get around to it. Maya had both of our names though.

I've never really liked B*rb*r* as a name for me. I can't seem to work it right. I've tried exploiting the barbie doll aspect - having long blonde hair and all - but let's face it, I'm way too practical, don't look good in pink, and I'm A cup. I kind of tried to work with the retro aspect of  the name, taking on some type of 50's rockerbilly feel, but that's not really me either. I thought Babs had a gangster moll feel until everyone started making Yentl jokes. 

I much prefer my middle name. Ellen. Loyal, true, strong, a touch of sweet. It suits me to a T. Only no-one has ever called me that and the few lame attempts to get it going as a working name fell on their bottoms. So B*rb*r* it is. It's one of those things I've learnt to live with.

Both my name and personality lend themselves to nicknames and I've had many over the years. Here's a few of the ones that stuck (depending on who I'm hanging out with)

Barb, Barbs, Bubs, Barbie, Babs, Barbara Nellie, Barbara Cow (my parents had a pet cow called Barbara before I was born! Yes, she got et.)Bra 'n' pants, Bra, Pants, Barbalicious, Blah-Blah, Blah, and weirdly, Bubbling Parabola.

I have also spent my working career with people with disability. I can officially let you know that 98% of my friends with Down Syndrome (and I know 100's of people with DS) can't say my name. They either say Bahbah, or Brahbrah. So I'm pretty good at answering to that too.

And this is all a long and tiring introduction to a new song about me. Enjoy.

Leave a comment and tell me about your nicknames.


Lori said...

Well, Ms Parabola, you have made me sputter water at my screen.

Those guys crack me up!

S said...

Whatever DID happen to barbara?! hahaha, just kidding. Must admit, ms parabola cracked me up.

I too had hypenation visions of being a (I know its a mouthful) M*h*p*tr*-White (using your code) and in fact my ex-college in IL still sends me material addressed to mrs m-w. its awesome. a couple of days before the wedding day though, M threw a bit of a macho tantrum and started spouting some crap about not keeping my maiden name because my family disowned me blah blah blah... "you'll run out of letters on forms" - it kinda made sense to stick with one last name. :) new beginning and all that happy horseshit - although I didn't feel any different!

My current nicknames are S (I like), Sha (pronounced shah), Shaz, shazza, whitey (totally have to be VERY CLOSE TO ME for this one, given I'm a brownie), frag queen (my best nickname, except its open to 'drag queen'), frag monkey ... one nickname I absolutely HATE from my back home in India days is Shalu-bhalu. The shalu itself is very, very, very common, its a very usual Indian way to shorten shalini. but bhalu means bear, in an affectionate way I think. but when you're a big girl like me... you dont take kindly to being called a bear!! (glare!).

my most useless nickname is "baby" - my parents call/ed me this.

S said...

"you dont take kindly to being called a bear!! (glare!). " well, hellfire. I's a poet.

Michele said...

Michele is actually my middle name. Very few people call me by my first, which really doesn't fit me. Peter and a small group call me Mia, but my parents still call me Chele at times.

Me said...

"too tall"
"jolly green giant"

I haven't been called any of the first three since high school. And I obviously never liked any of them. Random people call me "T" still. Clients even sometimes in emails or even in person. I guess maybe they don't want to look up how to spell my full name? Or can't remember how to pronounce it? I actually do like my name: T*in*. And it is phonetically correct so I don't understand all the confusion!

Phoebe said...

Too f-ing funny!

One of my nicknames was T-bell. It started out with my brothers calling me retarded. Then it evolved to tredo girl then just t-girl. For many years, I was called T-girl by my family, and they all forgot what it meant, but me. Then, there was this famous football player who played for the Pittsburg Steelers, I think, and his nickname was T-bell. So that stuck.

Kami said...


Before Brad, I don't think I had many nicknames. Mostly just "Kam" and "Mule Deer" and "Bambi". The latter two because I kicked a lot while I slept when I was a baby. My mom still calls me Bambi and I don't even know what a mule deer is.

Now Brad has more than a few for me and they are all sweet.

I also kept my maiden name. Our children have Brad's last name and not mine. I am ok with that and Brad is semi-ok with me not taking his last name.

MrsSpock said...

I worked with people with disabilities for years, and they all seemed to pronounce my name as Bah-Bah too, even though it is Jennifer. It's also been pronounced as Jemmica, which I loved.

Nicknames: Jen-Jen, Gumby, Shribbet

I myself kept my maiden name as my middle name. I tried to convince Mr S to make up a new last name that we would both share, but there was no way in hell he would.

Coming2Terms said...

Dad calls me: Pambo
DH calls me: Pammie; Pammie Jeanne; and Pamdemonium
Sisters call me: Scammie
Childhood chum: 'Ela
Bloggie friends: PJ
A little guy whom I once babysat for couldn't say Pam so he called me "P"

My sister, whose name is the same as yours, I call her Bert -- she was Bert to my Ernie, I suppose.

B said...

So right shalini - sometimes I Do think "whatever happened to Barbara?" shazza - can't get much more oz can ya. But I think it is quite cute that you are called whitey.

see ya soon chele , mule deer, T, T-bell and Jemmica

jess said...

Hi B, ;)

I followed you over from Mrs. Spit's place. Your prayer for her made my heart hurt.

I''ve been Jess, Ca-ca (when my sibs were too little to pronounce Jessica :), Lil' Jess, Deb, Jess-Deb, JD, Sica (my sister's nickname for me- so flattering), and Ms. Ribble (when i was 2. My parents think they're hilarious. I beg to differ.)