Thursday, February 21, 2008

responding to a comment

A comment made by my Aunt Maggie in the last entry has prompted me to respond for all the world to see/read. "Since when am I Lizzie?" Good question. Although a more appropriate question to me is "Since WHERE am I Lizzie?"
In my life, I have had many nicknames, for-shorts, or name taunts. One of these names is Lizzie. I found that Lizzie came out in full force when I was studying abroad in Botswana. I can't recall if it was my fellow American students or the Batswana who decided that Lizzie was what they were going to call me, but somehow it stuck. I kind of liked it, actually. When I was 13, I definitely would NOT have liked it, but then, at a mature 20 years old, it was catchy. I think it was a bit homey feeling, so I liked it in that it made me feel comforted being so far away from my home. So Lizzie is associated with Botswana, for me.
So I sometimes refer to myself as Lizzie, when it feels like Elizabeth or Liz is just too pedestrian for the moment. Overall though, I refer to myself as Elizabeth, and probably alway will. I like my name. I don't mind when people call me other things, but I'm content with Elizabeth too.
My family calls me Elizabeth too, as do my co-workers mostly. I find that unless someone has a strong urge to shorten names, they usually end up calling me the name I am first are introduced with.
In high school, Liz started to become more and more popular (the name, not the person!). My fellow band members called me Beth, and my volleyball teammates called me Mikey (thanks to the clever imagination of one when she found out my middle name was Michael). I could very easily narrow down who was calling me from across the hall by the name they used.
In college, there were four Elizabeths on my hall alone, so I very quickly became Liz (as different from Liz K. and Lizzie B. and the other Elizabeth who never made it in the first place).
In elementary school, some silly boys in the neighborhood called me Lizard-breath, and to that I say "very creative boys, never heard that one before."
Another nickname I've gotten from family, mainly my mother is a bit of a progression. Elizabeth, Elizabean, Beans, Beanie, Beano.
So I pretty much respond to whatever name. And I enjoy the variety. One of my current co-workers even proposed calling me Betty, but that doesn't seem to have stuck.


Maggie Sweeney said...

Hey Lizzie - thanks for the explanation! I've always thought it funny that your mom doesn't call either of her children by shortened versions of your names - never Liz or Tom - but she also rarely calls you by the pure version. It's either Beans or Tomaso... Did you know that her camp name (many decades ago) was Mike?

Welcome, my name is Aline. said...

Well -- I always call you Liz cause it's the most efficient way to say "yo -- you over there" instead of a "E-LI-ZA-BETH." That's just way too long when I've got to tell you everything that is in my brain in a couple of minutes... Ah yes, I love efficiency, just call me Operations Nerd.