Australians absolutely love a nickname don’t they? Kiwis do too. It’s a sign of acceptance to receive a nickname. A term of endearment to bestow a shortened name or nickname on someone.
I know I should be honoured and charmed when I get my name auto shortened, but I have to confess I don’t like it. I really don’t.
Yes, I have an unusual name. Kim hyphen Marie isn’t run of the mill. Kim-Marie isn’t ever going to make the Top 20 list of baby names.
I wouldn’t wish a hyphenated name on anyone. But you know what, it’s my name and I own it.
As you’re reading this post here on Kimba Likes, you’ll notice I have another name. For a girl who grew up in a zoo (yes, really), Kimba is a cute nickname. I have embraced my nickname and I adore it. It’s fun and very me. I named my second baby, my blog, after my nickname after all!
As a 21 year old marketing PA, I had a fab boss with a big flaw. He simply refused to call me Kim-Marie. I simply refused to be called Kim. So we brainstormed and came up with Kimba. He did campaign briefly for Kimbo but hello? No Way!
When I moved to Australia nearly 20 (gulp) years ago, I was embraced by a fabulous workplace and nickname options were discussed one day in the office. One very sweet and innocent young chap called out that he had the perfect name. F&C. Short for fish and chips because of the old Kiwi-Aussie fush and chups joke. Cute. Really cute. Except say it phonetically. Eff in see. Yeah, that one didn’t make the cut.
Or there was the manager who decided that Kim-Marie was far too much of a mouthful and that Kimba wasn’t dignified enough, so he called me KMA (my maiden name starts with an A). Hmm, Kim-Marie or KMA. Same number of syllables, isn’t it? Men!
I posed the question on my Facebook page, and had a slew of responses. There were two responses which stood out the most. People really don’t like the auto shortening of names without checking if it’s OK first. Many people gave examples of short forms they liked and ones they really didn’t. The second response was the disbelief that someone responding on social media or via email could get your name so wrong. I mean, it’s right there in front of you!
Do you have a name that gets auto shortened? Do you go by a nickname? Do you introduce yourself with your first name and think people must assume you’re bonkers to give them your first and middle name so they gloss over your faux pas by calling you by your “first” name?
I’m Kim-Marie or Kimba. I answer to both quite happily. Call me KM too, I’m ok with that.
I can spell my own name. I know. Shocking! I’m not Kim Murray-Williams. I’m certainly not Kim. I actually have two first names. With a hyphen (not a dash). No middle name.
No offence to any Kims out there. It’s a perfectly lovely name. It’s just not mine!