Vicki, Pam and Amy
If you give your child a beautiful name, why would you call them anything else?
I really like my first name. I was confused growing up about being called “Vicki” by my family and friends when I had been given such a beautiful name. It was usually only on the first day of school that I would be called “Victoria”. I didn’t question why I was not called Victoria until I was about 20 years old. All of my family and friends had always called me Vicki. I had countless nicknames growing up including “Tricky Vicky”, “Victor”, “Tricky Wicky Wacky Woo.” The most often used nickname that persists to this day is “Vic”. I don’t mind being called Vic as much as Vicki. It feels oddly comfortable and familiar, where Vicki just felt, well, icki.
When I thought I was all grown up and started college, I started to ask people to call me by my rightful name. Most would ask what I preferred to be called to which I replied Victoria. To this day, when I tell people my name is Victoria, many will still say, “It’s nice to meet you, Vicki.” It gets awkward sometimes correcting them. For example, I don’t want to say “I SAID my name is Victoria!” Are those 2 extra syllables really just too much for people to manage to say? I know they are just trying to forge familiarity.
I have 2 great friends who were also given beautiful names that became shortened in their childhoods.
Maybe you read this:
Amelia, in the story, was called Amy as a child. She contracted rheumatic fever following a bad case of strep throat as a very young child that badly damaged her heart valve. This was during the days when medical science held that cardiac patients should restrict their activities. So 8 year old Amy was not allowed to run, ride a bike or have other kinds of physical, childhood fun. She remembers being different and left out as Amy.
Amelia took ownership of her rightful name in much the same way I did when she went to college. Being called Amy reminds her of a very difficult and unpleasant period on her early life.
The third lame dame in the story, Pamela, was known as Pam growing up. Her father had his own special nickname for her, “Poops” pronounced with more of a “U” sound so it didn’t sound like p “OO” ps, like poop.
My oldest brother is named Robert. Our family always called him by his given name. His friends in high school all called him Bob. I remember being confused about whom they meant when they asked about Bob.
Choosing a name for a baby generally takes a lot of forethought, and sometimes honors our forebears. Nicknames can be fun, but in my opinion they detract from the careful consideration and selection of an otherwise beautiful name.
Thank you for reading :)