What’s in a Name?

My name is now, has for some time been, and will forever be, Meghan Lightle. When I was born, it was “Megan”, but I changed it when I was in grade 7 to “Meghan.” I had my reasons. They are as follows.

First, it looks better. Paired with Lightle, you get a nice symmetry of both names having a ‘gh’ in the middle. Aesthetics.

Second, my parents didn’t like it. They were resistant to the change, and as the young rebel that I was, this was simply fodder.

Third, it initially happened by accident. I remember exactly where I was and what I was doing the first time I wrote “Meghan.” As I said, I was in grade 7. French class to be specific, and I was writing my name on an assignment. Rather than look like a fool who doesn’t know how to spell her own name, I carried on as though it was intentional, and never let on otherwise. Until now.

The truth is out there.

Fourth, and finally. It sounds better. Go ahead. Say “Megan.” Now say, “Meghan.” I’ll wait.

It sounds different, doesn’t it? Rounder, fuller, the ‘g’ is softer. I’m not taking a piss, there is a difference.

Trust me.

I love the sound of my name. It really rolls off the tongue, eh? Meghan Lightle.

That’s ‘Light-le’. Exactly how it looks. Say light. Now say le, as in tab-le or bott-le. Good job.

There have been only a handful of instances in my life when someone has read my name for the first time, and pronounced it properly. More often than not, I get “Little” or “Lightly.”

Worse is when people can’t spell for shit. I’ll say, “Lightle” and they’ll start writing, L-i-t-t, and I go, “Stop, L-i-G-H-t, etc. for fuck’s sakes.”

I grew up in a relatively small town, and knew a girl a year ahead of me at school named Megan Little. It seemed Megan had recently found herself in a family way. One day, my mom rang the doctor’s office to book an appointment for me and the receptionist asked her if this was regarding pre-natal care.

Needless to say, that conversation did not go well. From then on, I’ve been trained to spell my name first, THEN pronounce it. Especially over the phone.

Megan was an exceptionally common name in my high school. At least 6 girls in the same year as me shared my moniker. We all had our own way of spelling it, but that didn’t stop people from making mistakes like the one above. It also didn’t stop our teachers from inventing clever nicknames.

One such instructor insisted on calling me “Meggie” a name I despise to this day. As I rule, I just don’t like shortened versions of my name. Full stop. Maybe three people who aren’t directly related to me are allowed to call me “Meg” or “Megs” when appropriate. I don’t love it, but I know it’s their way of displaying how close we are, so I accept it.

My parents and grandmother had their own favorites, and for years I was “Mega-muffin” and “Mega-mouse”. Could be worse. My most hated common nickname is definitely “Miss Megan” because it’s always meant to be condescending. Check for yourself, you’ll find I’m right.

I will, however, always proudly be known as “The Wild Savannah Nut Meg.” There’s a great story behind that particular term of endearment, but perhaps I’ll save it for another blog. It’s a long one.

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2 thoughts on “What’s in a Name?

  1. Linda Loken Lightle

    GOOD STORY MEGA-MOUSE, THOUGH I DON’T THINK I EVER DISLIKED YOU ADDING AN H I THOUGHT I WAS PRETTY COOL ABOUT IT. I MISSED THIS FIRST TIME THROUGH. LOVE YOU, MOM

    Reply

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