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#1 of 32 Old 05-13-2011, 01:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My daughter, Ella Caraway, is named for my husband's and my paternal grandmothers.  My grandmother, Ella Brady, was called by both names, and so the name "Ella" by itself really doesn't mean anything to me.  It doesn't really even sound like a complete name to me because I'm so used to hearing it followed by "Brady".  Anyway, when people ask my daughter (18-months old), "What's your name?"  I always say, "She's Ella Caraway."  And they say, "Oh, hello Ella."  Then I say, "We actually call her by both names.  Ella Caraway."  They usually stop saying her name at that point.  If it's someone we'll likely never see again (stranger in a store), I just let it go.  But often it's people we might not see again for a few weeks.  Then they'll come up with, "Oh, hello Ella!"

 

Additionally, we have two sets of neighbors who only call her by her first name.  I've kept thinking that they would hear us continue to call her by both names and follow suit, but it hasn't happened that way.  Now I'm at the point where I'm getting frustrated with them.  They're very kind, and they delight in seeing her, but it's driving me crazy!

 

How would you try to "correct" people who have been told that we use both names but just seem to ignore it?  I really don't want to hurt anyone's feelings, but I don't want to live with yucky feelings, either!

 

Btw, my SIL told me that it's "just too long."  I pointed out to her that it's the same number of syllables as her best friend's name (Mary Margaret) which I've never heard anyone shorten.  I realize it's unusual, but is that really a good reason for folks to ignore our wishes?

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#2 of 32 Old 05-13-2011, 01:15 PM
 
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That is a difficult situation. I've never heard Caraway used as a first or middle name so I would guess that it was the child's last name if I heard it used after Ella. It really has gotten hard to know what a person's surname is with all of the options that families choose to use in modern times. Perhaps they are thinking they would rather just use her first name not realizing that she actually has two first names and Caraway is not her last name.

 

If someone mispronounces my child's name or uses a nickname that I'm not fond of, I tend to just overuse my child's name when we are together so that the "offender" hears it correctly.


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#3 of 32 Old 05-13-2011, 01:25 PM
 
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Not that it matters, but Mary Margaret has a better flow due to the alliteration and probably also the fact that both names are recognizable as first names.

 

Ella and Caraway sound harsh together.  Also, I doubt most people recognize Caraway as a name, or at least as a first name.

 

I'm sure when you chose such an unusual name for your daughter you anticipated having to constantly explain and remind, so just go with it.  Each time someone calls her Ella, ask them to call her Ella Caraway.  You won't have to do it for too many years though because before long she will be able to either remind people herself or just roll her eyes at you and say to the offender "Just call me Ella".


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#4 of 32 Old 05-13-2011, 01:25 PM
 
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I think because its long.

I was raising my littles in the south and they have the southern double first name... which is just their first and middle name run together. I don't post my kids names on the internet but they are along the lines of ..

Dara Lynn
Dale Harris




If she were Ella shortname ..... I think you'd have better luck.

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#5 of 32 Old 05-13-2011, 01:41 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the replies.  I guess I'm just so surprised that people completely ignore the fact that she's called by two names and need a tactful way to respond.  I'm beginning to feel like if someone's going to have hurt feelings, it isn't going to be me!

 

When I was in the business world, I was always taught how important names are, and I've seen it over and over again firsthand.  Just last week we were at a restaurant and the waitress's name was Tarra (Tar-ah, rhymes with Laura).  As she went past our table once, I said, "Excuse me, Tarra."  She took about 4 more steps before she turned around laughing and with the biggest smile ever.  She is so used to people calling her "Tara" (rhymes with Bear-ah), that she hardly recognized the correct pronunciation of her own name!  But it made her feel so good, like she was at home.  My customers always loved it when I called them by name, and especially took the time to find out and pronounce it properly.

 

Anyway, our daughter is beginning to talk, and when I ask her her name, she says, "Ca-ca" so she's obviously trying to pronounce the "Caraway" part first.  In addition to having others respect our wishes, I don't want her to be confused.

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#6 of 32 Old 05-13-2011, 02:00 PM
 
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I disagree.  I think Ella Caraway is a lovely name.  I understand the PP's point that some folks might not want to go with it...and the alliteration thing...but it is her name, and her aunt (and others) should honor it as such.  As far as strangers, they may think you are sharing her first and last names, so try not to get too mad about that...if strangers mangle DS' name (or gender), I ignore it because I don't care.  Now, for my MIL who doesn't like it that DS has a hyphenated last name?  I do care.  She routinely only uses the last name that is her last name and even engraves stuff like that.  It is bothersome and I do not like it one bit.  Name stuff can be a hassle. 


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#7 of 32 Old 05-13-2011, 02:22 PM
 
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Ella is one of the THE most popular names in my neck of the woods so I am sure here they would assume that Caraway is her last name and she is just another of the dozens out there.  (there are 3 in my sons class alone and 2 in kindy and 3 in first and 1 in second).

 

I think when parents give their kids unusual names they have to expect a certain amount of a confusion and when they give a really long/difficult to pronounce unusual names they need to expect even more. shrug.gif  

 

Personally I would let it go but thats me. So if its important to you continue to correct those around you. Eventually the child will decide what they want be called and I hope everyone (including the parents) will respect that.

 

This is all coming from a mom of child who has VERY unusual name.  It is a long standing family name but I have yet to find (or google) anyone child with the same name. It is often commented on and frankly I am sick of explaining it but I still smile sweetly and tell the story....

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#8 of 32 Old 05-13-2011, 02:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks again for the replies.  Caedenmomma, I completely understand!  MIL is on the "Ella" bandwagon, even after we had a very long discussion about the importance of the name.  Just another insult to injury in our case, though.  Sorry you're dealing with the same sort of issue.  My MIL even misspelled it on the First Birthday card!  I can just imagine the conversation years from now.  "Mom, why did Grandma spell my name wrong?"

 

HollyBearsMom, you bring up a good point.  Ella is a very popular name here as well.  We were at the library one day with THREE other Ellas in the room at the same time!  So, having Ella "Caraway" was a good way to differentiate.  We also took Kindermusik with another Ella, and her last initial is the same as ours, so again, it was a big help in that case.  You're right.....it's all about respect.  For us, right now, and for whatever she chooses to be called when she chooses.


I know lots of people who have chosen "different" names for their children, and I always enjoy hearing how the names came about!  I'd probably be one of those you'd have to explain it to, and possibly spell it, as well!

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#9 of 32 Old 05-13-2011, 03:04 PM
 
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Just wanted to say: cute name! I can see why you'd want people to say the whole thing.

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#10 of 32 Old 05-13-2011, 03:27 PM
 
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My husband and I picked a name for our son that, to us, is spelled exactly like it's pronounced. But we are constantly hearing the name mispronounced. His name is Balan (like Alan with a B) but people say Bay-lan. So to avoid confusion and irritation, I say, "his name is Balan, like Alan with a B." You could say the same. She has two names, Ella Caraway, after our grandmothers. People are usually more forgiving of unique names when there is a history involved. You can't be mad at someone who doesn't know any better and you've not corrected them. Good luck!

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#11 of 32 Old 05-13-2011, 04:22 PM
 
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Honestly, i think it might in part be your approach. Telling people "we use both names" can be misconstrued. I would stick with saying, "not Ella, Ella Caraway" or "it's actually Ella Caraway" as a gentle correction when someone gets it wrong. And say it every time. Do not let them get away w saying it wrong in your presence, as they'll take it as approval.

When you chose the name, you had to know you'd run into some difficulties. Just repeat it ad nauseum if necessary. Eventually people will get it.

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#12 of 32 Old 05-13-2011, 04:32 PM
 
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Just wanted to say- I LOVE the name caraway. My daughter has a similar name ;)


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#13 of 32 Old 05-13-2011, 04:37 PM
 
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I think you (well, she) is always going to have this problem, unfortunately. It's a long name, not hyphenated, and Caraway sounds very much like a last name. 

 

I agree, though, that you just have to be consistent - w/o sounding super annoyed, b/c it's understandable why others would just call her Ella - and in time, those who are close to her will catch on.  Every teacher, new friend, doctor, etc., will probably have to be allowed a little slack at first, b/c they won't have that long-term relationship right off the bat that reminds them what her full name is. 


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#14 of 32 Old 05-13-2011, 05:01 PM
 
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Honestly, i think it might in part be your approach. Telling people "we use both names" can be misconstrued. I would stick with saying, "not Ella, Ella Caraway" or "it's actually Ella Caraway" as a gentle correction when someone gets it wrong.

I like this way of explaining it, it's more clear and not too harsh.

No one I know has a double name like that, so it wouldn't even occur to me to call her by both. I certainly wouldn't be trying to offend you or anything by just using Ella, it would just feel incredibly awkward to me to say that whole name and I'd have a hard time with it even if you explained it was important (meaning, I'd probably slip all the time -- obviously I wouldn't purposely say it wrong!)

Another idea I had is for you to come up with a nickname you like. Then you could say, "I prefer you use her full name, Ella Caraway, but some people call her El" (or whatever nickname you come up with). That way people will still be able to respect your wishes, without it feeling so awkward for them, you know? My DS has a pretty short but sort of unusual name, so I let people know they can call him by a (more common) nickname if they seem to struggle with it. My parents always call him by his nickname, but we never do.

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#15 of 32 Old 05-13-2011, 05:27 PM
 
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Not that it matters, but Mary Margaret has a better flow due to the alliteration and probably also the fact that both names are recognizable as first names.

 

Not that it matters, but regarding your first point that's your opinion, not fact. 

 

Quote:
Ella and Caraway sound harsh together.

 

Again, that's your opinion.

 

OP, stick to your guns. Of course be respectful if your daughter grows to prefer to drop the Caraway. But in the mean time adults should know better than to simply insist on calling a child something other than what her parents named her. Regardless of their own opinion about the name.


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#16 of 32 Old 05-13-2011, 05:43 PM
 
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I love the name you chose, its beautiful and I think it sounds neat together as one name, but I would not use it naturally unless I KNEW that it so deeply bothered you (or your dd when she's older).

 

I have a two syllable first name and no middle name at all, and people still shorten my first name to a one syllable form of my first name.  If it's really important to you, just keep explaining to people that Ella Caraway holds meaning to you and that using Ella by itself upsets you.  Occasional acquaintances may not ever get used to calling her both names, but over time, relatives and close family friends should get used to it and adore it same as you.  "Would you mind using her given name, Ella Caraway, instead of shortening it to Ella please?  It really means a lot to us."  Maybe share the meaning that you prefer both names?  COuld help people appreciate it and remember to use it.

 

My SIL has a name consisting of two names, totaling 7 syllables.  When I first heard her name I thought it was a little silly to have such a long name, but then I learned the meaning behind her name.  And over time, now it just flows out of my mouth as her name and I can't think of her as any other name than her 7 syllable, double name.

 

 

EDIT - Just thought of another thing as I was talking to a friend who is South American.  It seems to be a North American thing, now that I take an assessment of my friends' names, to use a shortened name no matter what.  I have traveled a lot and many of my x's South American family (that are still my family) and my friends who aren't originally from North America, use a longer name than is typical, here in the States.  It seems that in the North American south, longer names are used, but everywhere else, shortened names are the norm.  

 

I was talking with Jose Luis, and later tonight, I'm going out with Alejita Mariana and Teresa Gabriela, maybe meeting up with Jose Antonio, Marisol,  and another Alexandra who is always called Alexandra (Alejita is a short form of Alexandra, sort of means "little Alex" as a nickname) but we all call her Alejita Mariana.  

 

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#17 of 32 Old 05-13-2011, 09:57 PM
 
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When I read Ella Caraway, I assumed that Caraway was the last name and Ella was the first. If I were meeting your daughter, I would be a bit puzzled as to why you gave me the last name and then call her Ella, because I know a lot of Ellas.

 

You might try saying "We call Ella Caraway. Her last name is ______."

 

Since it's rather unusual for English speakers to have 4 syllable names, I'm afraid you're going to spend a lot of time doing this!


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#18 of 32 Old 05-13-2011, 10:36 PM
 
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I would want to be corrected, if I was calling your daughter something that upset you or at least that you did not intend. I think most people just don't realize it. Also a time or two in the past I've assumed a name like that (non-hyphenated double name) was something so familiar that only the family called the child that, since in spending time with them I heard the family using the double name and other family members and friends not using it, leaving me confused as to which was the "right" name to use. I love names, so I would definitely love to hear that you'd named her for her grandmothers, both of whom you love deeply and neither of whom you wish to slight!

 

And fwiw, I think it's a lovely name. :)


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#19 of 32 Old 05-13-2011, 10:41 PM
 
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Yes, it is a lovely name.

But I do think the Op should prepare herself for preschool teachers and her daughter herself dropping off the long middle name.

I came back to this thread because my hubby and I discussed it at dinnertime and it does seem a bit unwieldy to him as well. If Ella was going to have a middle name you say all the time.. it might be something shorter.. Ella Rose.. Ellla May .. Ella Rain.

Good luck OP.
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#20 of 32 Old 05-13-2011, 11:42 PM
 
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I would assume you were giving me her full name as well and be confused about your sharing the last name.  I'd say just ella until you told me caraway was her second first name and important.

 

i'd prefer to call her by the 'right' name but with your daughter, I wouldn't really get it unless you told me specifically.

 

I also agree that people like shorter names.  It is the same reason people consider nicknames that people might come up with for names they are considering for their children.  I LOVE the name Gregory but I can't stand Greg.  sounds like a caveman name to me and silly.  As much as I like Gregory, I don't have the patience to keep telling people to stop shortening his name and I'd be really annoyed if Gregory decided to go by greg when he got older.

 

For one year in school I dropped part of my name and went with a shorter nickname.  just at school though.  my mom had no idea who my teacher was talking about on the phone once.  Honestly, I only did it because a beginning of the school year 'getting to know you' project was SO much easier without the extra letters.

 

I think you should tell people that you call her Ella Caraway in full and that it has special meaning to you, but I also think that you should get used to the idea that SHE might decide to drop the Caraway, even if you spend the next few years getting everyone to call her Ella Caraway, not Ella.  It might happen or she might love how special the name in full is and take over the instance from you when she is old enough.  Who knows?  She might want to drop Ella because of its popularity or even shorter, just go to Cara.  Its the hardest part about names... we can love what we name our children all we want, but they still might change it someday.

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#21 of 32 Old 05-14-2011, 12:19 AM
 
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That's not the case is it?  She's asking about her daughter's already existing name.  No one knows if her dd will want to drop the long name later on or love that she has a unique name.  Why not prepare the OP for people loving the long unique name and understanding the double name, and its meaning.  Sometimes I don't understand North American people.  philomom, not to single you out, but your post sort of sums up why I appreciate surrounding myself with cultures other than North American most of the time.
 

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Yes, it is a lovely name.

But I do think the Op should prepare herself for preschool teachers and her daughter herself dropping off the long middle name.

I came back to this thread because my hubby and I discussed it at dinnertime and it does seem a bit unwieldy to him as well. If Ella was going to have a middle name you say all the time.. it might be something shorter.. Ella Rose.. Ellla May .. Ella Rain.

Good luck OP.


 


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#22 of 32 Old 05-14-2011, 04:25 AM
 
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It's her name, you gave it to her because it means something special, people should call her by it, period, end of story. My daughter is Isabella, chosen specifically because it WASN'T a popular name at the time; now that it's shot to the top of the popular names list, I really wish that I had started out calling her by both names, to differentiate her from all of the other Isabellas' that I didn't know she was going to be surrounded by. And I, personally, think Ella Caraway is a really pretty name, just kind of rolls off the tongue.


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#23 of 32 Old 05-14-2011, 06:39 AM
 
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Originally Posted by stenapost View Post

My husband and I picked a name for our son that, to us, is spelled exactly like it's pronounced. But we are constantly hearing the name mispronounced. His name is Balan (like Alan with a B) but people say Bay-lan. So to avoid confusion and irritation, I say, "his name is Balan, like Alan with a B." You could say the same. She has two names, Ella Caraway, after our grandmothers. People are usually more forgiving of unique names when there is a history involved. You can't be mad at someone who doesn't know any better and you've not corrected them. Good luck!



We have a child with a simple name but people always "hear" it wrong (pronounce it like a similar, more common, name). I've come to do the same thing, I give her name AND the context for it, and people take to it a lot better.

 

Like everyone else, I'd assume Caraway was her last name. If you'd told me the quote above (or maybe "She has a two-word name and we call her by both, Ella Caraway") it would be clear to me.

 

For the people who already call her Ella, I'd probably just let it slide but be sure to model the correct name from time to time.

 

I don't think there's anything wrong at all with the name, it's lovely. It's not too long either.


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#24 of 32 Old 05-14-2011, 07:15 PM
 
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My son has a double name, although both names are pretty common.  I had to correct a lot of people until he was five, then he started correcting them himself.  I'm really proud of how insistent he is.  He will correct the same person over and over until they say his name correctly.  For what it's worth, I think some people--albeit a very small group--say only the first part of his name on purpose, because they have a personal issue with double names.  Anyway, if you keep correcting people, your daughter might just take over this role when she's a bit older.

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#25 of 32 Old 05-15-2011, 03:25 PM
 
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You might try saying "We call Ella Caraway. Her last name is ______."

 

 

LynnS6:  That is an excellent idea.  Clears it up without being confusing/rude.  Very good.
 

 


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#26 of 32 Old 05-15-2011, 03:33 PM
 
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Originally Posted by 4midablemama View Post

My daughter is Isabella, chosen specifically because it WASN'T a popular name at the time; now that it's shot to the top of the popular names list, I really wish that I had started out calling her by both names, to differentiate her from all of the other Isabellas' that I didn't know she was going to be surrounded by.

4midablemama:  We are in the same boat...I had never even heard the name Caeden--saw it ONE TIME on a license plate, loved it, DH loved, it, end of story and all of the troubles we had with naming (and boy did we have trouble.  Until it was in the top 10 list of names for 2010, along with Aiden, Hayden, etc.  At least our spelling of it is unusual.  Part of the reason we both liked that name is because it WAS unique.  I have had serious name regret lately, even though DS is 13 months old!  I call him by his first and middle names sometimes.  Honestly, at this point, I wish I'd named him something else.  And I feel guilty for feeling that way...it's his name, regardless of the popularity...but I truly regret the choice.  I think the name Isabella is glorious, BTW. 
 

 


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#27 of 32 Old 05-18-2011, 08:11 AM
 
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I am sensitive to calling a child by what a parent introduces their child by. Two of my children have names that everyone wants to shorten but the girls do not want to go by nicknames, they prefer their full name, as do I. And then they have two last names, rarely does anyone get their names correct! But if you introduced your DD to me, I would call her Ella because I would think Caraway was her last name. A simple line like others have suggested would clear that up and then I'd be more then happy to call her by her full name. 


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#28 of 32 Old 05-18-2011, 09:58 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cristeen View Post

Honestly, i think it might in part be your approach. Telling people "we use both names" can be misconstrued. I would stick with saying, "not Ella, Ella Caraway" or "it's actually Ella Caraway" as a gentle correction when someone gets it wrong. And say it every time. Do not let them get away w saying it wrong in your presence, as they'll take it as approval.

When you chose the name, you had to know you'd run into some difficulties. Just repeat it ad nauseum if necessary. Eventually people will get it.


Agreed. "Ella Caraway" *is* her first name, so I wouldn't bother confusing anyone with "both" which leads people to think, "both first and middle name?" "both first and last name". So, the response I quoted is good or another is, "not Ella, her first name is Ella Caraway".

 

ETA: I was making the assumption here that she had two first names. If Caraway is her middle name, then my wording may not work for you since it's technically not correct and the poster I quoted has the response that would work better.

 


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#29 of 32 Old 05-18-2011, 07:53 PM
 
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I would assume Caraway was her last name.  I have never heard it used as a given name and to me it doesn't  sound at all like a given name.  If I met you in the context you describe, I would respond as people do.  I would not be trying to offend you, I simply wouldn't understand.

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#30 of 32 Old 05-23-2011, 08:41 AM
 
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i love the name!  i'm sure i would also be confused if i were just meeting her and didn't know your family.  i would probably also think caraway was her last name, but if i called her ella and you said, "no, her name is ella caraway," i would be delighted to comply because it's an awesome name (and because i would anyway, even if i thought the name was horrid).

 

i'm not from the south, but i know or have known many people with double names, can't think of any with five syllable but several with four.  i also know many people with very common first names, so they get called by their full names all the time, like celebrities.  in fact, i can think of an mdc mama i know irl who gets called by six syllables on a regular basis (and now that i think about it, i want to start throwing her middle name in there and make it eight). 

 

with family, i can see how it would be more difficult to "enforce" them calling her by her name, although i would definitely say, "please call her ella caraway" on a somewhat regular basis.  however, i loved all the odd names different people had for me, growing up.  it felt like a special secret, sort of like an inside joke, between me and the person who called me by that name.

 

my maternal grandfather called me missy moo.  the missy part stuck for most of my extended family, especially on my mom's side.  my two youngest uncles called me louie, and their older brother (the brother nearest my dad's age) called me marilda.  my great-uncle called me ethel.  my dad called me mischka.  my middle school best friend called me mars.  one group of my high school friends called me marcie.  a random handful of people call me miss m'riss.  my name is actually marisa - and that's what most people call me, but i've really enjoyed all the little nicknames.  (except missy, actually, i hate being called that as an adult.)  nobody is going to change your daughter's name by calling her ella, elle, cara, el-car, ellaway, whatever - it sucks when people don't respect your wishes, but i just wanted to mention that she might really enjoy having a special nickname with certain people in her life (like mil).

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