Thursday, March 12, 2009

What's in a name

Upon seeing that my name is spelled A-M-I-E, people often comment on how unique it is. This has been both a blessing and a curse for me over the years.
  • There was an "Amy" and an "Aimee" in my third grade class--our different spellings made it easier to tell us apart.
  • People frequently misspell my name (even members of my family) or get it completely wrong. In addition to "Amy" I've been called "Anne," "Annie," and even "Arnie." My freshman year of college, my yearbook listed me as "Amy L. Cunningham," which is not only a misspelling of my first name, but also my middle initial (M, for Michele--yes, with just one L) and my last name (it did begin with a C, but that's as close as it got to the real thing).
There is a story behind how I ended up as Amie Michele. My parents were going to name me "Michaeline" after my dad (Michael). When I was born, Mom thought I didn't "look" like a Michaeline, so they decided on "Amy Michelle." However, they thought "Amy" was too short and "Michelle" was too long, so they decided on alternative spellings for both.

Being "Amie" versus "Amy" probably hasn't had much of an impact on my life, but I often wonder what would have happened if my parents had stuck with "Michaeline." I think I would have gone by "Mikey" as a child, and transitioned back to "Michaeline" after college. Would I still have become a writer? If so, what kind? "Michaeline" sounds a bit like a romance novelist's name . . . not that there's anything wrong with that.


Angie Ledbetter said...

Names are always interesting. My parents were going to name my twin and I Antoinette & Nicolette, which really sounds like historical romance figures. But it mighta been cool to be Toni & Nicki. :)

Angie Ledbetter said...

PS.....A little birdie told me it's your birfday?!


Amie said...


Anonymous said...

I like different spellings for names. My daughter's name is Maegan (not Megan or Meagan). And it is pronounced with the long "a" at the beginning. Mae was her father's grandmother's middle names (yes both of them). I wanted to spell it Meighanne but was out voted.

Amie said...

I am all for unusual spellings, but unusual names aren't tops in my book. My hubby wanted to name our (non-existent) children Pink Lillypad and Mustafa Jones. Who does he think we are, celebrities?

Anonymous said...

I have to say...those are some very unusual names.

Jill said...

I had a best friend in high school that hated the way her name AMY was spelled so she changed it to the way yours is. I like unique spellings!

I came by from another blog.. I like what you got going on here. I've been reading quite a few of your posts.
I signed your follower list.. Hope you come by and you'll want to do the same. :0

Polly said...

Hi Friend, My dauhter's name is spelled D-e-b-y-e instead of the normal Debbie. I, too like unusual spellings, but I am so thankful my mom didn't name me "Nina Mae", because I was born on the ninth of May! She said my dad didn't really like it (thank goodness). Some moms really go overboard when naming their children. Believe it or not, my mom lived by two boys named Margie and Ethyl. Can you imagine the life those poor children endured!