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Writer's Block: A rose by any other name
Do you like your birth name? If you had the opportunity to change it, would you? What new name would you choose?

Like a lot of people, it seems, I didn't like my name at all in grade school.  I was pretty exclusively called Becky until I put my foot down around 16 and asked to be called Rebecca instead.  Becky just never worked for me, and it didn't help that there was always at least one other girl with my name (four by junior high) in my classes.  The name I coveted in the fourth grade was Sarah.  There were already two other Sarahs but it meant princess and that sounded lovely to me.  Becky didn't mean anything and Rebecca means snare.  How was that okay?

But once I switched over to my full name it started to sit better in my brain.  I found Rebeccas in the Old Testament and at Manderley, instead of just at Sunnybrook Farm and started to admire the strength of my name.

Now I love my name.  It still gets shortened sometimes - usually to Becca (you're only allowed to call me Becky if you knew me in person when I was a Becky) but I even spent one summer answering to Reba.  It turns out that the only girls name my parents could agree on fits me well.

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I happen to love my (our!) name.

Of course, I've pretty much always been full-length Rebecca.

(With the exception of my dad's side of the family. My grandparents have a chronic tendency to change all names to the diminutive form. [*] I'm STILL Becca to most of the cousins/aunts/uncles/etc.)

However, do NOT address me as Becky!

[*Side note: Their kids were Jimmy, Billy, Nancy and Robby. Could you get much more stereotypical 1950s baby names than that? In adulthood they are generally even further abbreviated to Jim, Bill, Nan, and Rob.]

Oh, and the one dislike I had for Rebecca [*] was the meaning ("snare" or "deceiver" ...yeah, that's nice)

But then I came across a book which also listed "captivating"

...I *LOVE* that!!!

Related and yet completely different connotation

You're more than welcome to lay claim to it as well. ;)

[* It also kind of bothered me that most of the fictional bearers of the name, while definitely strong women, were not exactly LIKEABLE.

- Well, Rebecca the Jewess from Ivanhoe was more awesome than all the other characters in the book added together...]

I didn't realize we share a name - awesome! Part of the reason my brother didn't end up Robert was because the family already had a Rob, Bob, and Bobbie, so I certainly get nicknames.

Heh - my mom will actually talk about Becky if she's telling a grade school story about me, and about Rebecca if the story is from college on. It's interesting to see how cleanly the split seems to have happened.

I'm totally stealing captivating as a meaning for the name - I like that!

I would like to get a really strong grown up woman who is nice named Rebecca - it does seem to be a rarity.

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It gets harder to make the switch as we get older. I decided part way through my junior year and it didn't work very well. Senior year was a bit better because I had new teachers who all called me Rebecca, and it firmly cemented when I went away to college out of state. But it does seem to take some kind of life change to really get a new name (or version of the name) to cement.

In other nickname versions my cousin Elizabeth was called Bizzet for years, though I think only at home.

When I was little my family called me "Mellie" which way too easily rhymed with "Smelly" in kindergarten. I mostly just answered to "Melody" but it's a mouthful and most people end up shortening it to "Mel". I do, however, get slightly offended when people I don't know well call me "Mel". My bff has a horrible habit as introducing me as "Mel" - it's reserved for those closest to me, who are mostly too lazy to say "Melody".

My brother got the worst name with "Herman". People called him "Hermie" when he was little and he can't stand to be called that now!

J went by his middle name until he was out of high school, then employers always called him by his first name and it kind of stuck. His family still calls him "Ted." totally confusing.

I agree that shortening someone's name without checking with them or knowing them for a while is not quite on. And in my case they are as likely to shorten to Becky which I will not answer to anymore, so really sticking with the full name is wise.

My brother is Paul so there wasn't much anyone could do with that.

My J goes by a nickname and no one calls him by his full name except for telemarketers. It does make for a handy way to tell if someone actually knows him or not.

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