Onomastics Shamastics

February 1, 2009


Filed under: Retro, Spotlights — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , — Lydia May @ 3:38 am

I like Judy. I like her a lot. She has a very retro vibe to her–kind of like pearl necklaces. Most people associate her with Judy Garland, and I like that association. I’ve never been much of a movie person; I’ve always preferred books. Movie watching feels too passive for me; you aren’t really doing anything but stare at a screen when you watch movies. When one reads a book, however, it’s an entirely different matter. Books force you to exercise your imagination: you have to picture the characters, the setting, the action in your mind. I thoroughly enjoyed this when I was a kid and still do. I also hate movies that are adaptions of books; the characters never look the way I imagined them, and the entire feel of the story is all wrong. There was one exception, however: The Wizard of Oz. I read the book, and although the character development in the book is far less subtle, I much preferred the movie. It was so much better with the music, and Miss Garland was absolutely perfect as Dorothy.

There is one association with the name that is much more dominant for me, however. One is of a family friend, Miss Judie. She was an older woman, as well as a close friend of my mother’s back when we lived in Pennsylvania. Even though my grandmothers lived relatively nearby, I saw Miss Judie a lot more than I saw her in my early childhood, and she became like a third grandmother to me. One of my first words was Judie, and as a toddler I made a habit of wandering around the house, holding the phone to my ear, repeating “Hi Judie, Hi Judie”, imitating my mother on the phone with her. Even though we moved to New England when I was five and rarely saw Miss Judie or her husband after that, she’s still my main association with the name.

I don’t like Judith. At all. I usually can’t stand names with a -th ending (the only one I can think of is Meredith), and this one is no exception. It’s even worst with the J up front — sounds so hard to me. Even if I named my daughter Judith and exclusively called her Judy, I’d still cringe every time I had to put her name on formal documents. I’m still not sure if I could live with myself if I put plain ol’ Judy on a birth certificate, though–or if my daughter could live with it. It looks a tad unprofessional, and I want to give all of my children names that they can conceivably use in a formal setting. Plus the name may be a bit flimsy, and I want my girls to have strong, no-nonsensy names that let people know that they are not to be messed with. Then again, what about Judge Judy? She redefines the phrase “tough as nails”, and even though she goes by Judy more often than Judith, no one messes with her. I’ve considered using June, Junia, or Juno with Judy as a nickname, but perhaps that would be a bit too much of a stretch.

Here are some combos, simply off the top of my head:

Judy May
Judy Nell
Judy Calypso (love the sound, but it does seem like a bit of a mismatch)
Judy Eleanor
Judy Fern
Judy Violet
Judy Patience

June Damaris, nn Judy (maybe making the middle initial D wouldn’t make the nickname as much of a stretch?)
June Dorothea

What do you think? Could Judy stand alone, or does she need a full name? Any other ideas for full names?



  1. Judy is absolutely darling, and I have the exact same problem: How to get it without Judith? I think J first D middle is a good way to go about it. J.D –> Judy.

    Judy Calypso is awesome, as is Judy Violet. I think the middles make Judy more contemporary.

    Comment by Cat — February 2, 2009 @ 9:08 pm

  2. I love the idea of using June Dorothea and nicknaming her Judy. She’d have a retro-but-sophisticated first and middle name and a darling nickname. Good idea!

    Comment by Emmy Jo — February 3, 2009 @ 2:54 am

  3. lol, I’m a bit of the opposite, I love Judith, but can’t use it as I dislike Judy as a nickname. I can live with Jude, but inevitably she’d get Judy. I love the idea of using June D. and calling her Judy-very clever! I’m going to blogroll you if it’s ok!

    Comment by chaneltara — February 3, 2009 @ 5:40 am

  4. Thanks everyone. 🙂 Glad my June D. idea was a hit–I came up with that on a whim and I’ve decided that I really like it.

    And yes, chaneltara, you may blogroll me. 🙂 I’ll blogroll you once I figure out how, lol.

    Comment by Lydia May — February 3, 2009 @ 5:57 am

  5. When you go to somones blogpage (mine is chanara.wordpress.com), at the very right hand top corner there is a drop down box called blog info, one of the drop down options is Add to blogroll. Good luck!

    Comment by chaneltara — February 3, 2009 @ 5:03 pm

  6. Thanks!

    Comment by Lydia May — February 10, 2009 @ 9:37 pm

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