That’s Not My Name

Aside from being infectious and perfect to lend my horrible vocals to, I really connect with the catchy The Ting Tings song “That’s Not My Name.” You see, I go by Katie, but my real name is Katherine. But since I’m not Katharine Hepburn or Katherine Heigl, I see no need to go by my formal name except on official documents and for my signature. Katie is what I’ve been called since I was a kid, and it’s from my well-established Katiedom that I look at the world. What I find occasionally though, is that this nickname isn’t enough for some people, and they feel the need to abbreviate my name even further by calling me Kate.

Maybe once I have 20 romantic comedies under my belt I could convert to Kate...Image from Google
Maybe once I have 20 romantic comedies under my belt I could convert to Kate…
Image from Google

What’s the difference, you ask? Well, that’s just not my name. Not only is it missing an entire vowel (the letter “i” has a lot of personality), but it’s also less an entire syllable. When I say the name “Kate” it seems  so short–the name abruptly ends and leaves me wanting more. I can only imagine the same everyone else in the entire world notices that, too! Yet, since the differences are so minute, I’ve decided to take the time to really think about what is so unsettling to me about being called Kate. My first bit of research was putting it to the name game test: Kate Kate Bo Bate Bonana Fanna Fo Fate, Fee Fy Mo Mate, Kate.” Something about is so staccato. Is staccato a word I want to pop into people’s heads when they hear or say my name? Something’s definitely missing–I had to investigate further…

I decided the next step in understanding the world through the eyes of a Kate would be to look at some famous Kates to define what characteristics make a Kate, a Kate. One of the most famous Kates of course is Kate Hudson. We know she stars in just about every romantic comedy you’ve ever seen, her mom is Goldie Hawn, and for some reason she felt the need to name one of her sons Bingham. She looks good for her age though… And then there’s Kate Winslet. Gorgeous woman (bitch), also looks great for her age (bitch, again), very classy. Not a bad set of attributes to have.

In Kate statistics, this is an outlier.Image from Google
In Kate statistics, this is an outlier.
Image from Google

Kates are also well-represented in the modeling world. We’ve got Kate Moss, one of the oldest most prolific supermodels of our time. What do we know about her? She’s been known to uh, do some coke every now and then, and she’s been romantically linked to Pete Doherty, one of the strangest-looking most drug-addicted men on the face of the earth. Maybe that’s not the best model Kate example, let’s look at Kate Upton, instead. …I think we all know two big reasons why Kate Upton is successful. Moving right along…

Wrongly parading around as a "k" Kate.Image from Google
Wrongly parading around as a “k” Kate.
Image from Google

What about royalty! In recent times the name Kate has become synonymous with Kate Middleton, also known as Catherine the Duchess of Cambridge. Another classy lady, but with an affinity for strange hats. Unfortunately, Kate Middleton is what I call a Kate impostor. Since her spelling of Catherine starts with “C,” she technically has no right to spell Kate with a “K.” It should really be Cate Middleton à la Cate (Catherine) Blanchett. Now I know I’ve left out countless other famous Kates worth mentioning like Kate Bosworth, Kate Beckinsale… okay, on second thought, maybe I did cover every Kate worth mentioning. So what does this all this data mean?!

I don’t know. I’m at a loss. I can’t get to the heart of what makes a Kate a Kate, or more importantly, what differentiates a Kate from a Katie. What I do know is this, I can’t imagine naming my son Bingham or dating the frontman from Muse, I don’t abuse drugs, I’ll never be best friends with Leonardo DiCaprio, my boobs will never be bigger than my head, and I don’t own any outlandish hats. I simply don’t think I have the proper qualifications to be a Kate. Yet, people seem to insist on calling me Kate anyway.

Kate from Lost.Image from Google
Kate from Lost.
Image from Google

When I first started dating my current boyfriend, he had a penchant for calling me Kate, a habit which I quickly nipped in the bud. That’s not my name. Candidly, I still believe to this day part of his motivation for calling me Kate was not to give me a cute, “more grown up” nickname as he claimed, but instead to actualize some Evangeline Lilly fantasy, given how much he loves the television series Lost. Kate was her character’s name on the show. “You both have curly brown hair.”
…Sadly, that’s where the similarities end.

I digress, I’m sadly still not any closer to figuring out why I cannot picture myself as a Kate, or why I get so pissed off when people chop off that second syllable of my name. I sometimes imagine what it would be like if I just started calling myself Kate, but I think the implications of changing my alias at this point in my life are far too great. I feel like if I started referring to myself as Kate, I’d have to be a nicer person. I’d have to incorporate tweed into my wardrobe in some major way. I also feel like I’d have to scale back my profanity, and frankly, keeping that is worth wasting my breath on an extra syllable.

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” Yeah, okay, Shakespeare, as if you don’t roll over in your grave every time someone makes the “Billy Shakespeare” joke.

Related Posts:

34 thoughts on “That’s Not My Name

  1. Being a Katie (Kathleen by birth) I see where you are coming from. I have no qualms with being called Kate, but I will kill you in cold blood if you call me Kathy. I’m 23, and no self respecting 20-anything is called Kathy.

    1. Oh, I get that, too, and believe me, anyone that’s called me Kathy didn’t live to do it again. Unless you’re 30+ the name Kathy doesn’t exist. Do you ever get it where you tell people your name and they act like it’s something very exotic and when they pronounce it they seem as if they’re trying it for the first time? When I was in grade school, there were like 4 other Katies–this name isn’t new to the world!

      1. I went to a school where the average graduating class was 40 in gradeschool and over the course of my 9 years there, we had 4 Katies. Let’s not forget the ever-present Kaitlins, Kristins, Kristinas, and Katherines (too good to be a Katie?).

    1. I’ve still only seen up to season four I think. Right now my impression of her is that I hate her perfect midriff, and I want to do an eye transplant with her. I’m making a mental note of the “friendly and pleasant” compliment–those two words don’t often come up very often for me. 😉

  2. I am actually very partial to Ben and not Bein. That extra i in a name definitely makes a difference but more me the opposite way. All I know is someone better not call me Benjamin if they are not named Mom or they will be feeling my bitter wrath. I will be very passive aggressive like write a scathing anonymous blog post about them.

    1. I think you’re missing an opportunity with the Bein–it sounds really exotic! If my name was Benjamin, I think I’d throw everyone off and insist on being called Jam. Or Nja.

      1. I am definitely down with the Nja. First, it is part of my name(great observations) and second, it sounds like Ninja. I’ve heard that ninjas are cool and hard to find, which is what I want to be.

  3. Being a Jean, there are always those who want to call me Jeanie. I know it’s just a way for them to have an endearing, cute nickname for me, so I don’t usually correct them. But I am the baby of the family by a long shot (my youngest brother was 10 years old than me), and they call me Jeanie. When I hear that name it means I am little, naive, and someone who should be seen and not heard. It is a somewhat hurtful nickname. Even my nieces call me Auntie Jeanie, because that’s what they heard from their parents. It’s too late to correct it, and from the niece’s it doesn’t carry as much meaning. But when I hear that name, I instantly shrink, literally and figuratively. What is in a name, indeed?

    1. I think that’s kind of what my boyfriend was getting at with the whole Kate thing. He was saying that most names that end with “ie” or any kind of “e” sound are really meant for kids. I think in your case that’s totally true, there’s something belittling about it now that they’re not a little girl anymore, but since Katie is a common standalone name, I don’t really think it necessarily is meant for any particular age.

      1. I know a lot of Katies and I know some Kates. I can’t imagine their names interchanged. It has to fit the person. Jeanie just feels like an ill-fitting pair of shoes. 🙂

  4. Hey, I get it! It’s a completely different name, and it’s like people who call you ‘Kate’ are saying your name is common otherwise, right? If it was me, I would just pretend I didn’t hear until they said my name right. Or give them bitchface till they get it. Unless it was Jake Gyllenhaal, he can call me anything he wants.

  5. People call me nat as opposed to natalie and to me it sounds like a bug. I dislike it immensely. I had an ex that called me nat. Ew. I do let is slide though, cringing every time I hear it

  6. As a Katelyn, I also get a slew of nicknames and full names. My favorite is being called Katherine, Kathleen, etc. People look down, see Kat- and go nuts. As for the Kate issue, Kate is my work name. I don’t like the people I work with to call me Katie… it’s just not right. Katie is for friends and family, Kate is for the time I spend suffering each week seeking monetary gain. Mixing the two… no bueno.

    I raise my glass to you for standing up for your chosen name. Katie is better anyway. 😉

      1. Wow. You’re a real double agent! You’ve somehow mastered both worlds. I commend you.

        Also, thanks! I wasn’t sure if I liked it at first, but I decided I love it now.

  7. The new layout looks really nice! Very cool and well put together. For the record i cannot even tell you the name of a Kate Hudson movie…lol. Kate My name is Michael and I usually by Mike but I have been called asshole and turd head this week alone…lol. Maybe I will post about it soon, in the meantime keep up the great work.

  8. I love this new layout. The contrast made everything very legible and user-friendly for someone (like me) wearing a pair of eyeglasses. Black is beautiful. 2013 is year of the black water snake.

    And thank you Kate, ouch.. I mean Katie, for telling us how you want to be called. I agree that Katie is sexier (no offense meant for Kate Middleton) and easier to pronounce by someone whose mother tongue is not English. I hate the word Katie, however, in the Filipino language because it means ‘itchy’ and you are certainly not like it – I am very sure about that.

  9. I love this layout. The contrast made everything legible here which is very user-friendly for someone (like me) who is wearing a pair of eyeglasses. Black is beautiful. 2013 is year of the black water snake.

    And thank you Kate, ouch… I mean, Katie, for telling us promptly how you want to be called. I agree Katie is sexier (no offense meant for Kate Middleton) and easier to pronounce by someone whose mother tongue is not English (like me). However, I hate the word ‘Katie’ in the Filipino language because it means ‘itchy’ and you are not like it – I am very sure about that.

    1. Thanks! I thought it was time for a change–I like it more every time I see it. That is so funny that it means itchy, I didn’t know that. I always think it’s interesting finding out what words/names mean in other languages. I went to school with someone who I found out her last name means “onion” in Italian. …She was a stuck-up bitch, so I was pretty thrilled about that.

  10. This post cracked me up! I’m a Caitlin, and certain beloveds are allowed to call me ‘Cait’. However, when someone randomly throws in ‘Catie’, I feel like I could explode, haha. It’s funny how people casually change others’ names.

  11. Ugh that’s so annoying when people just think they can call you whatever they feel like… My name’s Dara (pronounced dah-ra) and people will insist on calling me Darah (like Sarah) and some get so offended when I correct them. One time, I corrected a girl I worked with and she just goes “whats the difference?” I feel your pain.

  12. I’ve been close friends with many a Katherine, Kate, Katie and Kaitlin — the joys of being born in the late ’80s.

    Actively choosing to change someone’s name is, simply put, disrespectful. I don’t care if there are three other Amandas in this class; I will never, ever stand for being called Mandy.

Don't you sass me! ...Actually, please do.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s