Tuesday, April 7, 2009

What's In A Name?


I have answered to many names in my life.

I was born Gerberta Donna but was referred to as 'Donna' most of my young life because one of my grandmas told my parents that I would hate my given name.

(She was wrong. I love having a unique name.)

As I got older my parents called me Gerby (there are only 3 people on this planet allowed to call me that so don't even try) and my friends called me Gerb.

After my family moved to California from Iowa some kids (jerks) at my elementary school called me HamburGERBerta. My sidekick was another new kid whom they dubbed HotDoug. I find this hilarious and clever now... but didn't so much at the time.

When I entered junior high I earned myself the nickname of Helicopter Head by twisting my head quickly from side to side just to feel the cool WHAP-WHAP-WHAP of my braided side ponytails as they smacked each side of my head. That name stuck like a permanent label on my forehead for years and is BY FAR my least favorite.

As I reached high school my teachers gave me all kinds of interesting pronounciations of my name, including my favorite: Jer-bear-ta. My drama teacher, Mr. Scarlata, came up with this unusual pronounciation and I just answered to it without any second thought. He was a bit mortified my senior year when someone pointed out the mispronunciation over the course of my high school years but it remains a fond memory for me.

When it became difficult for people to reach anyone in our home because I was always tying up the phone line I earned the nickname Gerb-a-phone.

As I went to college and worked as a sign language interpreter many of my clients called me "Little GerMaid" when they discovered my fascination with The Little Mermaid movie.

After moving to Utah my college roommates called me Bert and Gerbina.

I met Allen, stalked him and convinced him to marry me. We had a couple of kids. They call me things like Freak and Weirdo. But, as much as I love those nicknames, my favorite of all is the one I am referred to as most often:

Mom.

12 comments:

Sister Pottymouth said...

That's awesome! (And Helicopter Head is just plain cruel.)

annette said...

My personal fav. is still Leiannaconnaannaconnadonna.

Mom of Three said...

hahaha!! I was called SPLAT in high school!! will have to post the explaination for that one later!! Still a big fan of your blog!! Thanks for sharing!!

Teachinfourth said...

Nicknames can be cruel, others can be endearing. I'm glad that those you have now are more the latter than the former.

Amber said...

Lots of fun nicknames you have. I used to babysit a girl that called me Amberger. Fun times.

Amanda said...

Cute post! Nicknames are fun.

P.S. that hamburger looks delicious!!

Gina said...

I love nicknames. I wanted so many growing up, but was never called anything except Gina until high school when 2 cool friends called me "G." I nearly told everyone in high school (whole new start on who I was) that my name was Reggie. It was the only nickname I could find for Regina (which bytheway is not my name, but Gina is a nickname from that). Long story, I am jealous of all your nicknames. My poor children don't know their name, they have so many nicknames.

Gerb said...

Sis P- Agreed.

Annette- I'm rather fond of that one as well.

Mof3- SPLAT, huh? I'll anxiously await the explanation behind that one... and thanks.

T5th- Same here.

Amber- Kids can be so clever! So, we sort of share a cool nickname. Want to flip for it?

Amanda- Let's put on our crazy socks and go get a burger that looks like that sometime. Amber must come, too.

Reggie- Tell Birdie and Buddy how lucky they are to have so many cool nicknames from their fun mom for me, will ya?

shawna said...

I think at one time or another we all have names thrust upon us that we hated. How wonderful to be able to look back and be able to laugh at them now.....

Pam said...

I agree, Mom is the best name! Sure beats the "Pamaleah Welshkin" (and all related jokes about juice and jelly) I was subjected to in grade school.

Panama Jones said...

I've been called quite a few things, but nothing particularly clever.

I guess we could say that following your stalking you transformed Allen into a "Gerbophile." Just had to add a new one to your repotoire. Or his. Or whatever.

Julie said...

You forgot Gerberta Laonnaconna Annaconna Donna Royce. :)