Monday, November 7, 2011

What's In A Name???

Do you like the name your parents gave you way back when you didn't have a say in such things?  Have your learned to like it over the years?  Or have you grown into it?  Or changed it?  Or do you have a middle name that you can fall back on?

I was ambivalent about my name for many years...mostly not liking it.  Luckily, my mother didn't like it either so she searched the baby name books for a name that would go with it and stuck it in as my middle name.  Dad was determined that I'd be named after his parents - Duncan if I was a boy, and Millicent for a girl.  So I became Millicent Patricia...and had the unlucky pleasure of being called Patsy until I was old enough to insist that Pat was what I was to be called.

I loved my grandmother named Millicent - everyone called her Millie except for her grandchildren who called her Nanny.  She was strong and loving and we loved going to her home every summer to stay for a couple weeks.  Widowed in 1932 when her oldest child (my father) was only 10, she single-handedly raised her five children during those depression years, as a store clerk and then as a postmaster in their small village.  Everyone loved her.  It was a sad day when her heart failed her, complicated by diabetes, when I was 10 or 11.  I have vivid memories of that time in our lives.

Wendy, Nanny, Pat


Anyway, over the years I've become more and more comfortable with our shared name.  My sister's sassy daughters, having been told by their mother that I didn't like my name, started calling me Aunt Millie, trying to get a rise out of me.  That backfired on them because as I heard them calling me that, I decided I really liked it.   So they reverted to calling me Aunt Pat, except when they're in a teasing mood.  Brats!

In all my 63 years, I've never met another Millicent (except for Nanny).  The Barbie dolls don't count - did you know that their real name is Barbara Millicent?  True!  I know other Millicent's exist though.  Just look.


You might have to enlarge the picture to see it, but in the circle I've drawn of this section of the Alberta map there are two towns fairly close to each other - Millicent and Patricia!  How weird is that!!!  I remember years ago when Lloyd and I were driving on some of the smaller highways in the southern part of Alberta seeing a roadsign with both names on it.  That was before I was in the habit of carrying my camera with me everywhere so I wasn't able to take a picture of it.  And we've never been down that road again.  Lloyd said he'll take me down there so I can take a picture of it.  I'll hold him to that - or go myself - I'm brave and daring and a good driver - and I can follow a map too!

So that's my story about my name.  I've learned to like it mostly because of who I was named for, but I also think I've grown into it.  It's unique, and I like the way it looks in print. 

So what's your name story?

19 comments:

Sush said...

I am very fond of my name...but my Mom hated hers. She was named for her maternal grandmother Minnie Peck. She used her middle name and a slang version of it...Peckie. People were always calling her Peggy until she sternly corrected them. My Dad would call her Minnie Minnie Minnie just to get her goat at times. She had her name changed legally when she was in her 70's to just Peckie and her maiden name as her legal middle name. I've always been sympathetic to people who don't like all or part of their name...

There's my story...

just call me jo said...

I really am fascinated by names. I think that parents should choose carefully for I'm sure it influences a child for good or bad... My mom's name is Marteal. That's different, huh. I like old fashioned names like Millicent; hence, I named my daughter Rachel and spelled it the most pure way I could. My name is fairly ordinary but the one distinction is that it is Jo Anne with a space between the Jo and the Anne. Some forms will not let me put the space in. It throws 'em off. Silly forms.

Michael and Hanne said...

Excellent post! One day I may explore those places too!

TARYTERRE said...

My given name is Theresa, after the saint. You know how hard it is to live up to that? So my nickname was Terre. But when I was in my teens I changed it to Resa. I LOVE that name. But nobody would cooperate with me. So... a few years later, I switched it back to Terre and that's where I'm still at today. By the way, my husband's cousin is a Millicent. Love the name.

Flora said...

I never like my name Beverly! My...now I love it...but get called Bev.

Roann/Lucy/whatever said...

No. I hate my name. It's always been a problem. When people are going to name a baby, they need to look at all the aspects of that that name might bring. My mother was into making up names that was attached to one of her ancestors. Horrors!! Don't do that people. Please.

Magpie said...

I love this story. Thank you for sharing and I'll be looking forward to seeing the road sign with both your names on it.

Bouncin' Barb said...

I hated Barbara until I was grown and married. I wanted to be called Samantha or Sam. Don't know why! But now I love my name. It's not heard too often.

Mickey said...

I was given a French name, because I was born in Montreal, PQ., but with an English pronunciation. Go figure. It is written Michaeline and pronounced Michael Lyn! Not impressed! Never been called anything but Mickey! I have to give my parents A for originality but never really liked it. I've never been called anything but Mickey. It's a nuisance when you are doing anything official to have to write down a named you never go by.
Mickey is ok.
(Hope you're having fun babysitting!)

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

I had a friend that was called Milly and she was such a nice lady and always smiling so I am partial to that name. Lots of people do go by their middle names. My mom was one of them and I always wondered why? I never found out either. I've known several Pat's too. I somehow find that most names fit the person they've been given too. Which ever name you go by you will remind me of someone very nice. Hope your Tuesday is a great one!

Granny Annie said...

I love your name. I had an Aunt Millicent and she was wonderful and my best friend is named Pat. My name is Elizabeth Ann. It is a good name and one I have loved. I go by Ann because my mother was Elizabeth. I did not care for our surname because it rhymed with "drag" and "rag" and "hag" but I loved my first married name that I share with my children and I love my current married name.

Raindrops and Daisies said...

I like my name now
but didn't when I was younger.

The only thing I don't like is when people see me and say
(and it happens everyday!!) -
"Hi Fi"

I think names just grow on you.


x Fiona

LaelShine said...

Names and our impressions of them are so powerful!
I was named by a Patricia. A Patricia Anne. Her name growing up was Patty Anne. She hated that and is now only known as Pat, as well.

I love my name. I always have,right from the begining. Lucky lucky me:)

LaelShine said...

Names and our impressions of them are so powerful!
I was named by a Patricia. A Patricia Anne. Her name growing up was Patty Anne. She hated that and is now only known as Pat, as well.

I love my name. I always have,right from the begining. Lucky lucky me:)

Ellie said...

That is a very interesting post. I love the name Millie by the way. :)
My name is Elaine, but when I was young I wanted to be called Linda - don't ask why I've no idea. I like my name now though.
A few years ago I worked with a girl called Ellie and I decided I really liked that name. So when I started my blog I used Ellie. Strange but I now feel like an Ellie.

Magpie said...

PS: Girl, you read fast!! They were such good books though. I didn't want to stop either. I am reading the new one "Dead of Night". It's good, but not on the scope of the Pine Deep Trilogy.

Delena said...

I loved this story. Very interesting. I especially like the part about the name signs. You really must get a picture of them.
I know what you mean about taking a camera with you. I never used to have a camera with me before I did a blog. Now every picture has a story. There is a town in Oregon called Delena. I would love to go there. My name is rare and I was named after a girl my mom liked.
Thanks for sharing!

frayedattheedge said...

I was named Anne after my aunt - it's a rather plain boring name, and over the years I have known so many Annes - there were 4 of us in my class at primary school, four of us at secondary school (the other 3 were different to the first 3!) three of us in the office, various odd friends over the year, and two new friends since we moved here!! So when I had to pick a name for myself for Ravelry, I chose Carenza!!

Haf Dozen Reasons....... said...

I never cared for Kathy. When I married and all my in-laws had an in-law Kathy too they y was dropped.
I hope my teeny lil granddaugther does not have issues with her looonnng name. Took her mama saying it 5x before I could pronounce it correctly. She will probably get that everytime she says her name. AND have to spell it out over and over. Adoniya Inghean Kalif L..... More than a mouthful!