Saturday, 25 February 2012

What have Polly Darton, Pilau Rice, and Motherfunker got in common?

Me! You know what I only just realised today?

A funny thing, really!

Some of my closest friends do not even know my pet name(s). For years and years, my hubby Pete has been calling me 'Pilau Rice!' Or just Pilau for short.

I literally can't remember a time when he hasn't called me this. When I met him at the age of 18, I felt liberated to be starting a new life away from home, and somehow as I crossed that threshold into my new life, simply calling myself P felt nicer than my actual name - Paula. So P became Pilau, thanks to my man, super organically!

The first time a playful name found me was as a kid. Me, my sister Sandi and my friend Laura (now Lola) formed a pop trio. I was the main singer -Polly Darton - and Sandi ( who spells it Sandy on paper)and Laura were 'The Groovers'. These names still fly with us - 30 years later!!!! Our style could best be described as Vic 'n' Bob Dolly Parton! Thinking about the 'album' we recorded and the giggle fits we had makes me laugh my head off.

And then I remembered that an old boyfriend had decided early on in his life (in primary school I think) that he did not want to be called Geoff (pretty groovy name I think) announcing confidently to his parents he wanted to be called Phil instead. His folks were cool as cucumbers and just said 'sure!'. He still goes by that name today as far as I know.

For years and years, friends have called me P or Pilau or Pilau rice, and when I meet up with my old gang, everyone calls me Pilau. It doesn't even register any more as sounding weird. And yet I don't introduce myself as Pilau to anyone now, it's kinda like a funny in-joke from bygone days that sorta stuck. But I love this pet name. It's so me!

Recently I was messing about with a friend up here in Cambs, and it turns out that her kids and hubby call her Lady Marmalade! And I love this name for her, it's great. She is a groovy mama who likes marmalade. A lot.

I have known other friends to kind of accidentally end up with different nicknames, maybe more than one in their lifetime. Most people I know seem to have a pet name of some sort.

Do you have a sweet or secret nickname dear reader? Have you consciously changed your name? Or done it be depol? Do you really hate your name? If you changed it, what did it mean to shed your old name? Was it liberating?

Maybe you have a bloggy moniker, like me, calling yourself something more exciting than your real name. Motherfunker certainly feels more fun than simply Paula. It helps me to tap into a particular aspect of my personality that I like the most - not the greasy haired, frazzled looking mama I often look like in my real life!!!! Perhaps having an online persona or name is a way of protecting yourself, retaining a little anonymity, saving something of yourself, for, well, you!

What's in a name, dear reader? XxX


  1. It is really fascinating how we choose to rename our dear friends and how we can be happy with a new moniker (or not, depending on who coined it and their motivations!).

    I am Louise, but my dad (right from the start) called me LouLaBelle, which I really like (but only from him!). Andy, my husband absolutely LOVES nicknames and I have had various over the years, but Sprucety Mcboosty sticks in my mind as a favourite. He now comes up with cool, inventive nicknames for the kids, which they love. Since coming over to Australia, where people seem pretty keen on shortening names (and words in general!) then I am mostly Lou - which I mostly like and even use myself sometimes when I am being introduced. xx

  2. Lou is sweet n simple, lovely! Sprucety McBoosty is a groovy name too!!!

  3. I've Had so many over the years... My dad calls me 'pamphlet' I have no idea why. my family used to call me 'plum', my sis used to call me ' nurse plum' because I wanted to be a nurse! Haha. Also had 'dumpling' over the years.The main one I still have originates from my brother and he still calls me it today... 'chicken', also sometimes shortened to 'chick' and over the years has been extended to ' supachick!' Even his mates sometimes call me chicken, lol!! For the children, foss we call 'boss', vinny calls fin 'bradford' and feather is known by everybody as 'queenie' or 'queen'. Very odd how we pick this names up and they stick. X

  4. Pamphlet?! * giggle fit *
    x :-) x

  5. I was called Lulu for about a year at uni. Not really sure where that one started. Phoebe has been exploring the idea of being called Rose. She loves the name but thinks it might confuse people. :)
    Dawn... pamphlet? lol. That must be the most random nickname ever?! lol. :)

  6. My sis had a pet name of Rosie... maybe it's a past life thing? Cute name anyway, Ditto Lulu. :-)

  7. Lily is the name my grandmother called me as a child. It's not my birth name and not the one I use in real life. I've never really had many nicknames but do think names are *so* important. My daughter already knows I'll be fine if she ever wanted to change hers (as it is she already prefers an abbreviated version of her name).

    I love the idea lof 'Pilau'. It makes me imagine you as tasty and subtly spicy! (OK, so I also get an internal image of Marge Simpson ... that turmeric yellowness and all'nuff said!)

  8. My given name is Rosemary but when I turned 14 I think it was, I just didn't feel like a Rosemary anymore so shortened it to Rose and I've been Rose ever since, only my sister and my nana call me Rosemary now. My surname is Wood so I think Rose Wood has a lovely organic ring to it ;0)
    My online name for forums and such is gipsyrose because my friends and boyfriend always used to call me gipsy-rosey-lee who I think should be my alter-ego ... I'd love to be an old spanish gipsy x

  9. well hey there lily and rose. ooh its all gone gorgeously floral and fragrant on this comment thread all of a sudden! what pretty names x