What’s in a name?


Every human being has hundreds of separate people living under his skin. The talent of a writer is his ability to give them their separate names, identities, personalities and have them relate to other characters living with him. Mel Brooks, 1926 –  American film director, screenwriter, composer, lyricist, comedian, actor and producer.

I spend more time that I have available in reading other people’s blogs.  The title for today’s blog jumped into my mind after reading Wendy at http://writerwoman61.wordpress.com/.  In her post, she talks about nearing 50 and the various names she has and does answer to.

Well, I have more than 20 years on her so I thought I would do the same.  Thanks Wendy for the idea.  I have been:

  • Daughter
  • Sister
  • Friend
  • Girlfriend
  • Wife
  • Soulmate
  • Mother
  • Grandmother
  • and more

and for each of these stages, I have had a different name.

Daughter – For 19 years I was Judith Rita.  My surname was always met with surprise and comments such as “But what is your last name dear?”

Sister – still Judith Rita but the questions posed were “So are you Christine’s younger sister?” or “Are you Marianne’s big sister?”

Friend – I have answered on occasions to Jude. Judy, Diff (an early boyfriend thought this was funny) but mostly I am Judith.

Girlfriend – Often I was called love, darling, dear, honey and even lovey by one erstwhile boyfriend.  And one asked me if I call everybody Darling because I can’t remember their names.

Wife and Soulmate – I was always darling to my soulmate as he was to me.  His special name for me was Angel and when our daughter was born she was Angel II.

Mother – When the children were small I was Mummy, moving onto Mum as they grew older and from my daughter during her learning German phase I was Mutti.  When my daughter and I worked together for some years she called me Judith and still does quite often.

And now instead of Cate being asked if she is my daughter, I am regularly asked if I am her mother.  How things change.

Grandmother – When James was small (he is now 16) he used to call me Nampa and his grandfather was the other Nampa.  This soon changed to Granma or sometimes just G.

Grandsons several years ago

And what do I call other people?  Always Darling for the family – the boys are called Darling No1, No2, No3 and No4.  Jae the youngest responded to my calling him Darling One with “No Granma – I’m Darling number 4”.  He was about 4 years old at the time.

“At my age the only problem is with remembering names. When I call everyone darling, it has damn all to do with passionately adoring them, but I know I’m safe calling them that. Although, of course, I adore them too.”  Richard Attenborough , CBE  1923 –   British actor, director, producer and entrepreneur.


16 responses to “What’s in a name?

  1. This post is of interest because my son and girl friend are expecting in August. We had a philosophical discussion about names and decided what ever name is chosen it seems like it fits the child perfectly and the child becomes the names and the name becomes the child. This is confirmed as the years pass.


  2. Wait until Wendy passes 50 and she realizes that she can get senior discounts!


  3. Hi Judith,

    I’ve just read Wendy’s post and like you found it very thought provoking….I loved reading your take on the topic. Our roles in life and the names we have associated with them are just so intriguing.
    Our connections with each other grow stronger through such sharing:-)
    Lovely sunshine today….yummy


  4. Marianne London

    Oh I like this one my Lovely Sister. I love all the names I have our Mum always called me Marianne, no abbreviation. Bill when being polite called my love. My Darling Daughters call me Mum always and my Lovely Son calls me Mother when he feels he needs to talk to me as though he’s my Dad.
    The older Grandchildren call me Nan, the younger two call me Nanny.
    My Daughter in Law calls me Mal as does some of my friends. My lovely Turk calls me Marianna. Even now when I have to tell people my single name Rita , they think I am senile “Oh no dear I want your surname”


    • Fortunately, nobody ever asks me for my surname prior to being married. I have used my married name for so very long now.
      Love all the names that your family members call you and my son also calls me Mother when he has decided that he is the patriarch.


  5. Thanks for the shoutout, Judith! Glad I provided some inspiration!



  6. InsideJourneys

    Beautiful post.
    I always felt different because I didn’t have a pet name. Then I went to university and friends started calling me Marce. To this day, a very good male friend from those days still calls me Mac.
    Thanks, Judith,


    • My Mother didn’t allow shortened or pet names, but as I grew older some of my friends ignored this. Hence all the names I have acquired over many years.


  7. Yep, all different names, same person inside. 🙂


  8. Thanks for a great post on the names we have through life.


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