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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at DePauw chapter.

My name is Evie, not Evelyn. The name my mom almost used for me was Lexi, not Alexandra. My mom told me once that she believed that if you name a kid just to use the nickname version of it, then you should just go with the nickname. I have been thinking about that a lot recently because despite my mom’s intentions, I have always had nicknames throughout my life. Nearly every person in my life has a different nickname for me based on our friendship, and something about that is really beautiful to me. Every close friend of mine has a nickname as their contact name, a name that signifies their importance to me in my life. Having a nickname for someone close to you represents memories, a moment where the nickname was born. They represent strength, friendships that can survive the test of time. They signify respect, you know this person cares about you enough to allow you to call them some silly adaption of their name. Friendships are beautiful and so are the nicknames that come along with them. 

Whenever somebody in my life began calling me a nickname, the feeling of joy was unmatched. I remember vividly my manager at Jimmy Johns started calling me Grimace (yes, the purple guy from McDonalds) as a variation of my last name. Before I knew it, everyone at Jimmy Johns was calling me Grimace. It has been 2 years since I worked there, but every once in a while that manager will send me a meme of Grimace. As silly as it sounds, that nickname is really important to me because it proved that I was appreciated and valued by my manager and my coworkers. They could have easily just called me by my name, but they chose to signify that we had a friendship that was meaningful outside of the workplace. 

In middle school, my friends called me Gremlin (another variation of my last name) and it stuck for life. I loved this nickname because it reminded me of my personality. I am an outgoing, loud, excitable person, and my friends love this about me. When I got to high school, at a new school district than my middle school, Gremlin picked back up almost instantly. My friends, throughout my life, recognize who I am / was and love me for it. 

This isn’t to say that nicknames can’t also be damaging. They can be a double edged sword. Too many stories of evil nicknames exist, and I don’t want to ignore that. I have had some negative ones myself throughout my life, ones that didn’t incite happiness but had me running home crying. However, the positive ones have outweighed the negative ones in my opinion. Maybe I’m just optimistic about this, or have on my rose-colored glasses, but I value the good in my life and I value the nicknames that have made me kick my legs and giggle. Look to the people in your life that are most important and you probably have a nickname for them that is individual to you or a small group of friends. Value those people, and continue to call them their silly little nickname.

Anthropology Major and Geology/Education Minor Co-President of HC DPU Passionate about learning