I wish I had a cool nickname

19 Dec

Natasha is a Russian princess from War and Peace. I wouldn’t know what else there is to her, since I’ve never read the book.

But the name “Natasha” always stuck out so weirdly. To me, at least. My friends have short, easy-to-spit names like Lizy and Patrick. Tack on another syllable and suddenly there’s an unexpected pause, a hitch, that moment of “Oh.” Natasha is a name you have to think about while you’re saying it, to make sure that you’ve gotten it all out.

In a pinch, you can swallow the first A. Ntasha works.

But if you’re Serbian like my dad, (“Na-tasha, molim. Just focus on one thing at a time.”) or French (“Nata-sha, do you really not eat bread?”) like everyone in Montpellier when I studied abroad last year, then swallowing vowels is out of the question. It’s all or nothing.

Any attempts to make my name shorter have been, well, short. ” ‘Tashi” lasted a couple weeks in preschool. “Natushy” was about half of 4th grade. “Kura” stuck around for a few months in middle school, when animĂ© made A Cool Japanese-Sounding Nickname imperative. In high school that morphed into “Kiba”, which caught on with a few of my bros until college hit, and it was back to the full thing, the whole Natasha shebang because I was too busy reinventing everything else about myself that hell, at least my name could stay the same so I’d remember who I was.

But still. It’d be cool to have a nickname.

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3 Responses to “I wish I had a cool nickname”

  1. Kate January 12, 2013 at 3:28 pm #

    I think this is a case of grass always being greener. I’ve been Kate for as long as I can remember, so much so that when I was seven I went through a period of insisting that my name was -not- Katharine, it was Kate. But because Katharine is my (legal) name, whenever I sign something vaguely important, I have to pause after K-a-t and decide what letter comes next. Because most of the time I’m Kate, my hand automatically moves into writing an “e”, so there are times when I have to be very careful to write an “h” instead. Somehow Katharine is a different person from Kate, and I’m not sure what the differences are. I’m a little jealous of people who have only one name!

  2. Jackie G. March 16, 2013 at 6:56 pm #

    My name is Jacqueline. But, I’ve always been Jackie.I guess because Jacqueline is a mouthful. I never cared for how Jackie sounded, so in middle school I tried to change my name to J.C. (that’s Jacqueline Christine). It sounded so much edgier than Jackie. I had the perfect opportunity to make the change stick too because my family had recently moved. New home. New School. New Jackie. I mean, J.C. But, the problem was, I kept forgetting that I was trying to change my name. So, I kept introducing myself as Jackie instead of J.C.

    Now I’m an adult. At work, I have to spend time on the phone with customers, and for some reason “Jackie” doesn’t translate well over the phone. People will call and ask for “Becky” or “Jessie” or “Jenny”. They usually get hung up on because there is no one at work by that name. I started telling people my name was Jacqueline, which is a name that seems to stick with the customers. They never confuse my name for something else…except for that one guy who called asking for “Jocelyn”.

    I’m kind of glad I never adopted the nickname of J.C. Who wants to be known by their initials? Except for that one guy from N*SYNC.

    Also, one of my playground pals was named Natasha. She hated it when her friends called her Natasha, so she insisted that we call her Tasha.

    • Natasha N March 17, 2013 at 5:21 pm #

      Jacqueline’s a beautiful name. One of my favorite authors in high school was Jacqueline Carey–another JC, will you look at that? Haha.

      Some have tried to call me Tasha, but it never lasts.

      By the way, thank you for following!

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