Weekly writing challenge: power of names – Debbie



Names are interesting and this week’s writing challenge is all about the power of names.

My name is Debbie and I can almost guarantee that if your name is also Debbie that you are roughly my age.  How do I know this?  Well Debbie was a very popular name in the late 50s, early 60s. In my small town alone there are approximately 8 other Debbies and we are all of a similar age.  I went to school with at least 6 other Debbies and I can only blame Debbie Reynolds for this.  I’d like to blame Debbie Harry as well but I know for a fact that I was named after Debbie Reynolds.

Debbie Reynolds

Debbie Reynolds

When I turned 40, my father rang me to tell me how I got my name. I’d heard bits of the story over the years but Dad decided I was old enough now to hear it all. The short version is that my father was away at sea in the Navy when I was due to arrive into the world and he was watching a movie featuring guess who on board one night.  He was so taken with the beauty of Debbie Reynolds that when he next wrote to my mother he decided that my name would be Deborah (Debbie) if I was born a girl.  Obviously I was a girl and so I was named Deborah which was soon shortened to Debbie and shortened again to Deb, but only for very special friends. This is something I’m quite strict with – only really good friends can call me Deb. It’s interesting to note that my father was informed of my arrival by a telegram as he was still at sea and he didn’t get to meet me until I was over 4 months old. He didn’t get to actually ‘speak’ to mum during all this time and all their correspondence was by letter.  Haven’t times changed?

One nickname I had when I was younger was Spud – let me explain. Deb is a brand of instant potato and spud is another name for potato, so it seemed only logical for some friends to call me Spud! Get it?

I like my name despite it being so popular at the time and is seemingly quite dated now.  As I get older I actually like Deborah more than I did when I was younger.  It has a certain elegant ring to it.

I’d love to hear how you got your name!

Categories: blogging, challenges, general, life, writingTags: , , , , , ,

16 comments

  1. Unlike you, Debbie, I didn’t write about my first name but my last name. Deborah is a beautiful name. Spud, I guess, is fun but I’m not a big fan of nicknames. Good luck with your new blog.

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    • Thanks Evelyne for your comment and good wishes. I really enjoyed your story on this challenge. We all have a story to shar, don’t we?
      I don’t like nicknames much either and was glad when spud didn’t gain much popularity from my friends. I look forward to reading more of your work.

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  2. I know this is a huge generalisation but all the Debbie’s I know are terrific women, and have been great pals! Never met a Debbie I didn’t get on with. Glad that you enjoy your name.

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  3. You’re so right! .. we are dated by our names 🙂
    I went to school with 2 Debbie’s (that I remember) in the 60s which makes us about the same age.

    I wasn’t sure about my name … I always assumed I was named for my Dutch mother “Johanna”, but she was known by only 1 name *Jopie*. In fact it is the only name on her grave.
    After my mom passed away, I learned that my maternal great-grandmother’s name was also *Johanna* so I feel rather privileged to carry this name ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s a lovely story Joanne, thanks for sharing it. You are privileged indeed. I was so pleased my father told me the story of my naming on my 40th birthday – how lucky are we??

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      • Very lucky indeed.
        For most of my life I’ve hated my name, but a few year’s ago I tried that exercise of creating an alternative identity (don’t ask – it made sense at the time).
        I couldn’t come up with an alias that felt ‘right’. So *Joanne* it is and always will be 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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