Brought to You by the Letter Z’

The Letter Z#reverb10 is asking:

Prompt: New name. Let’s meet again, for the first time. If you could introduce yourself to strangers by another name for just one day, what would it be and why?

My answer would be easy:

ZED.

“Zed” is the nickname my in-laws gave me when they met me.

It differentiated me from the OTHER Elizabeth that would eventually marry into their clan in a same summer. That Elizabeth was actually an ‘Elisabeth’ (“with a continental ess‘” my London-born father-in-law did drawl).

So they called me after the letter that made our named different.

Z.

Only in Canada (like all of the Commonwealth), the letter “Z” is pronounced:

Zed.

Which I love.

I had, after all, outgrown the babyish “Beth” of my youth.

I don’t much care for “Lizzy-Ho” — an accident of cell-phone abbreviation which became the beloved shortname my friend Frances calls me.

I get tired of answering: “Do you go by THAT? EEE-LIZZ-UUH-BETH?” As if itis some form of name torture. I am sure there are some potential friends who have heard my answer and looked at their watch after saying it a few times and just gave up..

And, I am just NOT a ‘Liz.’ Sure, I like the gays, but only one husband for me.

So Y Nt, U ask?

Simple answer: Mom won’t let me. My mom heard my brother-in-law refer to me as “Zed” at my wedding. She then leapt into the nearest grave, tossed out the coffin, and proceeded to roll around and around, shouting: SEE WHAT YOU MADE ME DO??

Mom isn’t much for cute names. The only reason they let me go by “Beth” when I was young was to control the nickname avalanche that ensues with a name like mine. Betsy/Betty/Bitsy for the old-lady, Hamptons set. Lizard-Breath for that certain awful fifth-grade time.

Yeah, I’d love to have a sassy, short name again that I like, one that suits me. I’m getting a bit bored of belaboring the syllables.

Any other suggestions?

  10 comments for “Brought to You by the Letter Z’

  1. December 23, 2010 at 3:34 pm

    Zelda. Worked for F. Scott’s lady love…

    Yeah, I don’t like it much either. But I do enjoy your post and the in-law nickname. Generally means you’re in like Flynn.

    • December 23, 2010 at 3:38 pm

      oooooooh Zelda! I like it. I think the whole Z theme is the way to go. How about Zola?

      • Rachel
        December 23, 2010 at 9:15 pm

        What about “Zuzu”, like the little girl in It’s a Wonderful Life? (Yeah, Zelda is way better)

  2. December 23, 2010 at 4:20 pm

    “She then leapt into the nearest grave, tossed out the coffin, and proceeded to roll around and around, shouting: SEE WHAT YOU MADE ME DO??”

    That is my mother, to a tee….She felt the same about Jenny, a name which I grew to hateHateHATE as well.

    I am a fan of full names. People’s insistence on shortening (many times without permission) our names puzzles me.

    Well done.

  3. Suzannah
    December 24, 2010 at 12:28 am

    As you well know I don’t usually allow any shortening of my name because that usually becomes Sue, Susie, Susan, or, the worst offender, Suzanne. However, I have long loved the letter ‘zee’ and will go by any of the Z shortenings….
    I like Zed for you as the name, but I got frustrated oversees spelling my name and having people look at me nuts when I said ‘zee’.

  4. Imogene Love
    December 24, 2010 at 3:05 am

    Zelda. Worked for F. Scott’s lady love… Yeah, I don’t like it much either. But I do enjoy your post and the in-law nickname. Generally means you’re in like Flynn.

  5. Greg Phillips
    December 24, 2010 at 7:20 am

    With deepest respect to your mother, I must inform you that as one of the original perpetrators, I will continue to call you Zed for the forseeable future. Love, the brother-in-law.

  6. Stacy Kearney
    December 30, 2010 at 5:03 pm

    What happened to E-e-baby? I like that one.

    • December 30, 2010 at 5:40 pm

      e-e-baby still lurks. but it is still 4 syllables, so it doesn’t really solve that problem.

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