Who’s that girl, what’s her name….

She was named in the semi traditional Irish way which varied from family to family,  that of first daughter being after both her grandmothers.  So Catherine Mary is on her birth certificate as well as other ‘important’  documentation.

Catherine aged 2

Her mother’s name was Alice Mary but she was always known as Al – her father’s name was James, known as Jim…….Jimmie to his family

Her paternal grandmother was Mary Elizabeth after both of  ‘her’ grandmothers – we have no idea what her family called her……to us she was just Granny S.  Granny’s oldest daughter was also named Mary, we knew her as Aunty May.  The next daughter was Margaret Anne known to us as Aunty Maggie.

Our little girl’s mother’s mother, the grandma she never got to meet was Catherine Jane Mary. 

On Irish census records she was called Kathleen and then it was discovered she was registered at birth as Katheline – possibly the result of her father’s accent.  John Joseph Patrick Doyle was from Waterford – Kathleen’s birth was registered in Tralee, Kerry.  A name spoken in an out of town accent possibly being misheard by someone not used to that accent then transcribed as heard …..if you get what I mean 🙂

Before she married she was known as Kitty to her family, after her father’s death she married Isaac John Joseph T (known to everybody as IJJ)  and became Catherine.  IJJ was from the north of Ireland, at that time Kathleen was a ‘southern’ name – say no more!

The Jane was after ‘her’ grandmother (the little girl’s gtgt grandmother) Jane Gatherer who was known as Jean!  Oh that would be the Scottish influence coming into play 😊

So back to Catherine Mary…..she has been known as various names over her lifetime.  Her mother and sisters always called her Cath – at high school it was Katy which then morphed into Cathy.  As she gets older Catherine has come back into play….sounds more mature she often says.  

Trouble is it gets tricky at times when she’s introducing herself as Catherine to someone new and an old acquaintance at the same event comes along and refers to her as Cathy….there can be confused looks or laughter all round.  Then making an appt the other day she offered Catherine as her name,  long pause and the receptionist could be heard muttering away in the background, then came back to ask if she had family with a similar name because all she could find was a Cathy.  She’s going to need a little black book soon to make a note of who knows her as what😎

So here I am on a Monday morning wondering if I’ll ever be known by any more names in my lifetime –  more and more frequently we are identified by a number/letter combination, (user/screen names, pins, passwords etc) in person eye and finger recognition is becoming more common (not sure if it’s more acceptable though). 

18 thoughts on “Who’s that girl, what’s her name….

  1. I was named as Doris Helen when born. My father called me Doris after my mother as it was thought she would die after the birth…but she pulled through – and lived to be 102! I loathed the name and prefered to use Helen which I finally managed when at university. So people from schooldays know me as Doris, people after as Helen. Then we moved to France…where bureaucracy insisted on Doris…so that is what is on my e mail address which I have been too idle to correct all these years later. So for the french episode Doris is resurgent…then we moved to Costa Rica where I now proudly figure on official documents as Doris Hellen British Citizen after the first bureaucrat to get his hands on my details! And they talk about medieval monks and the changes they made to the texts they were copying! By this time I am past caring…you can call me anything as long as it is not too late for breakfast.

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  2. I’m Clive, but known at various stages of my life as Pilch, Chip and Glen. Those names come from an abbreviation of my surname (Pilcher), a slight extension of my initials (CHP) and a heavily advertised brand of pilchards here in the UK in the sixties and seventies (Glenryck Pilchards!). I answered to all three, which could be incredibly confusing for opposing football teams 😊

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  3. I am Snoskred which is my online name, I don’t use my real name online for various important to me reasons. 🙂

    I am on the South Coast of NSW. I do not have any specific thoughts on family names at all. I very rarely use mine at all.

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  4. I’m Kay. I never liked the name because I couldn’t have a nickname. It’s just Kay. I often get Anonymous comments too and wish they would leave some kind of identifying name so I sort of know who they are.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Yes, my real name is Brenda but I hate it and call myself Briony instead.
    My Gran on my Mum’s side was Irish and I’ve always had a yearning to visit Ireland but as of yet not got there, lol

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  6. It is complicated isn’t it?
    The full version of my first name was only used by the family when I was in serious trouble. I don’t use it at all now. I vote, bank, pay taxes, volunteer as the shorter version. I even went to some trouble to get my passport issued in the abbreviated version.
    I answer to EC, to Sue, to soosie.

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  7. According to our tradition the first boy is named for the fathers father and the first girl after the mothers mother.
    So I should of been Elizabeth but my grandmother asked if I could be named for her mother, who died when she was five, as she never had the chance to name one of her daughters after her
    So I became Angela in australian
    Angelikie in Greek
    And velica in Macedonian

    But I get ange or Angie
    I just say
    Call me anything but don’t call me late to dinner lol

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  8. I remember some confusion when I first began reading your blog with Kathy/Cathy. Given I mostly use my second but family and very long time friends know me by my first name, this causes confusion, especially for R when writing Christmas cards. My rule is I am Andrew unless I’m dealing with the government, medical, important financial matters and international travel but I can’t dictate what others call me.

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    1. Wrong identity. Teach me for replying to wordpress blogs on my phone.

      I remember some confusion when I first began reading your blog with Kathy/Cathy. Given I mostly use my second but family and very long time friends know me by my first name, this causes confusion, especially for R when writing Christmas cards. My rule is I am Andrew unless I’m dealing with the government, medical, important financial matters and international travel but I can’t dictate what others call me.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. My names are Katherine May, but I’m called Kathy by those who’ve known me all my life. I also get Kay from a time when I was in a Katimavik group for nine months and there were three K/C/Kathy/Kathleens, and Kate since I discovered email and began signing Kate because it was part of the only original email address I could get on short notice. Now it’s just automatic to sign it when keyboarding.

    Both my grandmothers’ middle names were May, so I guess that’s why I got stuck with it.

    Kathy was such a popular name when I was born that when I lived in a high school dormitory in the city and three floors of girls shared one phone in the lobby, when the phone rang and whoever answered it called “Kathy!”, at least five of us would run for it.

    Quite a number of my good friends are named Cathy. We are ubiquitous. It’s why I gave my sons names that are not trending ones, but instead honour their fathers and/or grandfathers.


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  10. Hi Cathy. I’m Margaret and usually use that name, but have been called Margot, Margarita, Makareta, Marg (which I don’t like) and Maggie by different people – as well as mum and grandma.
    I love the idea of naming daughters after grandmothers. Although I am not so sure my daughter would say the same!
    We have several members in our extended family who are known by their second (middle) names, which gets confusing when they use their first names, and I had a great aunt called Hazel whose name was totally different.
    It all makes for a lot of fun when trying to trace back your family history!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Hi, my name is Aileen and I have had a love/hate relationship with it most of my life. My mother was Irish so there is the Gaelic connection but she died when I was little so I never got to hear why that name in particular was chosen (my dad was not the sort to talk about stuff like that) – my siblings all have more “normal” names. I am used to having to spell it out for people but was a bit taken aback years ago when someone told me I had been pronouncing it incorrectly as it should be pronounced I-leen. I know some people do say it this way by I am definitely A-leen. My daughter is a Catherine too. Her older brother would have been Catherine (if he had been a girl) as I read Catherine Cookson’s Our Kate when I was pregnant and stopped work. After growing up not being able to shorten my name I liked the idea of being able to vary hers, plus I thought the character of Our Kate was so strong. She was variously Kitty or Katy when she was little (never Cathy though), and Cat to her schoolfriends, but now she prefers to be called Catherine.
    When my mum died we lost touch with her side of the family. A few years ago I tried to track down my uncle but despite many, many hours of searching I drew a blank. Then a little while ago he (or rather his son) contacted my brother and I found out that my uncle’s real name was totally different to that which everyone knew him by which was why I could find no official record of him

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  12. I was always (well since the late 1960s) just Cathy but last year, I decided to revert to my birth name Catherine. I still answer to Cathy because so many people just can’t change…

    My surname has changed a number of times, but in the mid 1990s I changed it by deed poll…to something I wanted to be known by…

    traditional baby names followed a set pathway so my eldest sister was christened Mary – our Mothers’ name and then promptly became Molly. Now it’s a mixture as only a few of us know her as Molly, her late husband insisted she be Mary…my brother (our only male sibling) ended up with his fathers name Ingleby and promptly gran changed his name to Billy. Later in life Bill was his name…and in fact very few people knew his real name.

    Bill insisted that his eldest boy would not be Ingleby, although I think he may have got it as a second name…

    Sally and I got off the hook as we came later in family….I know that Mother thought I was going to be a boy and she wanted Luke – apparently some film star, she loved but why Sally got Sally I don’t know…

    the only one alive in this saga is me and Molly. Molly is now 93!

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  13. I think you know my name from my blog – I am Vivien to my mum (always) but Viv to my friends and Ginger to my grandad. I answer to anything beginning with a V – Veronica, Vicky and Valerie have been popular alternatives that people have called me from time to time!
    Mary is my second and family name. x

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  14. I am one of the “silent ones” – I do read, but I never comment. That is because I no longer blog, so it doesn’t seem fair for me to comment here, when you’d not have the opportunity to reciprocate should you want to. Blogging for me has always been a two way street, a sharing experience.

    That said, I was baptised Marie Therése. My family are of Dutch heritage, so they tend to use the middle name. In my family, I was always referred to as Téa, However, when I started school, the industrial strength Irish nuns at St Joseph’s Tranmere (in Adelaide) told my mother that I was christened “Marie”, so that was what I was going to be called. They told her that they thought my name was ridiculous and foreign, when a simple Mary Teresa would have been much more suitable. This was in the unenlightened early 1960s. I was also left handed just to add to my sinful woes 🙂

    So my schoolfriends were always confused when my siblings and parents called me Téa, when they thought my name was Marie. It’s only my family of origin who say Téa these days – I am known as Marie everywhere else. It was just easier.

    I live in Sweden, though I was born and brought up in Adelaide. I moved here twenty years ago with my Swedish husband and we live in Oxelösund, a small town on the east coast about 100km south of the capital Stockholm. I am always drawn to Australian blogs as they are a lovely reminder of “home” and I can relate to them and enjoy their observations.


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