I had an old friend add me on Facebook this weekend.  Not old as in OLD, but old as in “I knew ye back in the day and I miss you”.

This was a nice break from the other Facebook friend requests that have been of the: 1. I HAVE NO IDEA WHO YOU ARE or 2. WE DON’T TALK IN REAL LIFE SO WHY ARE YOU ADDING ME? or 3. THERE IS A REASON WE LOST TOUCH 20 YEARS AGO variety.

I sent her a message telling her I had missed her and asking where they were at. She emailed back to tell me that they were good and that they had a “Nate” too.

I bristled involuntarily. It was not her fault or anything, but I do not have a “Nate”.  My son’s name is Nathan.


People in the community will occasionally call him Nate and I just let it roll. No need to pick fights when there are battles to be waged.

It got me thinking about the quirky name issues that I have. I might be (and probably am) completely crazy, but I have “Rules” when it comes to my name and the names of my family members.

My name is Angella. If you want to get technical, the correct pronunciation has the emphasis on the last part of my name: Angella.

You can thank the extra “L” for that. I was only called Angella when I was in trouble.  I never introduce myself as such because, well, it sounds a bit pretentious.

“Hello, my name is Angella.  Would you like some tea and crumpets?”

(Not to mock any English folks. It’s just the stereotype, you know?)

Here are my rules:

1. I need to be introduced as Angella.  Anything short of that seems too familiar.

2. Ange is completely acceptable if you are a friend of mine.  To introduce me as Ange to someone new is completely unacceptable. See point #1.

3. To call me Angie is punishable by death. Seriously. Unless you are my Mom or my sister Melanie. They both call me Angie and I do not blink an eye. Melanie prefers to be called “Mel” so I guess we are even.

4.  I cannot remember he last time Matthew called me by my first name.  He will say, “Angella” when talking to others, but only ever calls me “Honey”. The boys thought that was my real name until only recently.  Emily is young enough that she thinks that Honey is my name.

When I first met my Honey, he was known as “Matt”. When we got to chatting about my irrational name issues, he told me that he actually preferred the name Matthew.  It is what his family members call him.

I have called him Matthew ever since, in the rare instance that I do not call him Honey.

It usually goes like this:

“Honey?  Hon! Honey?!? HONEY!!! MATTHEW!!!!!!!”

Some friends and work folks call him Matt, and I roll with it.

Graham is a pretty hard name to shorten, which makes me kind of giddy.

The occasional person calls him “Gram” which I also let roll.

If they have a hard time with two syllables then who am I to judge?

Then we have Emily.

I love her name because of the fact that is both traditional and feminine.

Some folks have taken to calling her “Em”. I try not to let my blood boil.  There is nothing wrong with “Em”, per se, but I named her “Emily”.


I may call her Em when she is older, but I may not.  I haven’t had the urge to call her that so far.

I guess I am of the kind of person who prefers the traditional. The classic. The given name.

How about you? What are your name preferences?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

comment via Facebook



  1. Rachel September 29, 2008 5:35 pm edit

    My mom would go nutzo on people when they’d shorten any of our names.

    She named me Rachel, not Rach. Michael, not Mike and William, Not Will!! God forbid anyone shorten our names.
    Monkey’s name can’t be shortened, it’s almost impossible although Princess’ can and there are two I don’t mind but one bastardization of it that makes my blood boil and my eyes roll back in my head.
    I hear you.

    Rachel’s last blog post..Simple Salmon: Mouthwatering Monday

  2. Beth September 29, 2008 5:45 pm edit

    My given name is Elizabeth but I’ve always gone by Beth. A few friends call me “B” and most of the other residents at work just call me by my last name. One of our new interns caught on but was calling me “Dr. N—–” and I had to tell her that that was my father-in-law (also a physician) and that she can just call me Beth.

    When my husband wants to annoy the crap out of me he calls me Bethy. Drives me nuts.

    Beth’s last blog post..Bitching about the NICU to start in 3?2?

  3. The Over-Thinker September 29, 2008 6:47 pm edit

    Firstly, that picture of you is HOT.

    Secondly, here I thought her full, proper name was MISS Emily. Well, there goes the monogrammed bath-towels I was making for her graduation.

    The Over-Thinker’s last blog post..My 6 Addictions (dammit, Hillary)

  4. Mrs. Wilson September 29, 2008 7:06 pm edit

    Um, I’m not too particular about my name. Pretty much only my husband and my father-in-law call me “Jennifer” and everyone else calls me “Jen”. BUT! If you spell my name “Jenn” I will be peeved. JeNNifer has two Ns, JeN has ONE. ONE!!

    I like “Nathan” a whole lot better than “Nate”. Actually, I love his name. Seriously. Love it. You chose great names for your children. I like calling my kids by their full names as well. Kaylie is hard to shorten (ha!) but lots of people call Liliana “Lili”. I’m okay with that, but like you said, I named her that for a reason! (And it’s LILI not LILY!)

    Great post. Love it!

    Mrs. Wilson’s last blog post..I’m spying on you

  5. Kami September 29, 2008 7:25 pm edit

    This really started a debate here! It’s no surprise to me that people are so passionate about this topic as I am too.

    My hubby goes by Jay but that’s shortened from JJ which is short for Johan Jason…you probably know this…he’s the third Johan (Dad and Granddad all named that too…and big surprise, neither of them actually went by that name). Jack should really be the 4th Johan but our philosophy was, for the love of all things, name the child what he/she will be called! That is why he is Jack, not Jackson.

    I could go on and on.

    Oddly enough, my name is rarely shortened to Kam, though I don’t mind being called that at all. Only my Mom calls me that.

    I also answer to hey stupid but that’s another story all together ;-)

    Kami’s last blog post..Can you imagine?

  6. Tanya Duerksen September 29, 2008 8:12 pm edit

    I remember in school when you introduced yourself as “Angella with 2 L’s”, I didn’t realize why you did it. Now I know, and I completely agree with you. I like to call people by their full name unless they prefer a shortened form. Your name is beautiful and it suits you so I wouldn’t even let my friends shorten it. :) Remember when when Brad and Rob would call us “Angel and Cow”. You definitely got the better end of that deal – too funny. Miss you my friend, take care and say “hi” to Honey for me.

  7. monstergirlee September 29, 2008 8:36 pm edit

    Oh honey you have opened a can of Worms.

    Hubby = Danny. Not Dan, even tho he’s a grown up, his is Danny, its what his Mom calls him, his family, his closest friends. I think its rather rude of people to be introduced to him as Danny, as in “This is my Husband, Danny” They stick out their hand to shake it and say Nice to Meet you Dan. GRRRR….
    Son – We named him a long 3 syllable name. If you look up the short version on the dictionary – you’ll see why we call him the Full name, and only the full name. He was at my neighbors house and the Dad called him “Sully” and my son, being his fathers son, said “Oh Dara, My mom really doesn’t like it when you call me Sully.” EGG on My FACE. But now they only call him Sullivan.

    Daughter – another long name, with many many shortened nicknames. NOPE. All we call her is Margaret. sometimes MJ or even Margaret Jane, but never maggie or margie or **shudder** meggy or Peggy. any shortened versions. I have on friend who calls her Marge, but its kind of an inside joke.

    My name – the shortened version is the Ultimate White Trash Name – ugh! If someone writes it in an email, I won’t even answer until I correct them, and they resend it. Char vs. Charlotte – come on? who would’nt. As a kid I hated my name. As an adult I love my name. I did go by Charlie for about 20 years, but have gone back to the Classic. And my Husband totally agrees with me. I love classic names.

    Great post. Didn’t mean to answer with a novel. I wholeartedly agree with everything you’ve said. Yay.

    monstergirlee’s last blog post..Leaf Me Alone (part 2)

  8. Michele September 29, 2008 9:59 pm edit

    Very interesting!!! When I first started reading your blog, I always read Angella with the emphasis on the “ella”. I tried to change it in my mind but it was so hard…Now I can relax about it :)

    I was always jealous of my siblings who could shorten their names; however, my brother whose name is Daniel goes by Dan…Never Danny. Of course, there was always the one or two adults that called him that! I’ve always been Michele to everyone but my family, (who have been known to call me Chele or Chele-Belle).

    I think that when it comes time to name my kids, it’s definately one of the things you have to consider, all the different names that they will get called. Some people CLEARLY do not think about it before they name theirs!!!

    I love each of your kid’s full names, and you have the right to set anyone straight that calls them differently. I guess there will always be somebody who it shortens up!!! :P

  9. sizzle September 29, 2008 10:39 pm edit

    Did I tell you my real name? If so, I hate a shortened version of it and pretty much EVERY DAY have to correct someone. I used to just roll with the nicknames or mispronunciations but somewhere in my mid-20s finally just got fed up enough to correct people. It’s your name. You should be called what you want. :-)

    sizzle’s last blog post..Round Two

  10. monstergirlee September 30, 2008 12:09 am edit

    btw – the self portrait is gorgeous!

    monstergirlee’s last blog post..Leaf Me Alone (part 2)

  11. Heartfull September 30, 2008 5:16 am edit

    I had no idea that Graham is (or could be) pronounced “gray-um”. I have never heard anyone say anything but “gram”!

    In defense of the people who have mangled it even after hearing you say it, I know that I would have assumed you had a Tennessee accent. Of course, this would be insane since none of your other words reflect my imposed accent on you. But whenever I say “gray-um”, I feel like I’m effecting an accent.

    Anyways, we shorten names around here willy-nilly. The only thing that drives me crazy is when my nanny calls my 3 year old “Chaz” instead of Charlie.

    Oh – and the fact that my mom refuses to say “Mary Grace”, instead just saying Mary. It seems so intentional on her part.

    Heartfull’s last blog post..Just doing my job.

  12. Cousin Teresa in Ontario September 30, 2008 6:52 am edit

    Most of my problems have been casued by spelling mistakes. I am Teresa not Terry and its Teresa with no H and I have been known to snap when people add one. My name as never shortened to Terry because I have a sister Carrie and my mom said the two names together were to cutesy and not her style. My close family calls me Tree, or T. I never really had a nick name but always wanted one I hated my name for a long time, about 9 years ago a friend started calling me T-bird and it has been shortened down to T so now a lot of my friends call me T too.
    My daughters name is Sidney not Sydney and she like me snaps when people spell her name wrong, sadly even people in our family can’t seem to get the spelling right. Family often calls her Sid but its more often Sidney, she introduces herself as Sidney and seems to prefer that. Strangely the most common problem is people not hearing its Sidney and calling her Cindy.
    Just for the record I can imagine saying Graham any other way then you explained it and Gram sounds weird, although I did know a Graham that went by Gray.

  13. Richelle September 30, 2008 1:09 pm edit

    I’m a Richelle, and it’s never shortened except by my parents and best friend who will occasionally call me “Shelly/Chelle/Chelle-Belle”.
    The husband is Ed, but it’s “Edward” to his parents – he hates it when his parents call him Ed and he hates it when anyone else calls him Edward. *shrug*

  14. Andrea September 30, 2008 1:18 pm edit

    My name is Andrea but everyone that REALLY knows me calls me Andie. It feels so formal when someone calls me Andrea! I feel like I need to curtsy or something…

    My husband has ALWAYS been Daniel to me. Never Dan or, God forbid, Danny. UGH! He’s my Daniel.

    Eve, we call Eve-E. Or Ce-Ce is her nickname.

    Judah, we call Jude or Judah-man or very often Judah LANGE!!!!!! Because, he’s two, ya know.

    Eliza we call Lu-Lu or Lizie-lu. Once in a great while I call her Lizzie. I DON”T like when people call her Liza. It’s E-liza.

    Wow, now you know it all! Ha! :)


    Andrea’s last blog post..About Those Portraits…

  15. Heather-Domestic Extraordinaire September 30, 2008 4:57 pm edit

    I am the same way about names. The girls each have names that are hard to shorten, but sadly they have been by others. But this is why my girls have the middle names of Victoria and Constance because I really get upset even thinking of them being Tori or Vicky or Connie. Instead I get Lex and Ari….ugh! Its Alexis and Ariel! Please don’t call my husband Jerry, its Jeremy!

    Heather-Domestic Extraordinaire’s last blog post..Feeling like myself again

  16. Kristin September 30, 2008 4:57 pm edit

    So far our kids have no abbreviation of their real names, just nicknames with nothing to do with their names.
    I don’t think we will end up with any abbreviations of Marin’s name, Corban’s maybe though, time will tell. I am not opposed to it, just depends on what it is and who gives it to them.
    My name has always been Kristin, only 3 people have ever called me “Kris” but they knew/know me well so it doesn’t bother me. Ian is Ian, but that is pretty hard to change, his mom, dad and sis, called him “E” has a nickname, and still do, but he is never introduced as “E”.

  17. Rebecca (Bearca) October 1, 2008 9:37 am edit

    What people call me completely depends on which era of my life they know me from. I went by “Becca” as a child and through high school, but now go by “Rebecca,” which I prefer. If someone calls me “Becky,” Lord help me. I can’t stand that name for me. I don’t mind it for others, but I am NOT a Becky! Oddly, people at work call me “Reb.” I used to hate it, but it’s kind of grown on me. But I always, always introduce myself as Rebecca.

    For my kids, we purposely picked the name Evan because it’s difficult to shorten. But we end up calling him “Evy” half the time anyway. My daughter, Delaney, has all manner of nicknames: Lane, Laney, Delaneybug (most common), Miss D… the list goes on.

    Anyway, fun discussion. Everyone has opinions about their names!

    Rebecca (Bearca)’s last blog post..vacay!

  18. Rebecca (Ramblings by Reba) October 1, 2008 4:03 pm edit

    You can call me ANYTHING except for Becky. Just sayin’. :)

    Rebecca (Ramblings by Reba)’s last blog post..Ramblings about Ramblings by Reba

  19. Loralee October 2, 2008 8:22 am edit

    Try having a Christopher. Everyone and their mother tries to shorten it. Drives me NUTSO. I am sure I would have gone through the same with Matthew.

    Jonathan prefers Jonathan but the dude didn’t even TELL me that until after we were married. SO? It’s a mixed bag. I say “Jonathan” (which I prefer) as much as I can, but “Jon” gets said and typed frequently. Sigh.

    Loralee’s last blog post..?And now for something COMPLETELY different??

  20. Lisa October 5, 2008 5:56 pm edit

    My Dad named me Lisa and my sister Lana because they’re names that can’t be shortened. Who’s one of the only people who call me “Lis”? My Dad. And my pet peeve is people who hardly know me calling me “Lis”. That is reserved for a precious few.

    And we gave our son the name Ty because we knew if we named him, say, Tyler, that he would just be called Ty anyway; that and the fact that Ryan likes one syllable names. But of course now we always get, “Is it short for something?” Especially when we go to register him for activities or make appointments for him.

    And nobody, absolutely nobody, myself included, can call Ryan “Ry”. Big no-no in our house. So there will be no Ry & Ty!

  21. Melanie October 7, 2008 12:55 pm edit

    I don’t usually comment but I just HAD to because names are such a big thing with me. I HATE being called Mel and will always correct people. When I meet new people I always introduce myself as Melanie and they almost always shorten it right away for some reason. I have to correct them which makes me feel bad because it makes me feel like I am uber pretentious but really I just hate Mel – although my Dad can call me Mel and some people just can’t get past it and I have let it drop in the last couple years.
    The Mister’s name is Andrew. Not Andy. Not Drew. Andrew. And it has been that was since I met him when he was 14. I don’t know what it is about the two of us but we are just not “shortened-name” people. I picked the name Moira because (well, it is beautiful) I couldn’t think of any obvious nicknames for it. If she turned out to be a boy she would have been Oscar – also not an easy name to shorten.

    Oddly, I don’t mind being called Melly but no one ever calls me that.

    Melanie’s last blog post..A month of Halloween: Day 5

  22. Jenny February 24, 2011 3:43 pm edit

    I know a lot of people who can’t stand people reducing their names to diminutives, so you’re not alone.

Other Posts

Want to receive my posts by email?
Enter your email address: