I’m not entirely certain I’ve ever mentioned my fascination with the origin of my name. Or at least the origin according to my mother. Years ago, I asked my mom how she came to name me. I’ve watched several friends and family members over the years name their children and I think the process is quite interesting.
For instance, my niece’s name was heavily influenced by me. My sister fell in love with the name of a character in one of my early short-stories. She also wanted to use my middle name. I can’t recall my actual thought process as to why I felt the short-story name wouldn’t be suitable, but I remember the feeling. I suggested some alternatives. Names I hadn’t used in short-stories. Jean liked one in particular and when the birth certificate was filled out Jean put all three names down. The one I suggested, the character name and my middle name. Add to that her last name and you certainly have a mouthful to say when you want to call my niece to task.
Going back to my mom; she told me that she picked the name out of a baby name book and said that the definition given was Cheryl is the German feminine form of Charlie. Which I think is actually really neat. So much so that when I was a teenager I tried to get folks to call me Charlie. It didn’t stick for a multiple of reasons. Primarily because I wasn’t consistent.
I remember the year one of my friends changed her name. It was the simplest of things. She just added the letter E to the end of her name. She went from Vivian to Viviane without any fuss. Because the primary change in her name was spelling.
My attempts at transitioning to Charlie weren’t that simple and in the end failed. It didn’t even get picked up as a nickname.
In the last year and a half I have been giving some more thought to the idea of again trying to go by Charlie. I started asking friends to call me Charlie. (I haven’t been correcting them when they don’t. I should start doing that, shouldn’t I.) I’ve started to add the name to various social media sites, like my personal fb page and bio descriptions on twitter, pintrest and such; and I even added it to my new business cards. So you’ll see the name Charlie popping up more and more. Now if I can just remember to actually introduce myself as Charlie to new folks. Because no matter how much I say I want to go by the name, if I don’t make that first introduction as Charlie, then it will likely mean that the name never gets picked up or associated with me.
So hello. My name is Charlie. What’s yours?