What’s in a name? Oh, the possibilities are endless. (Or at least they are in my family.) You see, I come from a clan of nick-namers, and oftentimes the pseudo names have no origin and no connection to the person’s actual name.
And for whatever reason, I’ve decided to share with you all some of the names I’ve been called over the years, and I’m hoping you might be up for making this a two way street. What other names have your friends and family come up with for you? Do you like them or rather the nicknames die a painful death?
My name is Melanie
, and I absolutely love
it. (Good job, Mom and Dad!) I am a proponent for being known by your full first name
–you know, the one on your birth certificate. None of this “I’ve only known you by such and such a name until that moment at high school graduation when they announce your name and I am completely unaware that that person even existed.” I like that people call me Melanie. I think my name is beautiful
But I also like it when people get to feeling comfortable enough with me that they naturally progress into the “Mel” version of my name. I like Mel too. It’s fun and relaxed sounded, very girl next door.
My maiden name was “Fish.” (If you must know, it was shortened by my great-grandpa Luigi from the original Italian of “Pescatelli” meaning “little fish.”) When people find out about my maiden name they are found in utter disbelief and are convinced that I’m attempting to pull the
wool scales over their eyes. And then they stifle a laugh.
But I don’t mind. I was never made fun of for my last name because I embraced it. I loved my last name. Many classmates in high school (and also my history teacher, a football coach) called me “FISH,” which I was totally cool with. I was bummed I never played a sport that warranted my name on the back of a jersey.
For whatever reason, there have always been a handful of friends–in both high school and college–who loved calling me by my first AND last name, as if they were one cohesive unit. And I have to admit, it does kind of roll of the tongue. “MelanieFish
” (or, if you’re Sarah Lane, “MelFish
“). One of my guy friends in college also enjoyed calling me, “Miss Fish
” and we were both sad when I became a “Mrs” and that name no longer applied.
My aunts have always called me by my first and middle names–Melanie Marie. Again, the combination flows from the lips in a lovely fashion.
My dad used to always call me Mellie, as did a few friends in elementary school. I like “Mellie.” I think it’s adorable.
My mom and my grandma have, for as long as I can remember, called me “Melanee-nee” and my Grams is the only person on the face of this planet whom I allow to call me me “Nee Nee.” (I love that she calls me Nee Nee.)
Little kids often have trouble pronouncing my name so it ends up sounding like “Meny
” or “Noni” (if your Jillian). As a grown up, I find many kids referring to me as “Miss Melanie” which is pretty cute too. It has a nice ring of respect and familiarity
One boy in my 4th grade class took to calling me “MelonHead” which I totally despised and was embarrassed about. He finally got in big trouble for it.
I’ve also heard Mel Bell, Mellie Belly (not my favorite), Fishy Girl (by Kevin), mon frere (“My brother” in French, by my sister–yes, we’re weird), Madeleine (my name in French class–pronounced “Mad-a len”), Poisson (by a classmate in French class, it means “Fish”), Bees (by my husband, as a reference to my Pam Beasley similarities), and “Ralph” (by a developmentally disabled friend in Michigan who couldn’t seem to pronounce my name. So I just went by “Ralph.”)
I know there are more I have missed, but that’s the general history of Melanie’s nicknames.