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    What’s in a name?
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  • Published: Feb 21st, 2007

They say a rose by any other name, etc. but I have a feeling
nicknames have a way of describing a person. As a kid I had lots of friends
with nicknames, where they got them, I don’t know — but they had a tendency to
stick. For example, I had a good friend
when I was about seven, and everyone called her Tang. I think it was because she wanted to be an
astronaut and she’d heard that the astronauts drank Tang. For those of you who don’t remember, or are
too young, Tang was an orange crystallized drink you mixed with water, and presto
a delicious drink that would take you to outer space. Anyway, I don’t think I
ever knew her real name.

Recently, Marisa and I have acquired nicknames. In fact we were forced to create them because
so many people had a hard time telling us apart. Personally, we don’t think we look alike but
we tend to confuse people. My niece and nephew are a perfect example. For years, at every family gathering, I found
myself saying, “No, I’m Maria,” or “No,
I’m not Marisa”. It was a bit annoying for every one, after all they weren’t
purposefully calling me by the wrong name.

A few months later while riding in the car with my niece, she turned to ask me
a question, “Aunt Maria, no, I mean, Aunt Marisa, no I mean….” I could see the confusion on her face, more
importantly I could see I’d probably inadvertently terrorized her into feeling
insecure about getting my name wrong — so I took a step back. I asked, “Do you know the difference between
Marisa and I?” She said, “Of course I
do, I just don’t know whose name belongs to who?” The light bulb finally went on and I
understood her dilemma. I said,
“Actually, I’m not Maria or Marisa, my name is…” and out of the blue, I don’t
know where it came from, I said, “My name is Queen Victoria, but you can call me QV for
short.” Well guess what, she never
confused Marisa and I again, and I’ve been known as QV ever since.

We have a couple of other nicknames at Romance Novel TV,
Marisa is The Contessa, our other founder and head of production John is JR,
that’s short for Johnny Romance, Kim our incredible site administrator and generator
of all fabulous ideas is known as the Countess of Mayne, our webmaster Robert
is the Duke of Code, and the list goes on….

Nicknames have a way
of giving you an alter ego… don’t you think? Tell us what your nickname is and what it represents.

11 Responses to “What’s in a name?”

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  1. Kim
    on Feb 21st, 2007
    @ 10:28 pm

    And this is why Maria is the Queen. She definitely knows how to charm her court. *blushes*

  2. Caridad Pineiro
    on Feb 22nd, 2007
    @ 12:11 pm

    When my family came to the U.S. from Cuba, we first stayed in an area with some Latinos, but when we got older and moved to Levittown — nada!

    We were really different in so many ways. The foods we ate. The music. The way our house looked once you walked inside.

    And my name. Caridad. Hard for people to say and understand.

    One day a friend asked my mom — “Well what does it mean?”

    My mom told her — “It means Charity.”

    That was it. From that day on everyone in the neighborhood started calling my Charity. After years even my brother and sister called me that.

    Nowadays, certain friends call me Charity, others Caridad and still others Cari — the nickname my parents and grandparents used for me.

    Which means I live in two worlds — an English-speaking one when I am Charity and a Spanish-speaking one when I am Cari or Caridad.

  3. WendyK
    on Feb 22nd, 2007
    @ 6:21 pm

    LOL I love to hear about nicknames and where they come from. BTW I’m new here. My nickname is actually Wendy, which is what everyone knows me by. Even school records are under my real name and my nickname. Most people don’t realize it’s a nickname, unless I tell them. I got mine because my grandfather was dying when I was little and at the time he had a hard time saying my real name, so he called me his winnie, as in WinniePooh. It stuck. From then one I was Winnie,Poohdo(from mom—finally got her to stop that one as a teen) and it evolved by the time I was 5 or so into Wendy. From then until now I am Wendy. My family even has members who don’t know my real name.

    I have a cousin who’s nickname is Duck. He’s been duck forever. I don’t remember how or why he got that name. Only that he was duck from the time he was small. He’s a year younger than me. And now as a grown man of over 30 he’s still Duck. I think it’s because his first name is Donald and family says I called him Donald Duck which evolved into Duck.

    so there you go. Interesting topic.

    I have a question if anyone wants to answer, as authors do you feel nicknames work for your characters? Does it make them more realistic? Do you prefer not to use them?


  4. michele
    on Feb 23rd, 2007
    @ 4:41 pm

    First off, I have to say NO FAIR! Kim, you sneaky little wench, how did you get to be the Countess of Mayne? 😉

    Well, anyways, my nicknames have run the gamut from cute to out there… and tend to fall more in the “out there” category. A few of the nicknames over the years have been Shelley (the cute), Black Sheep (definitely out there), and my current nickname, Beaker (perhaps the strangest of all). That would be Beaker from the Muppets (even though I’m a science geek), but I have no idea why I got that nickname. When I was given it, the giver had only known me a very short time. Maybe I should ask…

  5. Kim
    on Feb 23rd, 2007
    @ 7:54 pm

    *sing song voice* I’ll never tell;)

    But it was Eloisa’s idea and Maria thought it was fabulous. *g*

  6. elsiehogarth
    on Feb 24th, 2007
    @ 10:35 am

    I have soooo many nicknames that most are from my family(which is very large) and the rest are friends.

    The standard ones are: Else, El and the Big E.
    On my Dad’s side of the family: Sissy
    On my Mom’s side of the family: Cookie(I just love them) and Piti(little one).
    All my cousins (there are 45 of us) and I call each other “cousin” or just say “my coo”.
    I have 7 godsons and they call Maraine(French for godmother) or Nainaine(nickname for godmother).
    My sister Laurie calls me “Witchie Poo” from the H.R. Puffnstuff show amd I call her “Bub” due to all the Wolverine comic books I read.

  7. islandelf
    on Feb 26th, 2007
    @ 12:29 pm

    Elsie, you’re Haitian, aren’t you? Me too!

    I keep looking for Ht romance readers, even if abroad and I’m sooo happy!!!!

  8. Theresa Meyers
    on Feb 28th, 2007
    @ 10:24 am

    My husband’s side of the family is rife with nicknames.

    He has an aunt Sister for crying out loud. Her real name is Elizabeth, but as the 5th out of 9 children everyone called her Sister and it stuck.

    Of course I think I understand why his other aunt is named Wydie (real name Elba Ann) and why Parthenia got shortened to Par.

    But the power of names is more than just nicknames, it can change entire careers because they influence perceptions.

    Would we have fallen for Archibald Leach? Probably not, but Cary Grant looks didn’t change, his name did.

    Can you picture a western picture starng Marion Michael Morrison? Would you feel better if I called him John Wayne?

    And what about these changes:
    Sandra Dee was once known as Alexandra Zuck. Kirk Douglas ditched his name of Issur Danielovitch Demsky. Judy Garland was originally Fraces Gumm, and of course my favorite…
    Victoria Holt sounds so much more elegant than Eleanor Burford Hibbert.

    And as long as we’re discussing names, do you realize that out of the ten-bestlling romance authors of all time, five of them, that’s 50%, have first names that begin with the letter “J”?

    Don’t even get me started on using numerology on character names to pick the right one! It’s amazing what you can discover about them just from a name change!

  9. elsiehogarth
    on Feb 28th, 2007
    @ 11:21 am

    Hi Islandelf! Glad to find another “Caribbean Queen”. I’ve island hopped all my life, from Haiti and Santo Doming, visiting relatives. My Father and his family were raised, in Haiti, via England/France. He may have dual citizenship(U.S.A & England) but he considers himself a true Haitian through and through.

  10. Shari Rose
    on Mar 1st, 2007
    @ 6:31 am

    My Dad, to THIS DAY calls me “Trish” or “Trisher” cause when I was born he wanted my name as Patricia Shari but my mom won out with Shari Patricia! My grandfather called me “Whitseybits”. Why? I don’t know, but he was just THE GREATEST and FUNNIEST (so funny!) MAN and had a nickname for everyone (even my friends when I was little). We 3 sisters called our “baby” brother “Boomer” (he used to take the pots out of the kitchen cabinets and BOOM on them). One day my Mom realized he was known to EVERYONE as Boomer (even in school), so she made it STOP! We thought he was going to be a drummer, but now he’s in his 40’s, happily married and raking in the dough as some big-shot in computers! (Moms…smart enough to know to buy him a computer he craved when Atari or Commodore came out)! My childhood (& still) best friend’s nick name has always been Feebie or Feebs – it just suits her (not too many know her REAL NAME, but I do & promised I would never say!)

  11. Kathy
    on Mar 12th, 2007
    @ 3:25 pm

    Well, I’m involved in martial arts and I continued to train and compete well after what was considered an “acceptable” age to do so. Consequently they call me CL (Crazy Lady) behind my back. Cuz I’d have to kick their butts if they said it to my face…and I could, too.


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