Nicknames offer valuable insight into individual identity

Most of us either have nicknames from when we were kids that are either short for something, just a pet name, just because you hate your name like me or maybe a sweet name from your significant other.

The story behind my real name is an interesting one. I am named after the movie star Olivia De Havilland from Gone With The Wind and Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte. My dad picked it, but the reason I hate it is because there are so many people with my name that it bothers me; it’s like I don’t have my own name. I like that I’m named after someone famous, but still I wish I had my own name that a bazillion other girls in the world don’t have.

When I was younger my dad wanted to call me Livi, and it stayed that way for a while, but for whatever reason, he decided to stop doing that, though some of my family members like my cousins still call me Livi, or sometimes my sister does, but for the most part, it isn’t really a thing anymore. 

Another thing about the name Olivia is the other girls can go out and find letters for names like Alessia, Gypsy, Taylor or Rose, but if I want to find the letter “O,” it’s very rare to find an O, and I don’t get it. It’s like the people who make Christmas ornaments, the diaries with letters on them or letter jewelry don’t know that there are people with the letter O. 

When I became a sophomore I decided to go by my middle name Mae instead of Olivia because I felt sort of unique that way because there wasn’t anyone else with that name. After a while I got tired of that, and when I met my friend Jude, I woke up every morning on Monday’s and would text her my name and pronouns for the day. 

It alternated between Johnny with he/him pronouns or Sparrow with she/her pronouns. Jude would always use the name and pronouns that I requested until one day I woke up and was Sparrow all the time.

Now you probably are wondering how I came up with the name Sparrow. Well, here it is. My mom and I went to see the movie Once Upon A Time In Hollywood with Brad Pitt and Leonardo Dicaprio, which is why I wanted to see it. Well, The Manson Family was in this movie as well because it took place in 1969 and they all had nicknames in the cult for example Charles Manson’s right hand man Charles Watson, who is also known as ‘Tex Watson’ because of his Texan accent.

So I chose the name Sparrow because it’s my hippie name just like the Manson Family all had nicknames in the cult. I thought it was cool, so that’s why I did what I did with choosing the name Sparrow. Jude calls me this because I’ve asked her to. She refers to me as her sister named Sparrow to people she knows, but to my mom, she calls me Olivia.

That’s the story of all my nicknames and real name.

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