nickname struggles
Start writing a post

The Struggle Of Having A Nickname Is Never Ending

"My name is ... but I go by ..."

The Struggle Of Having A Nickname Is Never Ending

Whether you have a shortened version of your name, go by your middle name, or have a completely different name you use, you understand this struggle that I am talking about. Having a nickname can be all fun and games until you realize all the extra effort that goes with it. From filling out legal documents to deciding when it is or is not appropriate to go by a certain name, it complicates everything. For example, my legal name is Elizabeth Kelly Redd, but my whole life people have called me Libby. It is not Elizabeth Libby Redd and it is not Libby Kelly Redd- it is either Elizabeth Kelly Redd, Elizabeth Redd, or Libby Redd. Nothing more, nothing less, I don't make the rules. Trust me, I have heard it all.

I'm not really sure why or how that is my name, but it works. I've realized, however, that this is more common than I thought. Turns out, I'm not the only one who feels extremely appreciative of the documents that include a "Preferred Name" section. With that being said, this article is for all the people who have shortened versions of their names- like an Abigail that goes by Abby or Abbie, and the people who go by their first and middle name- like my friend Anne Marie, and the people who go by their middle name- like my cousin Steven "Jude," and even for the really complicated ones- like my brother who goes by "Ivey" because he is James Redd IV (Roman Numerals... get it?). Believe it or not, our parents don't actually hate us.

I find myself feeling apprehensive when meeting new people. Your name is the first impression you have on others. In a formal setting, I feel like I should go by my legal name to be more professional. While I am more comfortable with "Libby," "Elizabeth" sounds a lot more official. Yet, because that is not what I am used to hearing people call me- it takes me longer to realize that they are talking to me. "Oh yeah, I AM Elizabeth." Don't even get me started about how confusing that gets.

Social Media is confusing. People reference me and tag me in posts as both names. It becomes a little confusing in those aspects and some even think that my profiles may be identity theft.

Memberships that I have are also their own battle. "What's your name?" they ask. I panic. "Elizabeth Redd," I usually reply because that is indeed my given name, which may or may not work depending on what I told them the day I signed up. "Try Libby Redd," I usually have to end up saying, feeling like an idiot. The people that work at the gym probably think "Wow this girl doesn't even know her name, she has more issues than just needing to shed a few pounds."

It also seems as if there will need to come a time where I do go by my given name. Choosing when or if that will be is hard because of the relationships that I already have with people who know me as "Libby." But, am I really going to be called that when I am old and senile in the nursing home? Time will tell and I'll fight that battle when it comes, I guess.

All struggles aside, going through this hardship does add character. But, keep in mind, when naming your children: give them the name that they will be called. For their own sake, it is so much easier that way.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

Six Lies Fed to Your Mind, By Your Mind.

These thoughts will drive you mad.


Life is hard, and is even harder with a mental illness. Even if you aren't clinically diagnosed with depression or anxiety, in the hardest times of your life you can probably associate with several of these thoughts. Fear not, everyone else is thinking them too. Maybe we just need a big, loving, group therapy session (or six).

Keep Reading... Show less

A Letter To My Heartbroken Self

It will be okay, eventually.

A Letter To My Heartbroken Self

Breakups are hard. There's nothing comparable to the pain of losing someone you thought would be in your life forever. Someone who said all the right things at the right times. Someone who would give you the reassurance you needed, whenever you needed it. And then one day, it just... stops. Something changes. Something makes you feel like you're suddenly not good enough for him, or anyone for that matter.

Keep Reading... Show less

2026: the year the Fifa World Cup Returns to North America

For the first time since 1994 the United States will host a world cup (for men's soccer)

2026: the year the Fifa World Cup Returns to North America
Skylar Meyers

The FIFA World Cup is coming to North American in 2026!

Keep Reading... Show less
Student Life

An Open Letter to Winter

Before we know it April will arrive.


Dear Winter,

Keep Reading... Show less
Student Life

6 Questions To Ask Yourself When Cleaning Up Your Room

This holiday break is the perfect time to get away from the materialistic frenzy of the world and turn your room into a decluttered sanctuary.


Cleaning isn’t just for spring. In fact, I find school’s holiday break to be a very effective time for decluttering. You’re already being bombarded by the materialistically-infatuated frenzy of society’s version of Christmas, Hanukah, etc. It’s nice to get out of the claustrophobic avarice of the world and come home to a clean, fresh, and tidy room. While stacking up old books, CDs, and shoes may seem like no big deal, it can become a dangerous habit. The longer you hang onto something, whether it be for sentimental value or simply routine, it becomes much harder to let go of. Starting the process of decluttering can be the hardest part. To make it a little easier, get out three boxes and label them Donate, Storage, and Trash. I'm in the middle of the process right now, and while it is quite time consuming, it is also so relieving and calming to see how much you don't have to deal with anymore. Use these six questions below to help decide where an item gets sorted or if it obtains the value to stay out in your precious sanctuary from the world.

Keep Reading... Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments