In nomine

Thessaly is upset about her bath.One of the most fun parts of pregnancy—from my perspective as a dad, at least—was brainstorming names for our little Bundle of Joy. For years (well before the pregnancy happened), Michele and I have noted cool, amusing, and interesting names that might be appropriate for a hypothetical child. Most of them were probably not appropriate, being ancient Mesopotamian and Byzantine in origin, but when we learned last year that a baby was on the way, we were nevertheless faced with the challenge of distilling a monstrous list of potential names down to our very favorites.

I won’t list out the various names we considered (hey, if another baby ever comes along, we might put one of them to use). But as you know, an important part of choosing a baby name is trying to think of any possible embarassing nicknames that might be derived from the name by angsty junior-high classmates. We were unable to come up with anything too awful for Thessaly (what’s that—you thought of a dirty-sounding nickname? Get your mind out of the gutter!), but since her birth we have nevertheless seen the emergence of many nicknames that we never anticipated.

Here’s a partial list of names that we’ve used for Thessaly that are not her actual name:

  • Thesso
  • Fussaly
  • T-Bot
  • Thessie
  • SeƱorita Fussypants
  • Sweetie (awwww…)
  • Your Daughter (as in “Hey Michele, Your Daughter just spit up all over the chair again”)
  • FormuLass (her superhero identity)
  • That Baby
  • Little Miss Pee Pants (or “Poopy Pants,” depending on the situation)
  • Cuddles (awwww…)

We’ll have to get in the habit of using her actual name by the time she becomes sufficiently aware as to understand what we’re saying—I don’t think we really want her going through life as T-Bot. (OK, that would actually be kinda cool.) So what obvious nicknames for Thessaly are we missing?

Oh, and choice #2—narrowly beaten out by “Thessaly”—was the name of a Byzantine empress. Maybe next time.

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4 thoughts on “In nomine

  1. Andy

    Topher, I had not actually thought of Sally as an abbreviation for Thessaly, but it makes sense. That said, I see “Thess” being her main nickname with friends/family, as you predict.

  2. Drayocat

    I’m Thessaly (as Dad can confirm) and since it’s been 12 (going on 13) years, I can now confirm:
    a) Many of my friends do, indeed, call me Thess (whether I want them to or not), and I’m 90% convinced my brother thinks that’s my actual name.
    b) Nobody in my life has ever called (or tried to call) me Sally.
    c) Yes all the angsty “junior high” (it’s called middle school now, Dad) kids are quite annoying, but none have managed to come up with anything particularly rude. This is probably because none of them can actually pronounce it.
    d) I’ve only met three people in my entire life (excluding my parents and brother) who haven’t tried to call me either “Tessaly” or “Sessaly” when I tell them my name. I may add that both my first and last names are apparently unpronounceable, and my only pronounceable name is my middle name, which nobody ever asks for. Thanks, Mom and Dad.
    e) My parents did not, in fact, get in the habit of calling me by my actual name by the time I knew what they were saying.
    -Thessaly (or, as numerous people have thought, Ashley)

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