When I was in elementary school, our principal knew every single student’s name.
In fact, you could stand behind him, stick your arms through his and he could identify any female student by her hands. That sounds much creepier than it was. He was very cool and did a fabulous job.
Remember how cute I was? I look nothing like that anymore. I’m much taller. I also outgrew that sweater.
Anyway, he immediately took to calling me “Abigail Beecher My History Teacher.” I had no idea these were actually lyrics to a Freddy Cannon song until someone told me a few years ago, and I still don’t know who Freddy Cannon is. All I knew was that I had a special song based on my name that no one else had.
Except my name isn’t Abigail, it’s Abby.
And no, my middle name is not Gail. It’s Caye.
“Abby” lends itself well to people who take the Rob Schneider Copy Man route with chit chat, as my name can and has been turned into several different things— The Abinator, Abdo, etc.—and it unfortunately rhymes with things like crabby, flabby and gabby.
I will probably never be flabby, but as for the other two? I have no comment.
When I was little I was “Aboochka” to my family—among other names not derivative from “Ab”— and in high school I was “Abs of Steel,” a nickname I lived up to with a passion for athletics.
Remember how cute I was? I look nothing like that anymore. I’m much older and haggard. I still have that shirt though.
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to realize that there is a certain intimacy with how people refer to me. With the exception of people who call me Anny because a) they don’t listen or b) hit the key next to the “B” when typing me an email, most people call me Abby.
However, certain people go with “Abs,” and I have to admit that I kind of like it. I choose to believe it conveys some sense of familiarity and comfort and not someone simply giving up on the second syllable of my name due to laziness or indifference.
The weird thing is that not everyone who can get away with calling me “Abs” is someone I’m necessarily close to, as technically speaking, that group would include my mom and the hot exterminator that stops by for our visits every three months between the hours of 1-9.*
*This time window is subject to change upon company demand and possible extermination emergencies.
Some of my friends online and off, people at the gym that I’ve known for years and even my boss will use “Ab” out from time to time, but I can’t imagine 90 percent of my large (dysfunctional) family going that route and I don’t think I would want them to.
It’s a weird select group of “Ab” users, and although I should be used to it by now, I’m always still a little surprised when someone throws it out.
And I’m also surprised that I like it when most people do—not the weirdos.
At any rate, I do like my name despite the fact that it usually puts me at the top of people’s “Contacts” list on their phone. Being at the top means I am the one that accidentally gets butt dialed and then wonders why you’re calling me from what sounds like either the inside of a washing machine or a possible hostage situation.
I also just realized that I’m now at the point in my life when I know longer get booty calls and instead get butt dialed, and then blog about how I get butt dialed.
Oh well. Can I live with that?
Aside from the aforementioned names, my mom and grandma call me “Busi” (pronounced “Boo-she.”) It’s Polish for grandma. Don’t ask.
Do you have a nickname or a name that can be shortened?
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