Daily prompt: At least I wasn’t named Tootsie

Say Your Name
Write about your first name: Are you named after someone or something? Are there any stories or associations attached to it? If you had the choice, would you rename yourself?

I’ve got nothing against my first name. It’s a perfectly good name, inoffensive, easy to spell (until the modern craze for being ‘different’ chucked another ‘l’ into the middle and confused the issue, like sticking a ‘y’ into Jane. My second daughter is called Jane, and she has to spell it for goodness sake!).

The only problem I have with it is that it has nothing to do with me. I don’t know what a Helen is supposed to feel like, but I’m not it. I’m grateful, though, that I was spared the indignity that I’m sure must be in store for so many of today’s poor inoffensive babies. Imagine being named Pixie when you were a wee scrap of a thing, only to end up six feet tall and built like a brick dunny. And imagine fronting the schoolyard when your name is Messiah. Or Death. (Yes, it’s true.)

Anyway, as I said, I’ve got nothing against being called Helen, but in 72 years, I’ve never related to it as me.  This could be because I had so many nicknames it was rarely used – or did I have the nicknames because nobody else saw me as a Helen either? Not that matters now.

I do sometimes wonder, though, out of purely academic interest (bit late for anything else) whether life would have been different if I’d had a name I saw as me. Would I have felt less like amorphous flotsam and more like a person? And if I’d ever found a name I did relate to, would I have adopted it? Probably not. You get what you’re given.


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11 Responses to Daily prompt: At least I wasn’t named Tootsie

  1. I wish my mother had won the argument. Mara would have been better.

  2. wscottling says:

    I have the same problem with my birth name. It never fit me. I’m sorta lucky that circumstances allowed me to change my name to Willow. It suits me much better. And I’ve found that people relate to Willow much more than they did to the name I was before. ^_^

    Also, I blame the series Firefly for the spelling of Jayne, since that was one of the character’s names, and it was a popular series… um… after it was cancelled and went to DVD. Ha!

    • I like Willow, but nothing like that would have fitted me either! Maybe I was always meant to be nameless.
      My kids’ names are all fairly simple – it would never have occurred to us to call them after a character in a TV series!

  3. Relax... says:

    This is why some folks create a screen name! TV wives are always named “Carol,” as is at least one 800-lb porpoise in Boston’s Aquarium. However, no one ever names tv wives or porpoises “Honora,” you know? 😉

  4. Middle name LOWELL after Lowell Thomas. Radio commentator my father listened to every day.

  5. Laura says:

    I have a cousin Helen and she is an amazing person. I have always liked the name Helen. It is interesting how we associated names with people we know.

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