Sweet and Southern: Guest Post by BA

So remember my guest posts on name choices recently…well I have another one.  Perfect timing because I am on vacation and LAZY! This next guest poster really doesn’t need an introduction.  BA is an A-list blogger that makes it look so easy.  You may know her as Heir To Blair…or any of the names she spouts below.  I found BA on the twitterz like everyone else and thought HOLY SHIT! SHE IS JUST LIKE ME!  Then after a bit, I started to put it together that we lived in the same city. We met for lunch one random day and by that weekend, we were making playdates for our boys (2 months apart). The boys adore one another and it’s always nice to have mama playdates too :). Here is a picture of the boys…warning: the cuteness is FACE MELTING!

Baby GAP models

Sorry for that interruption but I just love that photo.  So anyways, check out what a super southern name like Beth Anne will get you in life…


BA...but go ahead and add the MF too

My parents?  They think they’re clever.  After nine months of being sure I was a boy, they both nearly fell out when the doctor held me up, screaming like hell at the world, & announced that I was a girl.  They scrapped the name Michael Douglas & christened me Elizabeth Anne.  Elizabeth for my mother, Anne for my Aunt Dianne, & a plethora of nicknames to follow.

For six weeks, they called me “Elizabeth Anne,” which proved to be a challenge for my (not much) older brothers.  As a child of the 80’s, I was surrounded by Elizabeth’s & my mother refused to give into the moniker “Liz.”  (She still maintains that it is a guttural-sounding name.)  A bitter debate ensued, where my father petitioned for “Betsy” & my mother eventually won the argument for “Beth Anne.”

& my personal hell began.

Elementary School:
me:  “Mrs. Harper, my desk says my name is Elizabeth, but it’s Beth Anne.”
Mrs. Harper:  “Okay, Mary Beth…I’ll fix it.”

Middle School:
Mr. Hunt:  “You’re Steven’s little sister, right?”
me:  “Yes, sir.  My name is Beth Anne.”
Mr. Hunt:  “That’s too difficult.  I’ll call you ‘Steve’s Sister.’”

High School:
Ms. DiFernando:  “Okay, Beth.  Tell me what you think about Great Gatsby.”
me:  “My name is Beth Anne.”

College:
Professor:  “Is Elizabeth here?”
me:  “I’m Elizabeth, but I go by Beth Anne.”
Professor:  “I don’t give a shit what your name is.”

& then, of course, there are the spellings & misspellings of my name.  Beth Anne, Bethann, Bethanne, Beth-Ann, Bethany, Mary Beth, Mary Anne…the list is endless.

The more interesting factoid about my name is that very, very few people actually call me Beth Anne, including the mother who fought for the name so hard:

Top Ten Nicknames for Beth Anne
1.  BA –what my friends call me.
2.  Betsy – a nickname my father was never able to give up.
3.  Dizzy – my mother’s name for me.
4.  Lizzy – Doug’s nickname for me, after I attempted to go by “Elizabeth” for a short while in college.
5.  Beth – what my brothers & my lifelong friend Megan call me.  I will kill anyone else who even attempts to call me this.
6.  Blair – my blog pen name that has absolutely nothing to do with my real name.
7.  Muffin – what my cousin calls me, along with Muff & Muffers.  see also: horribly inappropriate jokes.
8.  Betsy-Anne – what my family calls me when they’re being affectionate.
9.  Lizard – this one is just silly. But it gets used.
10.  Momma – this one is my favorite.  (everyone say “awwwww.”)

I hate to admit this, but it took me a long time to accept my name & learn to love it.  For years, I wished to be an Ashley or a Jennifer, perhaps a Kate, but something simple that was easy to spell & remember.  I swore that my children would never have a unique name — & sure enough, my son is named “Harry.”

Eventually, the Southern grew on me after my fifth time reading Gone With the Wind & I realized that not only was my name pretty, but it was at the heart of who I am – Southern. Wrapped in tradition.  & honestly?  A little weird.

4 Comments

  1. My first name is Elizabeth, but I go by my middle name which is rather unique, and I had very similar experiences on first days of school over the years. We picked “Daniel” for the same reason you picked “Harry”: simple and easy to spell!

  2. Oh wow, can I relate to this one! Ok here’s my name – Jocelyn Picl (well, Picl is my maiden name, but that’s what I grew up with). So yeah, give that one a shot. Attendance was my worst enemy. I actually plead with my dad at one point to go downtown to the court house and change my name to Diane. I thought it was so sophisticated. 🙂 And a million times easier than Jocelyn. To this day, I feel like I could just kiss anyone who says my name correctly on the 1st try. Hell, even on the 3rd try is pretty good for most people, ha! But I hear you about taking awhile to dig your own name. Now, me, a Diane?? Um, no.

  3. So my birth name is Elizabeth Ann, too! (no e on my Ann, though). But I’ve been called Lisa since the day I was born, so I totally get the name confusion issue. Funny thing about my name is that my birth certificate was supposed to be “Elisabeth Ann” (and hence the “lisa”), but my dad spelled it wrong when he was filling out the paperwork. So I’m Elizabeth with a z, and Lisa with an s. This is also the source of a lot of confusion, as people don’t immediately associate Lisa as a nickname for Elizabeth.

    I swore that I would give my kid a boring name with no nickname, but that didn’t happen…he’s named after his great grandfathers, and has had a nickname since the day he was born!

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