Family Stories

My Name Is Tilly

Pap and me about 1958

Have you ever had a nickname that continued for many years?  I have had several.  My paternal grandfather – Pap – called me Tilly.  Now he had a name for everyone in the family – his name, not your birth name!  It was quite an extraordinary household with everyone having a birth name and a name that Pap gave you!  So everyone had to remember all these names – sometimes the nickname was used by others, sometimes your real name!

My dad called me Priss.  Hm, wonder how he came up with that one?  From the beginning I loved to dance around in my little dresses and if I spilled something mom said I had to have a clean one – my little Julian is much the same way!  When dad wrote in my senior yearbook he used my pet name.

My dear Aunt Catherine, my dad’s sister, called me Philly.  She was the only one who did so.  Dad was her younger brother and she loved him dearly.  I was named for him and I suppose it was natural, since he was called him Phil, to call me little Phil.

When my youngest sister was born I was nineteen – yes, she was a surprise for everyone!  She couldn’t say Phyllis so she called me Nene.  That was my name for many years until after she was grown – and I still hear it occasionally.

Now that I’m a grandmother my name is Nana.  That is a very sweet sound when said by a little two-year-old, who loves to give huggies and kisses.  Ah, life has gone by far too quickly!  But there are (hopefully) many more years to enjoy with family – and perhaps another little one or two to call me Nana.  All in all I’ve had a sweet life.

Do you have nicknames that were given to you by grandparents, parents or others?

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