Friday, 29 May 2015

What's in a Name?

In the June issue of Writing New, Lizzie Enfield wrote under Writing Exercises, 'What's In A Name.' So this got me thinking about my own.

My name is Karen Jane and before I was married my maiden name was Parry. Years ago I did ask my parents why they chose that name for me and was told that Kathleen, my mother's name, in Danish is Karen and Karen in Danish is Kathleen. So for the benefit of this article, I googled it to see if there was any truth in it.

I came up with the following from Wikipedia, Kathleen or Cathleen, anglicised form of the Irish form Caitlin. The form Karen, of Danish origin, is often considered and independent name in English.

Far from conclusive, I suppose they saw something and thought the name had an association with Kathleen and chose it. As for Jane, they just liked it. I'm lucky as I don't mind my names at all.

As a teenager, I shortened it to Kaz as this looked and sounded cool. It looked especially good when next to a boy's name.

I always had large eyes, particularly when I was younger and my face a lot slimmer than it is nowadays. So at school I had two nicknames, neither of which I liked. Two nasty girls insisted on calling me Popeyes and the other was Nuts. I ignored Popeyes and eventually they stopped. As for Nuts, I couldn't get away from that one, My initials were KP, which was also a popular salted peanut snack.

I married and the Internet arrived and with that usernames were popular. I used my nickname and part of my surname because it had a nice ring to it. Kazzmoss. I added an extra z to match up with the double S on the end.

When my daughter arrived we name her Deborah Jane, which is what my Mum came up with. I was convinced I was having a boy, and in those days one didn't find out the sex until the baby was born. Within three weeks we shortened it to Debbie. My in laws didn't like it and continued to call her Deborah. There wasn't that many Debbie's in 1984 and I wanted my daughter to have a unique name. By the time she had reached her 20s, her name was shortened again and, most people, including me, call her Debs.

In 1986, I wanted a name for my son that couldn't be shortened and so we called him Ian. My Mum hated the name and told me that she would call him Boy. Or course she never did and he grew to be his name.

At infant school he joined a gang and came home telling me he was part of Daz, Diz, Is and Waz - Daniel Darren, Ian and Warren. Then in Secondary school his nickname became Mossy, as his Dad before him. This somehow changed again and he was known as Moose. These days, thank goodness, he is back to plain old Ian.

What about your name, have you asked the question?


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