The Name Game...

This week's prompt is about Nicknames, so I thought I'd write about my family's given names and nicknames.

My given name is Sandra Jean Smith. Jean was my mother's middle name.  When I got married, I became Sandra Jones . How common and boring can you get.? I should have at least hyphenated them to keep things intersting! After I divorced, I contemplated going back to Smith, which almost seems silly. But I didn't want my last name to be different than my boys, and I could just see the faces when I fill out school registrations, doctors paperwork etc.. "Your boys are Jones, but you are Smith?".  So, I thought I might change it back once the boys were grown, but never did as it seems like a serious hassle. But to be honest, I'd much rather carry the name of my beloved father vs. someone I had such a short period of my life with. My sister did it though - she went back to Smith, though Id don't know if she made it legal?  For legal, and official stuff I use Sandra so I always know when I get mail or calls that these people have never met me or don't know me or they'd know I go by Sandy. You'd think NO one would mis-pronounce the name Jones. But nope, I get  "is this Sandra John's?" from telemarketers. I guess this might be why they are telemarketers?  :) And now again just a simple case of way too common surnames.. "Is this Sandra Johnson?" I just say" nope, try the OTHER most common J surname", before I hang up.

By the time is was in Junior High I seriously did not like the name Sandra, and particularily the way some pronounced it "Sondra" - like my Dad's best friend Tom Banning did. It felt too old and formal for my personality I though. So,  I started calling myself Sandy and so did my friends. My father was having none if it.  "If I wanted to call you Sandy, I would have named you Sandy". To this day, the only people who call me Sandra are my immediate family and my Aunts and Uncles. All of my friends and aquaintances, and even some cousins call me Sandy so it is really weird when I hear someone call me Sandra.

In Jr. High my friend Alice Anderson called me Sandy-ra for a short time, but it didn't stick.

When I used to go out to the clubs for a few years, I admit,  I didn't always give my "real" name. So I went by Riva,  based on a wild character from the Soap Opera, The Young and The Restless :)

My boyfriend Ricardo used to call me Strawberry Shortcake, Sweet Cheeks and Big Nose. Nice.

In High School my best freinds and I all decided to give ourselves Hillbilly names like from the TV Show "The Waltons" like Jim-bob, John Boy etc. but to an extreme!  I was Sandra Sue Jean Ellen Smith (now Smith Jones!). Ruth was Rufus Xavius Sasparilla Walker, Troy was Troy Boy John Joe Wiedlich, and Shari was Shari Berry Banana Fo Ferri Ramey!    Today,  use a variance of this Walton's name every day for all my online activty.. SandraSue!

My kids loved those names when they were little and asked for one of thier own. Cody is Cody Tanner Catfish Caratcus Jones. Evan is Evan James-Allen T-bone Jones.

My Dad's name is Melvin, but always went by Mel. Oh the hipocracy.

My mom's name was Marilyn, but I know my grandma and her sister always called her Sis. 

My step-mom wrote in a keepsake book  for Cody and Evan that  "my dad liked the name Betty, but I had to be named a Catholic name. So my real name is Mary Elizabeth Minnehan. From Elizabeth my dad got his "Betty".  She said her brother Ted was called "Brownie" by one of her aunts, and that he called her "Blackie".  She said later her school friends called her Short Stuff, Sport, and Little Biddy Betty. (She's 4'10). When my son Evan was around 2-4 years old he always called Betty "Grandma Easy". No one knew why.  Finally it was discovered because she was always saying" Easy, Evan, Easy!)

My sister is Sheri Lynn. She really hated when people called her "Cher".   In high school it was "Bear" I think. I'll have to ask her about her nick names.  We weren't really "friends" in our youth!

My oldest son is Cody Tanner Jones. He is not named after anybody in our family.  I was pushing for Austin. But we could not agree on a name. We went through a book of 1,000 baby names!  Actually, we initially agreed on Jesse JamesJones, and then my husbands' brother Brian had his child first and named him that!  I asked suggestions from EVERYONE.  My ex-husband and I cleaned office buildings at night for a 2nd job and our boss had just had a child named Cody.  I recall liking it, and so did my husband. When Cody was first born I used to call him Cody-bear, and had that printed on his spit up rags and bottles :) In school many kids called him CJ. In middle school he used to mess with his teachers and tell them his name was "Bob" and they actually stamped his gym shirt:  B. Jones! 

My youngest son is Evan James Jones.  James is my father Melvin James Smith's middle name, and my ex-husbands' Grandfather's name; James O. Jones (though he always went by Dick). No idea why.  There was some TV Character at the time named Evan, and I remember thinking that was just a good solid name. And it was the ONE name that my ex- could not find something bad about!  Evan's name is not an easy one for nicknames,- it's short and not very "rhymy" if that is a word. That said, people have tried - and he's not been happy about it. Good thing none of them stuck. His loving day care provider Delsi Brannock when he was first born called him "Ebenezer" - since he looked like a jowely old man, and she pronounced her V's like B's anyways! With her being the exception he was NOT ok with anyone calling him that!  (Turns out there are several Ebenezer's in our ancestoral family line, and a norwegian ancestor named "Even" pronounced "Eban").  In elementary school a few squirrly kids called him "Oven" a few times.  I have called him Ev, and a few have also tried. Shockingly, MANY adults and teachers when reading his name have called him EVEN. Seriously? Go back to school and learn pronunciation before you teach my child!


My extended family
My Mother, Ivy Tilbrook


Already Registered? Login Here
No comments made yet. Be the first to submit a comment