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The importance of a name


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Post Sat Oct 01, 2011 7:08 pm

The importance of a name

Names have always been important to me. I could spend hours going through my stuffed animal toys and evaluate their names, and changing them as I came across names I liked better/thought suited them better. I even made lists at times. Like in the fairy tales, names have power lol
I'm not even gonna mention how seriously I take the naming of pets


I have always hated my name. Ever since I realized that it was supposed to be me, I have hated it and it never even felt right. The worst part is that I wasn’t even christened until I was 6 or 7 months old, because my parents couldn’t agree on my name given name. My mother thought it’s beautiful while my father was opposed as it is his mother’s name. I only wish he had pushed on harder and at the very least demanded I get a double first name. It could have made parts of my life easier. Of course with my luck, I might have ended up with 2 names I hated equally.


I know this is a laughing matter to some of you, like in the “Jobs you could enjoy” thread, “ha-ha don’t call her that wink”. Yeah really funny… NOT
To those of us who have fought this fight our entire life and endured the anger and resentment one feel simply from being called upon, it is absolutely no joke. It’s a very real issue about being allowed to be addressed without feeling queasy, angry and resentful.
I once heard that charm means getting a ‘yes’ without even asking a question. Well, calling me Crapname is a way of getting ‘no’ without even asking a question.

The dreaded name is one I will simply refer to as Crapname, and the nick name I hated least will be referred to as Crappy. The nickname given to me as a child, will be referred to as Kiddie.


I remember the first time I realized that it allegedly was supposed to be me. I was just a toddler, but I’m not sure exactly how old I was at the time. I was sitting on the floor, fingering with something. Behind me was my mother and someone else, I cannot remember who that someone was, but it might have been my grandmother, although that is an educated guess not a memory.
At any rate this woman was talking and I thought she addressed me, but then she added Crapname, so I tuned her out, ‘cause that wasn’t me. Then my mother (who had been next to her) passed me and stood in front of me and poked at me and pointed behind me to get me to pay my attention to the person behind me. I understood what she meant. My initial reaction (one which was interrupted by her ongoing response to me; not sure how far I’d have gotten anyway, since I’m not one for showing my emotions much of the time) and very clear thought was an overbearing smile and the reply: “It’s not ME. It’s got nothing to do with ME.”
There was no other name that felt like me, no feeling that NN should have been my name, just the very strong sensation of Crapname not being it, and a very strong hatred towards it. As strong as any kind of insult you can imagine.
To me there is no emotional difference to being called Crapname, or being called ****, mongo, gorilla inside out face or any of the other **** people will throw at you. To me it is an abusive word, and I cannot emphasise how much I hate it. I do not mean that I dislike it. I mean I absolutely hate it. I have had to fight not to get angry simply because they call me by my given name, which I hate so much. EVERY time I have mental shivers, I feel resentment and anger, and sourness.

I know I’m not the only one who feels this way, I have known a few people who hated their name and got pissed if you called them by it, but all of these lucky bastards had 2 first names, so they could choose it away. A colleague of my mother was in that same position, and my mother told me that when there was a phone for this woman at work and she was called by both names, she would stay put in her seat until the last call, fuming. I understood her so very very well!!!! I also knew 2 boys in elementary and junior high school who both got so angry if you called them by the first name they didn't like, that they would get physical towards the person who called them by said name. How I envied them the gift of 2 names!


When I was a toddler my father gave me a nickname, let’s call it Kiddie. This nick is one I liked just fine. I won’t mention it here, cause that is for family only, but it was the only name I enjoyed being called by. What a delicious treat that was, being called on as Kiddie instead of Crapname!!!! It made me respond in a normal, neutral to happy manner instead of the alternative I have mentione already.

I learnt to write a little before I began school. Kiddie was one of the things I could write. I never learnt to write Crapname in my preschool years because I didn’t want to, and I learnt only reluctantly afterwards.

I always hated introducing myself because I hated giving my name, as it would be used against me after that whenever the person in question called me. Yes, used against me. That’s what it feels like, so for this thread, I will say it like that. That plus my innate introversion made people mistakenly think I was shy.


In elementary school we learned that in ancient Rome, there were so few first names, that children with older siblings were often called by number. I remember the teacher saying “imagine that, not having a real name, just a number.” I would gladly have traded!
My grandfather told me that they were referred to by last name in his school, and I envied him that.

When I was 9, the bullying started. I was certain the teachers knew what was going on, yet they didn’t do anything to help me.
One day, in 3rd or 4th grade (I can’t recall for sure anymore), the teacher talked about an author of children’s books here, named Anne-Catharina Vestly, but only referred to as Anne-Cath Vestly by everyone. I had earlier pleaded to be called a normal nickname for Crapname, let’s call it Crappy but I was just told that “no, it’s your name”. Now I pointed out that Cath was just a nick, so if she could be called that, why couldn’t I be called Crappy? The teacher said that Crapname was such a beautiful name that she wouldn’t hear of it, she had even given her daughter that name. I pointed out that I hated it to no avail.
That’s another thing that has always annoyed me: Almost every time I have told people how much I hate Crapname, their response is often: “I think it’s nice/pretty etc” Why on Earth do they say this? Do they really mean it? Or do they think me so shallow/easily manipulated that I would respond “Oh so YOU like it, well then it must be good and I will accept it now”? I don’t care whether or not THEY like it, I only care about hoe crappy it makes ME feel. I’m the one who is forced to ‘wear’ it FFS!
Anyway, I digress. That was the final blow name wise for me.
Some of the kids bullied me severely (unrelated to the aforementioned topic), the teachers did nothing. My plea to be called by a nick went unanswered by all, so after a time of boiling on the inside, I thought **** it! If they don’t respect me, I won’t respect them. So at some point in 4th grade I started calling myself by whatever name I liked at the time. At some point it was Ante, after the Sami boy who hated school and only wanted to be with his reindeer (just like I hated school and only wanted to be with my pets). Once it was Eirik Blodøks, after a Viking king I thought was cool. Other names included Selina, Regitze, Priscilla, and Imelda. I knew very well they weren’t my given identity, I was never confused there, but since they didn’t respect my plea for being called by a nick I hated less, and did nothing to ease my troubles, I picked the name I liked there and then, and signed with it, and responded only to it, and ignored anyone calling me Crapname.
The other kids thought it was fun, and would use these names. I knew they were making fun of me, but it was delicious to be called something I liked, that I didn’t care, I just happily responded to them.
(I ended up with a lot of trouble for that, ‘cause the effing teachers thought I had identity problems. Anyone that lost from understanding people should never be allowed to work with kids IMO. The severity of what I went through was bound to result in me acting out in some way.)


In junior high, I started in a new class, and pleaded to be called Crappy. That was accepted there, so being called there was okay by me, as it was heaps better than the alternative Crapname. Mind you, I didn’t LIKE Crappy, I simply picked it because out of the possible nicks you can get from Crapname, it was the one I hated the LEAST, and yeah, that is a big difference. It was simply the best I could get out of the situation.


I have remained highly reluctant to introduce myself. I have been thrilled whenever I have been referred to as “Miss my-last-name”, or just “miss” or even “ma’am”. Not because I am high society (lol so am not) but because that was so much better than Crapname. Hell, I have been called insults I have minded less.


For the last 25-ish years at least, my family has known how much I hate Crapname. And after I became an adult, and complained from time to time, my mother snapped “so change it then”. Of course, changing a name back then wasn’t so easy, but after they changed the name laws, it became a lot easier. So after that change I'd snap back "Oh I will, once i find the right name”. I wanted the name to be one I would like even years into the future, not just a temporarily fling like the ones I picked in elementary school. So I took the time I needed, and narrowed it down to a few candidates, then gave it more time. I wanted to be sure, you know.


When I started going on forums back in 2008, I picked something turtle related (FYI, I like turtles a little bit, I bet you guys didn’t know that!), and I enjoyed so much being referred to by those usernames. That along with finding other aspies made online communication a haven for me. I could be myself and never had to brace myself for the dreaded name thing. As i got to know a few people better, they felt it natural to exchange first names. I refused, that would ruin it for me so much! So I said that it was the online anonymity that made it possible for me to be as open as I was. That was true, but I also knew that I had to be extremely unlucky for someone from RL finding me on any of those forums. The main reason was to avoid more Crapname. When David said that referring to me by other than my official name made him uncomfortable, I knew I had to make my move. There was no way I would become Crapname online as well. No way. So I filled out the form, and sent it to the tax office (they are responsible for name changes here), and June 11th the confirmation arrived. I was officially Jessica!
Now I don’t mind introducing myself anymore. I don’t mind being called anymore (other than by my mother who only calls me Crapname or Kiddie, something we quarrel about some 3-4 times a week, and the real eff of it is that she has 2 first names, one of which she can’t stand – although probably not to my extent – so she should be able to relate).


This is not a joke to those of us who are so badly affected by it. On the contrary, it affects us during all interactions with people we know, every time introductions, or just a signature is in order. With the (to quote DSM IV) Qualitative impairment in social interaction I already have due to AS; I did not need this in addition. Add to that the fact that I am extremely introverted and aloof (which is perfectly alright by me, I like keeping my distance, I like being quiet), and have never cared for RL interactions family notwithstanding, making the unwelcome interaction even worse by adding a perceived insult.
Like I said at the beginning of this post, I know this is a laughing matter to some. It is no joke. Like I said, it affects all interactions, and your response when people simply call you. You can be in a relaxed situation and then the bomb word is dropped and your mood plummet, same as it does every time you tell people your name, everytime you sign paper or letters etc. I have done a lot in my time to avoid using Crapname. Initials, saying what’s in a name anyway, miss, etc...
For me (other than with my mother) that battle is now past. I am now Jessica. I have put Crapname and Crappy behind me forever, and will never respond to or use any of them again. When it’s used by people knowing better, I tell them that it’s not me or that it’s no Crapname here.


I needed to write this as a response to several of the quarrels my mother and I have had about my name. She was the one who said “so change it then!”, and she has known for at least 24 years how much I HATE Crapname. It should come as no shock that I have now legally changed it. Considering my extreme hatred of the name, I think it is reasonable of me to expect that she calls me either Jessica or Kiddie. That would simply be showing respect. But nooo... Sometimes she uses Kiddie, but not always. Her response to Jessica? “Couldn’t you at least have picked a nice name?” Uhm that’s what I did! She says it’s 'dreadful' and that she won’t use it. Yeah welcome to my world the last ca 32 years!!!! And that she has no daughter by that name. Well, in that case she does not have a daughter period. I know she loves me and that, but I think she should respect my choice in something that matters so much to me. I would never have bothered to change it legally if it hadn’t been very important to me.

I’m not sure why I bother posting this, mostly only to rant I suppose... I really needed to write this now, and since I’m posting it, I guess I need someone to read it, too.
And to tell you to respect people’s wishes about these kinds of things, they matter!
You'll notice that a turtle only makes progress when it sticks out its neck...

"And the turtles, of course...all the turtles are free, as turtles and, maybe, all creatures should be." — Dr. Seuss
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Post Sun Oct 02, 2011 4:25 am

Re: The importance of a name

You officially changed your name to Jessica, so you're Jessica.
You'd be Jessica even if you didn't make the change official, if only because it's your desire to be called that.
It's pretty simple to me. If someone wants to be addressed a certain way you do it, at the very least to be courteous.
Unless they insist on being called 'your majesty' or something. :)
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Post Sun Oct 02, 2011 4:14 pm

Re: The importance of a name

Thank you, nine! It's so wonderful to be met with understanding :) I can't tell you what it means to me to be met with understanding instead of the confusion I am met with for this. It shouldn't be so hard to understand...
To be honest I was a bit nervous about posting this, as I know most people can't relate and see it (and me) as weird. I was somewhat nervous about the reactions I might get. But that's part of me so I decided to post it regardless.

lol no, no your majesty here! :lol:

I might be mistaken here, but it might be easier to get acceptance for this in USA? More common? Meh, I don't know.
Read about the cancer cells that still live after Henrietta Lacks, the socalled HeLa cells, and the article about her said that she changed her name from Loretta to Henrietta, and this was back in first half of last century... Here the law was changed in 2002 - and I heard of it a few years later...
You'll notice that a turtle only makes progress when it sticks out its neck...

"And the turtles, of course...all the turtles are free, as turtles and, maybe, all creatures should be." — Dr. Seuss
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Post Mon Oct 03, 2011 6:14 am

Re: The importance of a name

i would think that it would be best not to have an 'official' name until the kid being named is old enough to have some input into it. in the usa, it's common for people to change their name. sometimes they're not the best.....like sue knife slasher.....but that happens.

i've written in the past about how mentally ill my mother was. when she finally got around to getting a birth certificate for me, she wanted my first name to be dannyboy, because there was some old irish song by that name that she liked. my thanks go out to the clerk who would not do it and instead typed danny, which has not been too bad but i never use it except for passports, and government documents that require the actual name on the certificate. names have never been that important to me, except for my non-human animal friends who receive names based on my own weird reasoning.

i second what nine sez.....you are jessica and have always been jessica.

now, i think 'your majesty' would be very suitable name for me:-)
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Post Mon Oct 03, 2011 2:16 pm

Re: The importance of a name

Turtle wrote:I might be mistaken here, but it might be easier to get acceptance for this in USA? More common? Meh, I don't know.

I don't know if name changes are easier to get here, but as far as people overall being more accepting of calling someone
something other than their birth names, it's not uncommon for people to be called by nicknames around here.
Unfortunately, not everyone gets to choose which nick they get stuck with. :grin:
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Post Wed Oct 05, 2011 10:15 pm

Re: The importance of a name

Whoa, I didn't see your post until now, Dan.. :S Thanks! :)

loser wrote:i would think that it would be best not to have an 'official' name until the kid being named is old enough to have some input into it. in the usa, it's common for people to change their name. sometimes they're not the best.....like sue knife slasher.....but that happens.

Haha, after the laws were changed some people have taken decidedly weird names here Kolaautomat (Kola vending machine), Robot and Flykikker (plane spotter; as this guy loves planes :) For the same reason I considered Turtle or Skilpadde, but I thought that it mightn't be taken seriously).
My father once said that children shouldn't be given names until they could choose for themselves, but I think he mostly said that due to his own dislike of my mother choosing that name as well as him being dead set against religion and baptising children who can't choose for themselves.
Maybe a good solution would be for parents to give their off-spring some kind of name or nick name (barring offensive terms of course), and that the individual chose a name for him/her-self once s/he reached adult age. Names matter to most people and in most cultures.
In a fantasy I once read they had the tradition of naming small kids one-syllable name, teens got two-syllable names and adults 3. Old people 4.The names got syllables added to them, like Matt became Matty as a teenager.

loser wrote:names have never been that important to me, except for my non-human animal friends who receive names based on my own weird reasoning.

Now I am intrigued...
Mind to share, 'your majesty'? ;)



There weren't any interesting stories as to how my pets got their names...
The hamster that a mate of my father left with us for us to take care of while he was away, was never picked up, and she became 3 hamsters. They weren’t supposed to be our, and they were never named.
Our budgie Jakob was named after my imaginary friend. Then we got the budgie Pia, named so because she was a she and Pia means girl in one Norwegian accent. She was sick though and died after just one month. Some time after we got Jacina who was named for her name to suit Jakob’s.
Our first dog Sissi was named after a poodle my mother had known, loved and had a very special relationship with in her childhood.
My first gerbil was named Benny because I wanted to give him a name that meant something good, and Benny could be short for both Benedict (the blessed) and Benjamin (son of happiness). The next gerbil was named Rocky because I thought Rocky was a tough name (after the boxer). Hey I was 11 years dumb okay, oops, I meant 11 years old.
Our dancing mouse was named Tanzy after tanzmause, the german word for dancing mouse.
My first guinea pig was named Shalom after an obsession and because i liked the word.
Our rabbit Rabita was named after the word rabbit. And I decided that if we had another rabbit (we didn’t) it was to be named Kanita after kanin, the Norwegian word for bunny.
My second guinea pig was named Madeleine after a radio reporter who had a show at the time that I loved listening to.
Our dog Viggo was named Viggo when he came to us, 4 years old.
My turtles.. oh my poor turtles! Sigh, before you guys judge this story, remember that this took place before the net was commonplace. I couldn’t just Google turtles’ sexes. I had to rely some rather poor pics and drawings in a few books. Okay: when I first named Nemo and Nikita, I had no idea if they were female or male, so I just called them Michelangelo after the ninja turtle (I was obsessed with them at the time) and Nicholas after a boy I had been writing about in some of my stories.
Later I read that the males supposedly had long claws on their forelegs, and they didn’t seem to have those so I assumed they were girls after all and called the “ninja turtle” Mikena (mee-kena) to sort of look like Mike, which she was called on daily basis, and Nicholas, who by then had become Nick to me, was named Nikita.
Sigh... Then I read that the males had longer and thicker tails than females, and it seemed like Mikena might have been a boy after all. (If only I had known then how easy RES’s are to identify.) Excited by tales of captain Nemo which I had recently read, and driven by my love for B5 and astronomy, I decided to name her Nemo Centauri, just Nemo in daily speech of course. When years later she laid unfertilised eggs, I couldn’t be bothered to rename her again, I thought Nemo suited her, so she stayed Nemo.
You'll notice that a turtle only makes progress when it sticks out its neck...

"And the turtles, of course...all the turtles are free, as turtles and, maybe, all creatures should be." — Dr. Seuss
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Post Sun Oct 09, 2011 3:15 am

Re: The importance of a name

let's see, my first companion critter was a male cat that ended up being named shadow. he was black,gray and white. he was a feral kitten who liked to hide and was hard to spot at night. we became great friends and would always show up in photo's as a shadow. did not like to be photographed.

the next cat was abby, named after a dog i had helped to escape. abby was a great kid and i loved her very much. she was about 20 or so when she died of kidney/liver failure.

then came sara, whom i've written about before. with sara was k2, whose name was a long time in coming. she resisted any name i could come up with until it dawned on me that her unusual climbing abilities meant she should be named after the hardest mountain on earth to climb. as a cat, she finally gave me permission to call her that. she's fairly ancient now but is doing ok. she 'accepts' louie.

louie was easy to name. as we were driving home, louie louie was playing on the radio and louie stood on the console between the front seats and licked me on the cheek. i said, "do you like that" and he sort of smiled so i said, ok that's it. it was a new oldies station that was broadcasting only one song that first day. karma.

have named thousands at animal shelters but most were without a lot of thought. great danes called tiny, pugs named brutus, names like that.
just too many with little time to devote to the best names. one good name is of a mix breed dog who is probably a mix of pit bull, bulldog, and some large breed dogs.....and a home water heater. mr. pittapotamus.
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Post Sat Nov 05, 2011 6:03 pm

Re: The importance of a name

I always though Shadow would make a nice pet name, or even Shadowlight, as I saw a dragon named once, on the Dragon Cave site.





Again, thanks for your support, Dan and nine. I've concluded that anyone who don't respect it, isn't a friend and is no one I can bother to deal with anyway, even if it means cutting someone old out of my life. When they make such a faux pas, eff them! Friends don't do that.

EDIT: Forgot to mention it lol: My mother is really making an effort now! :D
You'll notice that a turtle only makes progress when it sticks out its neck...

"And the turtles, of course...all the turtles are free, as turtles and, maybe, all creatures should be." — Dr. Seuss
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Post Sat Nov 05, 2011 7:16 pm

Re: The importance of a name

Anytime, Jessica (Turtle).

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