I have gone by a lot of different names in life. For starters, I have a first name and a middle name that each have about a million possible nicknames. I could have grown up a Kathy, Katie, Kath, Betsy, Liz, Beth, Liza, or even Libby (no thanks to that one). As a kid, though, I didn’t think any of those were good enough for me, so my parents came up with a new nickname. Many of you who know me in person will be surprised to learn that until maybe kindergarten or first grade I went by the nickname Keli (K from my first name, -eli from my middle name). It’s funny how that doesn’t even sound like me now. It even felt weird to type it.
In French class I was a Katherine and in German class a Katrin; in Russian I was Yekaterina in formal situations and Katya otherwise. I’ve also gone by Kat among friends, Katra among certain friends and on the internet, and some people also call me Kathy — that last one is my least favorite nickname possibility, but at my current job I have a colleague who thinks it is my name. In her defense, she is Russian and nicknaming is a larger cultural issue there. She is probably trying to express familiarity and friendship by calling me Kathy instead of my full first name, which is how she knows me and which probably sounds overly formal to her ears. She’s too nice and adorable for me to bother correcting her.
You know what, though? Only on the internet do I go by Kate. Weird, right? No one calls me that in person at all. I chose it for the blog mainly because I didn’t want to put my full name here for googlers to find. I don’t mind if you all know my full name, but I don’t want people who don’t already read this blog finding it by chance (or by stalking). It’s not that I am embarrassed or secretive about anything I write here, but, you know. I would prefer for googlers to find my professional website and not a blog where I write about my cute dog and my race training and how much I love John Cusack and roasted vegetables.
At any rate, in person, I am most likely to be called my full first name (most common), or my initials (which are KO and are thus the baddest-ass initials a person can probably have, right? I sign emails this way and it has become a nickname from either that or my former carreer as a champion boxer), or Kat (mostly by a select few long-time friends — no one I have met in recent years has called me this). Then of course there is the professional name issue: I prefer to go by Dr. Lastname among students, but there will always be a wayward few who insist on calling me Ms. Lastname or — worst of all possibilities — Mrs. Lastname. Sigh.
Some of you may even have first known me by my original, completely anonymous blogging alias from back in the day when I was certain I wanted no one to find my blog or be able to identify me through what I wrote at all. I’m glad I have shifted over to a mostly non-anonymous way of writing, though — I like being able to write about my town and my school and such without having to worry about revealing too much. And I am free to tell you all of my many nicknames!
So is it weird that my blog name is a nickname I have never used? And do you go by a nickname? Care to share?