7. Only he called her Elle

“My name is not Elle, It’s Eleanor!” as she stamped her foot.  
“I hate having my name shortened”, she explained.

 “It’s a term of endearment,”  said he. “How about I only call you Elle when no-one else is around. Would that be ok?

“I guess so ” said Eleanor reluctantly, although she thought that she really would rather be known by her given name not her nickname.

It got me thinking though.  How much is our identity connected to our given name? And why give the child the name and then not use it to acknowledge her unique  identity?

Is the nicknaming of Eleanor as Elle likely to affect her self identity? Isn’t it true that our identity as an individual is wrapped up in the name we were given as children?

As parents, the names we gave our children reminded us of people we had admired, or each was chosen in hopeful expectation of the traits and talents that we desired for our own children. We wanted them to have their own sense of identity and the name chosen thus can trigger the development of that identity. It is often considered that a name is our greatest connection to our own identity, and yet is this so?

If so, then why did our children accept nicknames from others as they grew into adulthood.  Was their self identity changing and they were becoming how others knew them?  Was this a form of rejection? Or were they just wanting to be accepted?

The definition of a nickname is “a familiar or humorous name given to a person or thing instead of or as well as the real name. A nickname is often considered desirable, symbolising a form of acceptance

What is it about our names that is important? What if you don’t like your given name? What influence do we really have and why should we expect to have that influence anyway?

What about you – do you like your given name or have you chosen another and if so, why?

This is a response to a Flash Fiction prompt from ‘Putting My Feet In the Dirt’, Writing Prompts hosted by ‘M’.

4 thoughts on “7. Only he called her Elle

    1. I understand. I love my first name but really do not like my middle name. Interesting isn’t it. Did you change your name to suit yourself and is that how you identify yourself now?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ve just always gone by my middle name Michelle. My closest friends call me ~M, my hubby calls me Elle, and people who don’t know me very well, use my legal name, which is Cecilia. I guess I just get tired of having to explain the reason why I don’t go by my first name. Some people have even chastised me for it, and when that happens, I just tell them to go discuss the subject with my parents who never called me Cecilia. Lol

        Liked by 1 person

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