about me

What’s in a name?

May 31, 2014
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A few of you have asked recently how my blog got its name, and I thought I’d answer that today. Growing up, I had quite a few nicknames. When I was really little, my mom called me “Sugar Bear” and as some time went on I gained the nicknames “Emmy Pemmy” and eventually, “Ember.” My dad started calling me “Ember” in high school and I can’t remember how this even began, but I loved it. I loved it because it was from my dad, and we are very close πŸ™‚

I’ve been known to mull over titles of things… in college I could knock out a 30 page paper in no time and usually had to delete quite a bit so that it met certain requirements, but when it came to titling the paper? HOURS, I tell you. HOURS of my life. It couldn’t just be any title… it always had to really mean something… it had to summarize those 30 pages perfectly. So when I was ready to start a public blog, that decision was easy… coming up with the title though? I stressed over it for days. (Okay, weeks.) I knew I wanted the title to be something that represented “me” but didn’t want it to be my actual name. I wanted my blog to be its own thing… a place I could go to when I wanted to document, share my heart, and connect with others. I started thinking of all of the nicknames I’d acquired over the years but “Ember” felt special because anytime my dad called me this, I felt special. And that was that. Ember was the first part to naming my blog.

So how did “Grey” follow that? As weird as this sounds, I’ve just always liked that word… I always thought Gray would be a cool middle name. I love the color gray, especially when it comes to decorating. It’s clean… calm… and while a lot of people associate it with “feeling down” – I feel like it’s the perfect color to combine with other colors… it gives the opportunity to create and make things brighter. And that’s something I also wanted for this blog. A place to create and, hopefully, make things a bit brighter with the words I would add.

My mom and I have this thing where whenever we’re stressed, we start talking in an English accent. (What. You don’t do this??!) The funny thing is that neither of us knew the other did this until one day, when we were together, we both started talking this way… and it was kind of like “Wait. You do this too?!” What is it about an English accent that makes even the most down day or the most stressful situation sound so…. lovely? Surely this blog wouldn’t always be roses… I knew when I started this thing that one of my goals would be to be completely honest with you all… with myself. Surely there would be days that were not bright and cheery… but you throw in the English version of gray and what do you get? A reminder that even the crappiest days can be made lovely… there is always room for an English version πŸ˜‰ And that’s how I got to Ember Grey.

I have nicknames I’ve given other people… “Gal” is one of those words… my nickname for my mom is “my best gal”… and, as you’ve seen in my posts and possibly comments or emails to you, when I feel comfortable with a girl friend, they’re known as “gal” or “lady.” You have to know that “X” is not my husband’s real name (although how kick ass would that be?!) Β While I call my husband “babe” most days, “X” is a nickname he’s been given by a lot of his friends and industry people. (Plus, it’s just faster to type.) His real name is Christian πŸ™‚ Our dog, Oooj, has a few nicknames like “Circus Dog” and “Pants” and if he’s looking really handsome, it’s “Mr. Pants.” Our cat, Cleo, is known as “Baby” most days (although she’ll pretty much come running to any name if she thinks food is involved.) X’s nickname for me is “Little Bird” which is usually shortened to just “Bird” or “B.”

Nicknames are fun πŸ™‚ And even sweeter when they come from someone special.

What are some nicknames you’ve acquired over the years? Which ones are your favorites?

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  • I love nicknames and I love how you got yours. My real name is Kendra and my mom specifically named me that so I wouldn't have a nickname. Jokes on her. One of my girlfriends in High School randomly started calling me Kenj and Kenji. It stuck and everyone else picked it up. I now love it and love giving everyone nicknames. I call everyone sunshine. It's my go-to.

  • I love nicknames. I'm jealous of yours. My mom called me Amanda Pete when I was little, but now she calls me Little Girl. Philip and I refer to each other simply as Love.

  • I love hearing the stories behind blog names! Part of my title comes from a nickname, too! πŸ™‚

  • Mystery solved! I did wonder and just so you know…..I LOVE IT! How special that your blog name entails both of your parents. I love that about you! As for nicknames…hmmm….not many. I mean how can you really shorten Anne? My brother teasingly calls me Brat bc I'm the youngest and only daughter (double whammy there; life is good!) My dad calls me his favorite daughter (obviously I'm the only one), and a few people call me Annie (very rare, not really fond of it but I never correct therm, maybe they think it's a term of endearment). My favorite name though? Mom. πŸ™‚

  • Thanks for sharing the story behind your name, that's always something fun to hear about!
    I love your choice by the way!

  • Oh wow… Well first of all, I'm glad to hear the reason you're headed back there–I got kinda concerned. πŸ™‚ And oh my gosh, the reasons behind your name! I'm so glad there's somebody else out there who thinks soo hard about names and then has 17 reasons behind it. πŸ˜‰ I didn't spend any time really coming up with my blog name, but that's only because it was a spin-off of my shop name, which I agonized over for probably a couple of weeks. I looove your name. I had wondered what it meant, but without even having a clue, I already loved how it felt and looked. It's perfect. And now it's even more perfect! Thanks for sharing its story! πŸ™‚

  • Oh yeah, and I wanted to also say that isn't it weird how many random nicknames we get over the years? I have had so many, that have basically no relation to my real name, and have given so many to family members over the years that it's crazy. So funny how that happens! (One of my favorites from my husband is Flaming Redhead. That has its own story from before we were dating. πŸ˜‰

  • Wait til you have kids…then you come up with more nicknames! Our daughter Claire is Claire Bear, Booty (I know, poor girl), Buns (her aunties call her that), Goof Ball, Goof Nugget, Nugget, Baby Doll, Sweetie Pie…the list goes on! I love nicknames…they're so fun!

  • I give everyone nicknames! Definitely genetics from my dad. He always calls me "Rube" and I was finally like "dad, what does Rube mean?" And he just said "Backwoods country hick…you just look like a Rube"

  • That is really funny how you and your mom both speak in English accents. You must be related πŸ˜‰ I have a few…my dad calls me Katrina (which was shortened from a rhyme) and tinker bell when I was little. My brothers called me caddy or caddio…..my best friend will call me Cathy and when I started dating Jordan, his group of friends began calling me Cat. And that one stuck so people at work will call me that too.

  • Haha love that story about the english accents! And your come-back to the little girl teasing you is so funny and true to how we all thought in kindergarten πŸ™‚ What a fun post! http://www.strongandsweet.blogspot.com

    • haha! yes, thank you πŸ˜‰ I'm sure my bully didn't remember that line, but I have never forgotten it… because at the time I thought it was so good and then I felt guilty later that night, worrying I'd hurt her feelings. hahaha

  • Smashing, kind lady! Was hoping you'd eventually share why you chose that title. πŸ™‚

  • Gah I love the story of your blog's name and all the nicknames! I have a few: Kel or Kels by some friends; sweetie by my mom and dad; and Marie by Hunter (Marie is my middle name and he started calling me that one day and it's sort of stuck!). The English accent thing is too funny! I need to try that sometime πŸ˜‰

  • So glad you shared the story behind the title of your blog! I love the nickname Ember – makes me think of a slow burn πŸ™‚ And weirdly, I thought the Grey connection might have been the oh-so-famous book, because of your husband's name – LOL! Your real reason is MUCH better πŸ™‚ Being surrounded by English accents over here, I have to avoid slipping into it myself (or I'd be called Madonna behind my back) but I used to do that all the time too! I varied between English, Boston and Southern – but how funny that you and your mom both do that! πŸ™‚
    I've had a few nicknames over the years – Beeka the Stick Girl might be the one I liked the least…but my dad's nickname for me is Boo. Somehow he started calling me Becca Boo Bear when I was teeny and it stuck. It comes out in various forms, Becca Boo, Boo Bear, or just plain Boo. It's silly – and weird – but I love it. It makes me happy and reminds me of being little. Which is why I used it in the title of my blog too πŸ™‚

  • So glad you reposted this as I always wondered what the meaning was. Nicknames are wonderful and you are right that sometimes they are more special depending upon who says them. To my family I was Sherri and I still think of myself as Sherri. The only people who call me that now are James and my Starbucks peeps. I have a few nicknames for James that play off of our last name and I became upset once when one of his co-workers used it – I was like “excuse me!”

    • I love learning about people’s nicknames! My mom’s name is Sherri (she even spells it that way). I had to laugh about James’ coworkers calling you by nickname – I am the same way… if someone I don’t know well calls me Em (people I’ve just met do it all the time) I’m like – wait a minute. You haven’t earned that right yet. haha!