What’s In a Name?

I’m thinking about changing my username. Nothing drastic, just the “KellyDS” that I’ve been using on Twitter. Part of the reason I’ve decided to change comes from a practical standpoint: I’ve never minded sharing my real name of Kelly, I refer to myself as Kelly, and I often tell others to call me Kelly.

confession: many of my family and friends shorten my name to Kel, which works for either Kelly or Kelbel. I don’t mind the shortened version, but I do prefer hearing Kelly instead. I like the roll of that double “L” sound.


I chose the username kelbel75 not long after I opened my first e-mail account. At first my username consisted of my initials along with my last name but that was rather boring (sorry, @RCArmitage!) so once I became more comfortable and thought this internet thing wasn’t that bad after all, I changed it.

nope, not bad AT ALL.
nope, not bad AT ALL.

So since kelbel was the only real nickname I had ever had, I used it and the number 75 , which represented the year I was born. I’ve since discovered there are a lot of “kelbel75″s out there. FYI: I’m not the kelbel75 that seems to be obsessed with wedding dresses, babies, or joining multiple dating sites.

hmm. she doesn't like Pina Coladas or Yoga, but that making love after midnight thing sounds promising...
she doesn’t like Pina Coladas or Yoga, but that making love after midnight thing sounds promising…

The larger part of wanting this change stems from the fact that Kelbel is something that my grandfather has always called me. I would walk in the door of my grandparents house (never having to knock first) and his greeting would be “what’s new with Kelbel?” So why the change now? Well, my grandfather has Alzheimer’s. Compared to my other grandfather, who also suffered from the disease, it’s not too bad…yet. He still knows who I am most of the time. He just forgets things: he’ll repeat a conversation we had 10 minutes prior or he won’t remember where my grandmother is when I call on the telephone and ask for her. He used to be quite active- hunting, fishing, gardening; he mostly sits in his recliner and watches television or sleeps now. he sleeps a lot these days (he’ll turn 84 this December).

but, I’m not Kelbel to him anymore. I’m Kelly now, with a few “Kel”s thrown in for good measure. I don’t mind it (at least he knows who I am. it was hard when my other grandfather progressed to the point that he didn’t know my name or how I was related to him) a big part of me feels like I need to protect Kelbel now, to keep the memory safe. thus switching usernames to KellyDS. Kelly is my first name (which most of you know ) and DS has a relation to my real name too but also to my favorite television show, Lost.

Drive Shaft 4eva!

I’m feeling indecisive though. KellyDS looks fine on Twitter but will it have the same warmth that Kelbel75 has always had here? Those in the blogosphere are used to referring to me as Kelbel, I don’t want it to cause confusion.  and I have had good associations with Kelbel75…so far. I don’t know.

choices, choices
choices, choices

does Richard go through this with Richard, Rich, and Richie, I wonder? what about “Mr. Armitage”? when others address me by my surname,  it makes me feel like I need to stand up straight and recite the Gettysburg Address, to earn the respectful title.

4 score and 7=87. I respect the heck outta Google!
4 score and 7=87. I respect the heck outta Google!

I’ve always been Kelbel75 online, always. I don’t want to kick all those memories and associations to the curb just because I’m trying to adjust to some personal changes. but this just feels like something I need to do for some reason. Alright, I’m doing it. my username will “officially” be KellyDS, but you can still refer to me as kelbel75 and even call me Kel if you so choose. just don’t call me “little girl” (what my Dad calls me when I’m being chastised) I hate that!

yeah, what he said!
yeah, what he said!

Do you have different names that you’re known by in your off-line life? Do you love them or hate them? My brother goes by the common nickname for his given name but family members still call him the full version. his wife laughs and says she automatically knows it’s one of us when we call on the telephone because we ask for him using the full version.


note: some of you may notice that this has become two posts combined into one (formerly “this is why I’ll never get a tattoo”). I felt it was a bit over-dramatic to fill up two posts with me trying to make a decision about a username. I have so many more important things that I could be pondering…like how we call those leg cramps we sometimes get “Charley Horses” while the muscle we feel it in is called a “calf“. those are two completely different farm animals! were chickens and goats not good enough? why not a “Tommy Sheep” in the “piglet” muscle?

and you thought Alice was odd...
and you thought Alice was odd…


8 thoughts on “What’s In a Name?

  1. DS makes me think of Nintendo — that said, Kelbel has always reminded me German “Kälbl,” which means “little cow.” Though it seems a common enough nickname for Kelly. Congrats on changing your name! And I’m sorry to hear of your grandfather’s troubles.

    I’ve just changed forms of address again professionally and it’s interesting to watch people struggle with it. In essence, I don’t care what people call me (Dr., Professor [no longer true], Ms., Mrs. [inaccurate] or my first name) as long as they respectful, and I have an unpronounceable last name, and I’d rather people call me by my first name than butcher my surname. Blogging wise, I still identify *a lot* with “SErvetus,” but I’ve accepted that most people find it confusing and am happy to be called “SErv.”


    1. a lot of people have told me that when they say Kelbel, either in their head or out loud, it “sounds” like cowbell. which then reminds me of that SNL skit with Christopher Walken yelling “I gotta have more cowbell!”

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Kelly! I like your name and I will be happy to use it. Is it OK to use it without the DS attached? I’m amazed that there are many other people who use the name kelbel75.

    I am very sorry to hear about your grandfather. It has to be difficult for him and for your family.

    If I Google my first, middle and last name in quotes there are 7 results and they are all me. Because of personal circumstances I don’t want certain individuals to know what I do online. The sad part is that I really like my name. I’m just afraid to use it unless I actually know someone well.

    Some close friends of mine call me by my middle name which I like too. I find it sweet to have a name used only by close friends (still part of my real name.) Extended family (maternal side of the family) have always called me by my first and middle name as all one word. They are the only people who call me by that name.

    Online I never thought about the fact that if I got to know non RA fans the first name Richard would be confusing. I chose it because it was available on all the social media sites I wanted to join. I prefer to be called Tree and have been making an effort to sign my comments with Tree. I can’t really expect people to have read my bio and remember my preference.

    Thanks for the topic, Tree 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. yes, just use “Kelly”; the DS is to differentiate me from the other Kellys out there 🙂 my aunt calls me by my first and middle names, kind of in a teasing sing-song voice, but I secretly love it…

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m just going to be that duffer that forgets and calls you kel or kelbel (and yah, it does remind me of cowbell in my head).


    1. I expect a lot of you will still call me Kel or Kelbel and that’s perfectly fine. it’s hearing Kel or Kelbel more than reading it, that gets to me. what is this need we have to shorten names, though? does it feel more familiar if we shorten someone’s name? I pondered this often when I was naming each of my kids. there were a few names that I really liked but wasn’t crazy about the common shortened version, and you know it’s inevitable that it’s going to be shortened; and a “y” or “ie” will be added when they’re young too 😉 at one point I was just going to bypass all of that by naming our daughter “Maggie”. I liked the short version but not the long (Margaret). Husband couldn’t break that far away from convention though, so he nixed it 🙄


  4. Hi Kelly I know this is an old post so I hope you don’t mind, but I just wanted to say My heart goes out to you and your family. Two years ago my Dad was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s so I know how hard that can be.
    I’m trying to find a new username too, I don’t hate my name, but its a little long and I googled it and there’s actually more Nina Montgomery’s then I thought. My Aunt once called me up and yelled at me because I wouldn’t friend her on Facebook, the thing is I’m not on Facebook. She still doesn’t believe me. My nickname in Nine yeah, its original lol. My family pronounce my name Nine-na don’t know why, but my Grandmother and Great Grandmother pronounced it that way. My brother when he was a toddler I guess couldn’t quite get Nina so he started calling me Nine.


    1. I had a good friend when I was younger who pronounced her name “nine-na” 🙂 I think “nine” is a cool nickname, though I imagine everyone asks for an explanation. but if Blossom’s friend can be “Six” (early 1990’s television show) then there is no reason you can’t be “Nine” 😀


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