Tag Archives: Name

Names are Important

While I am not at all even close to a fan of the family, I sadly am throwing in the towel and sharing something that has bothered me for a while now – since the name of the latest member of the Kardashian clan was announced.  My breaking point?   The other morning, Kris Jenner was on the Today Show and the interviewer asked her if she was worried that her new granddaughter would be made fun of for being named North West.  Her response was that people don’t go around calling people by their full name.

I beg to differ, Kris Jenner.

Growing up, my last name was the very same name as your granddaughter.  Lucky for me (or unfortunately now that I see that they are not just cardinal directions), my parents used normal names for me and my three brothers.  Otherwise, we would be North, South, East, and West West.  Thank god my parents had some sense.

hi my name is

The nicknames started early and didn’t just come from kids, but also from teachers.  I had one teacher who would change it every few days and call me Cathy North for a week before switching to Cathy East.  Then there was the clever teacher who couldn’t pick and called me NorthSouthEastWest.  Creative, right?

It is one of those last names, that when paired properly, rolls right off the tongue.  I was ok with that.  I got used to hearing friends say CathyWest all in one breath, as if it were one word.  Even at work, I had bosses call me that on a regular basis.  Granted, it sometimes got shortened to CWest but, the last name never left the equation.

I know that they think they are giving their beloved baby a beautiful, unique name and it really is none of my business what they name their child, but I feel badly for the poor child.  Maybe it’s the writer in me that sees names as a major part of ones identity and that there is so much potential.  It’s just I feel badly for all these babies with really weird names, celebrity or not.  Sorry, I’m a traditionalist in that sense.

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What’s In A Name

Many people have family names.  Brother 1 had the luck of being the fourth to share the same name in the family.  He always said that when he has his first son, that child will be the fifth.  I did not get officially named after anyone.  My mother wanted to name me Elizabeth however, my father wanted to name me Katherine, possibly after his sister, I’m not totally sure.  My mother did not really want that so rather than me being Katherine, she wrote down Catherine.  There hadn’t been any Catherine’s on her side of the family in recent history so it was a name all my own.  On my father’s side, there was my aunt and me (despite the spelling difference which I think some people still forget about).

Catherine

As a kid, spelling Catherine took forever to learn.  I had to come up with a mnemonic device to remember all nine letters.  “Cat – her – in with an e”  was what I had to say in order to remember it all.  Thankfully, my mom insisted on calling me Cathy.  It was much easier to spell at least until the 8th grade when I had a total identity crisis.  All of a sudden I was tired of spelling my name Cathy and tried to convince everyone that I was now Cathie.  For some reason, I felt that had more personality and that name was more true to who I was. It was a bit ridiculous though because after I got everyone I knew (except my Mom) to use the new spelling, I decided that I didn’t want to use it anymore.

Besides, Cathy with a 'y' is way cooler...

Besides, Cathy with a ‘y’ is way cooler…

It took some time for me to not hate the name Catherine.  It was just so proper and felt like such a grown up name.  Now that I am a grownup (technically in age only), I appreciate my name.  I have a grownup name, nicknames, and I feel like it suits me now.  I feel like I can handle the strength that comes with that name.

This post is part of the June NaBloPoMo.  The theme this month is “Roots.” Today’s prompt was “Are you named after someone on your family tree?  Tell us about that person.”

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Filed under Family, NaBloPoMo