What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.
~William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet
Do you have a nickname? A special name that you were given by a friend?
In college, my girlfriend Shelley started us all out making our names silly (there’s a long story about Jimmy Hong and a toy drum, but we won’t go into that!). My roommate Barb was addressed as Barbalouba and Shelley called me Debbalouba – our formal names were when the ‘Hong’ was added as our last names. Barb wrangled out of the nickname but, for me, it stuck. Soon I was ‘Debba’ all over campus and that name stuck.
Another college friend, Dana, loved to say my name – and I loved to hear it from her. When she called me, my name took on additional syllables. It was a celebration. A song. A inside joke. A verbal hug. Debbaaaaaaaah! – as only Dane could say it.
A lot of us begin by playing with dolls and naming them. Such naming cemented these relationships, and the experiences with these dear beings were numerous. We also find such loveliness if we have children. I am still amazed that our sons recognize when others call them by name. In a name, there is an acknowledgement of existence and maybe too of worth.
Of course, other things are sometimes named too. Cars and ships and stars. I have done this too. My green bicycle is “May” and red guitar is “Amy.” Once named, these special items seem to become even more special. It is also implied that they were special enough to begin with that I wanted to name them.
Then there is the land of girlfriends. I don’t know how it’s happened, but my friend Karen and I have dropped the vowels in our names and our emails have become Dear KRN and Dear RCHL. My friend Annie is completely Bananie to me. I have another who I call “Flower Poetry” because her first name is Terace and last name is a famous poet’s name. Others have a naming of sorts, like one friend and I call each other “dearest deer” and another friend is my otter friend (swimming playfully in the deeps together). Not every lovely friend has a different name, but I can hear my tone when I think the name “Sarahhhh” as soft and loving and thankful for how heaven-sent she is.
I think my favorite name I’ve been called is “Spring” because it resonates strongly with my inner being. I love the color green and new life and all the poetry of the season and it is with me throughout the year. What a great gift it is to be seen and spoken and loved.
So if it occurs to you, offer up a new name to a girlfriend and celebrate her loveliness with the ABC’s that have been given you.
RACHEL AWES is a psychologist, art playgroundist, writer, wife, mother & friend, who loves listening to the beauty in people. You can see more of her art or her artistic thoughts on Pinterest. You can also read more of her work on her blog
What are your names for your girlfriends? How do you show them that they’re special to you? (Share in the comments – thanks!)
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By the way, we LOVE guest blogs here at Girlfriendology. Have a great girlfriend story to tell? Want to celebrate your fabulous female friends? SHARE! (And, we also have Girlfriend Gurus – check that out to be featured on Girlfriendology!)
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