Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

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Daughter of Ishmael by Diane Stringam Tolley

Daughter of Ishmael

by Diane Stringam Tolley

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Monday, July 11, 2011

The Name Game

Mom and Dad, with Pimple Pants,Red, Jerry and Bert

Parents put a lot of thought and even prayer into the naming of their offspring.
Why, then, do they go to such lengths to never use those names?
My name is Diane. Mom loved that name, so, when I made my appearance, she was happy I was a girl. Now she could use it.
Let's face it, 'Diane' for a boy just doesn't fit quite as well. But that's another story.
As a second name, she chose Louise, after my Aunt Louise. A really, really sweet lady.
So, Diane Louise.
Works for me.
I called myself Tony.
I'm not sure why.
My Mom's working name for me, however, was 'Pixie'.
Ocassionally, she would vary it.
“Oh, here's my little Pixie-Girl.”
Or, “What do you want, Sweet-Little-Pixie?”
I think it might have had something to do with my size.
Okay I know that, looking at me now, one would find this hard to believe, but, at one time, I was under height.
And definitely under-weight.
Those were the days.
Moving on . . .
Later, when I was nine, I got my hair cut.
Really short.
I loved it.
So did my Dad.
He changed my name to 'Mike'.
I'm almost sure it had nothing to do with our dog. He of the same name.
Mom was horrified.
“Mark! She has a perfectly good name. Use it!”
I know he was as bewildered as me.
Ummm . . . which name?
Diane? Louise? Pixie? Tony?
I'm beginning to see why I'm such a confused person.
So, Lou I became.
????? Again.
Mom retaliated by calling me, 'Diane'. For the first time in my life.
Then, my brother, George, got into the game.
His name for me was Bert.
Coming from someone whom Dad called 'Dard', and Jerry called 'Pimple Pants', I wasn't worried.
Rusty, or Chris as she had been christened, had no opinion.
Neither did Blair . . . er, 'Bare Blue', or 'The Great Root Blair'. Of couse he was only two, so he could be excused.
And Anita was a baby. She was simply 'Sweetheart'.
At that point. She, too would have her time.
And names.
Jerome got off easy.
Actually, that's a story in itself.
He was always, 'Jerry'. To everyone. Except when Mom got angry.
Then, he became Jerome Allen, or worse, Jerome Allen Stringam.
All the 'angry' names, as they are truly known.
But I've wandered from the point.
Which was me.
And my names.
So, I've been through Diane, Louise, Tony, Pixie, Mike, Lou and Bert.
Now, my Honeybunny (don't ask) calls me, Honey. And my kids call me Mom.
Or grandma.
Dad still calls me Lou.
I'm so blessed.


  1. All of my mom's siblings were called by their second name except my mom. Her name is Mildred Aileen. She hated her name and still does. She doesn't understand why she wasn't called by her second name, Aileen, which she liked. Parents are confusing aren't they.

  2. My mother hated short forms of my name (Jen, Jenny, or JJ) but she did call me Jenna-Sue, a mash up of my first name and middle name (Jennifer Susan). I'm also known as "Girl", and my younger sister is "Other Girl". My sister is called Erin-O, her names are Erin O'Brien. I call my daughter Muffin. No following through on the naming pattern there.

  3. BTM:Jenna-Sue is SO CUTE!and Muffin is perfect!

  4. lol...cute! Thank you for linking up to NOBH.

  5. Thank you, melismama! And NOBH is the best thing I've ever done!!!

  6. Wow. My family was rather dull when it came to names. Might have something to do with the whole military upbringing. But my girls have their own nicknames, as does my wife. :) Rini-bean or Beanster, and Brony-Bee or BB-Girl, and my darling Mew.

    It works for us. :)

  7. Wow! I didn't know I was called Red. I thought my nickname was Rusty. I learned something.


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