What is in a name?

What is in a name? | Kimba Likes

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!


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  • Alex - 11 September 2014 - 6.47 pm

    My full name is Alexandra but it’s always been Alex. In the age of email however this means that I am assumed to be a man with almost every new email buddy. Women can be Alexs too y’know!ReplyCancel

  • Lisa@countrygypsies - 25 August 2014 - 7.43 pm

    My name often gets shortened to Lis. Cos saying Lisa is just too much! I don’t mind though – could be worse. My eldest brother calls me sis – yep, original.
    And my Dad used to call me Sam – go figure!ReplyCancel

  • Kym - 25 August 2014 - 2.08 pm

    As a Kym and I’m simply outraged that you’d scoff at being called such a wonderful name! haha Kidding. Your name is so unique, but it sure is a few syllables, to I can understand the need for a nickname. I was called Kimbo by my mom, and then a genius in high school came up with the brilliant addition of “the bimbo” so I can relate to the utter hatred of that nickname. My mom also called me Kicky for some reason, and as a kid I thought my name was “Berly” so my sister has taken to parading that one around with frequency. There’s almost always a fun story behind a good nickname!

  • Sonia from Sonia Styling - 25 August 2014 - 1.18 pm

    I used really hate it when someone called me “Son” but now, it really doesn’t bother me as much. Thanks to my husband, I have many nicknames in my arsenal – Sonic, Schnitzel, Snitzy, Snotzel, Sneezle…ReplyCancel

    • Kim-Marie - 25 August 2014 - 9.03 pm

      I think some of those names have to go though!ReplyCancel

    • Kim-Marie - 25 August 2014 - 9.03 pm

      The Welshman has taken to calling me Wifey – because he knows I detest it. I’d much rather he call me The Bride. Just when I start getting cross, he flashes me a huge cheeky grin and says you’ll always be my bride, baby.

      Plays me every time!ReplyCancel

  • Kylie @ Octavia and Vicky - 25 August 2014 - 7.17 am

    My childhood nickname is ‘Kylie-Bird’ and I’m not really sure why? A friend of the family started it and it stuck. I have one friend who calls me ‘Ky’ but everyone else sticks with Kylie 🙂 F in C LOLReplyCancel

    • Kim-Marie - 25 August 2014 - 9.08 am

      Oh, Kylie-Bird is cute! My childhood nickname from my Granddad was Weed – because I was so tall and skinny. Nice!ReplyCancel

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