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The Anatomy of a Name

Updated on November 2, 2014

What's in Your Name?

I have always teased my mother that she got my name off of a tombstone. Which isn't entirely a joke. She did get it off a tombstone, but it was her great-grandmother's tombstone. Her name was Amanda.

Of course, you know what I immediately got nicknamed, Mandi. I didn't like it, but it just wouldn't go away, especially when I was a kid.

I've had a lot of nicknames:

"Hot Dog". This name was given to me by a family friend. I never really understood how it originated. After moving away from that town and not seeing this friend for several years, we went back for a visit and he still called me "Hot Dog". I would almost be willing to bet that if I saw him today, he would probably still call me by that one.

"Mickey". I was in about the 2nd or 3rd grade and I had worn a Mickey Mouse t-shirt to gym one day. The coach started calling me Mickey and continued to do so until we eventually parted ways.

"Manda". I've grown very partial to this one. My best friend, Karen, tagged me with this one not long after I met her. I remember correcting her a few times, but it grew on me.

"Blondie". This came after a very disturbing decision to dye my hair blonde. I don't know what I was thinking. Of course, everyone started calling me "Blondie". I'm having flashbacks...ewe, it was so scary.

"Red". I bet you can guess how this one came about. I dyed my hair red. So, a very red-haired classmate started calling me red. I think he appreciated not being the only flaming redhead in the class.

"Mono". Right before my best friend, Karen, got married, I got mono. I was so sick and our crazy friends, who could find humor in everything, started calling me "Mono".

"Fire Starter". This one actually came right on the heels of "Mono". I, no kidding, caught my hair on fire at my best friends wedding. Right before we were about to walk down the aisle. I had leaned over to give her a kiss on the cheek and when I did my hair fell into my candle that I was supposed to carry down the aisle with me. Anyway, my dearest friend started to slap me in the side of the head. Of course, I thought she had lost her mind. I didn't even realize I was on fire. You can actually see in the video footage of the wedding, me running out the door of the church. All I remember is Karen's sister standing on the sidewalk picking at my hair and my hair falling out on the ground. I was in shock. Next thing I knew I was handed that dreaded candle back and pushed down the aisle. When I got to the front of the church I realized I had black charred hair in the bust of of my dress and inside my candle holder and the entire church smelled of burnt hair. That is definitely not a good smell.

"Elmo". This is the name that my big brother has given me. I'm not sure how it started but I love it. It makes me feel special. For Valentine's day this year he had a license plate made for me that said "Elmo" on it and has a peace symbol on it. I love it. It's just one of the those special brother-sister things.

I guess the one nickname that will follow me forever is "Mandi". Usually, only my close friends and family refer to me in this way. When total strangers do it, it makes me a little angry. I remember at work one time I answered my phone and identified myself by Amanda; the guy on the other end, whom I did not know, immediately says, "hello Mandi, I'm so and so". I was kind, because of course I was at my job, but I wanted to ask him if he had a hearing problem.

So, I'm you have a nickname? Does it make you feel special? Or does it make you want to punch someone in the face? Share your thoughts...feel free to comment.


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