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01 June, 2012

1 Question Fridays: But What Do People Call You?

It's been a long time since I've done a 1 Question Friday post...where I answer a question that people ask me or us all the time.

Hair dressers.
Cocktail parties.

It's a never ending question, "I see your name is Elizabeth, but what do people call you?"

The short answer is a long name...

I go by Elizabeth.  It's the name my parents loved forever decided on in the hospital so I could go home.  And actually, they intended on calling me Beth, but it never stuck.

The long answer....

My great-grandmother wanted to call me Betsy because Elizabeth was too big of a name for a little baby.  That also never stuck.

But what did stick was the nickname "E" my family, family friends, friends, and co-workers have called me "E" for as long as I've known.  The long form of this nickname is "E-Beth" which is used on occasion by my uncle, Mike, and always by my sister's friend Eric (who I call ERC, for short, you know).

My Dad calls me "Betty", "Betty Corsetti" (with a Boston accent it rhymes) and now "Betty Buergler" (yay aliteration!)

The cousins on my Dad's side call me "Eli" - we're big into nicknames on that side.

Some how I managed 9 years of Catholic grade school and was the only Elizabeth in my class.  Yet for some reason in third grade I decided I wanted to go by Libby, per the show Life Goes On. Thankfully that didn't stick.

In fourth and fifth grade I was devouring every Sweet Valley Twins and High book I could get my hands on, and in the series Elizabeth often went by Liz, so I gave that a try for a while.  It stuck with the girls from my dance studio.  To this day, those friends still call me Liz or Lizzie. All the way through Sophomore year, I was Elizabeth at home and school, and Liz at dance.

When we moved to Atlanta my Junior year, I was thankful to put the Liz years behind me and just be Elizabeth. I felt unique to be the only Elizabeth that actually went by the full version.

However, one of the guys in my art classes called me Liz.  It was endearing and only he was allowed to call me that and he knew it.  The bad news?  He was also the guy who painted the graduating class's names on the cafeteria wall.  I will forever be "Liz Corsetti" Class of 2001.  All the kids in my youth group who attend my old high school make fun of me.

When I went to college AIM was all the rage. (Remember that? Leaving cryptic away messages of dramatic song lyrics? Man, those were the days).  My college friends got tired of typing Elizabeth (you think YOU'RE tired of it!?!?) so they started referring to me as "E" on AIM.  And one day they asked me if they could call me that "in real life".  We already had a Beth in the group so this distinguished us even more.

When I started my youth ministry job after college they asked the age old question, "But what to people call you?"  I told them, "I am not a Liz, I am not a Beth, but you can call me Elizabeth.... or E"

It's much easier for the teens in the youth group to run down the hallway yelling "EEEEEEEeeeeeeeee" than it is "EEEEEEEE-llllliiiiiiiizzzzzzz-----aaaaaaa---bbbbbeeeeeeeeeeetttthhhh"

It's the "tttthhhh" that really gets ya.

I love my name. I love that I've been able to try out so many nicknames and variations over the years.  I think this is why it was so important for me to name our daughter something with options.  Even though her full name will never fit on a ScanTron, like me, she has plenty of names to experiment as she discovers who she is.  I think it was an important part of my development, and I wanted to give her that opportunity too.

"This is Elizabeth, how may I help you?"
"Hi Melissa, I was trying to reach Elizabeth"
"This is she."
"I thought you said your name was Melissa"
"No, it just sounds that way when you say, 'This is Elizabeth'"
"Do you go by anything else? You could try that"
"No, ma'am.... my name is Elizabeth"


  1. I sign all internal work emails with "The Lord has spoken."

  2. I have no idea if I have *actually* called you "E," but I know in my head the first thing I want to call you is "E."  So, I may have done so previously in a blog comment..... Hm....

    This post was SO amusing reading this long blog post about your name.  Who knew a common name would catch such dramatic attention in your life?  =)

  3. Lol, you have it worse than I do, but people sometimes try to call me Kate our Katie, and I don't know they are talking to me.

  4. I've probably signed emails to you as "E" - or maybe we talked about it once upon a time filling out ScanTrons for our World Geography class :)


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