The name behind the name

February 07, 2017

Sionnie Kelly's nickname at school was the name of a Japanese multinational conglomerate corporation. IMG SOURCE: EPA/Kimimasa Mayama

There comes a point in your life where you realise that you answer to multiple names.

I doubt there is anyone who makes it through school, sport or work without receiving a nickname or at least a shortened version of their first or last name.

When I was born my parents tried to sabotage my chances of receiving a shortened version of my name.

Needless to say it did not work and I now have several aliases which include and are not limited to Sony, SK, S and Gracie.

My dad actually gave me the nickname Gracie because of my middle name.

From what I can tell, my parents liked the name Grace but thought it would be a bit too unoriginal to call me Grace Kelly — so Grace was allocated to my middle name.

Apparently dad got tired of the whole no nickname thing and decided that Gracie would work.

I’m actually a massive fan of nicknames and in the past have tried to bestow new and different names on my friends and family.

But my ability in this regard is pretty uninspiring and mostly just ends with me calling people by the first initial of their name.

It doesn’t really matter though, because nicknames have a funny way of changing.

I was recently chatting to one of my old high school friends who we called Tarsh at school — a shortened version of Nartarsha — and she mentioned no-one really called her Tarsh any more.

This totally blew my mind because how could anyone not call her that? It’s so obvious.

Then I did some thinking and realised I don’t really get called by my primary school/high school nickname, Sony, any more either.

In fact one of my housemates recently told me that he thought Sony would be a good nickname for me and I was like, ‘‘It is my nickname...’’

Instead I somehow picked up SK — a nickname my friend Tarsh thought was weird in comparison to Sony.

When you think about it, it is pretty strange that I’ve had a few name changes — but when you move towns you are bound to end up with new friends who have different ideas about what nickname would suit you best.

It can be funny to think that nicknames exist only with certain people, but that’s usually how it goes.

Even in the News editorial department quite a few people here go by shortened versions of their names, but you would never really know this unless you worked with them.

I’m sure everyone out there has a few different aliases and that’s what makes life fun and your friends all the more special.

Unless you get a nickname you hate — but at least you know if you move away it probably won’t follow you.

Sionnie Kelly is a News journalist. To read her weekly column see Saturday’s Weekend Life in Weekend News.

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