It is entertaining to look for new words to describe the same word with another. Cognomen is such a word. Outside the norm, a word I’ve never used in conversation. But delightful all the same. It means “name“. A cognomen is an identifier, a symbol that stands for you. You are not Anonymous.
I’ve had many names—
Deborah Kay McNeilly – when my mother wanted to get my attention.
Debbie – the name of my childhood
Debadoo – only a very loved person can get away with that one
Babe – when my boyfriend turned into my husband.
Deborah McNeilly Campbell – when I joined my life with another.
B – when my husband takes shortcuts.
Mom – I loved it!
Grammy – I loved it multiplied!
Each name has its own special significance. McNeilly connects me to my Irish ancestors, Sis conjures up closeness and all the wild and wooly of siblings. I have a different identity with each of my names. I also have Secret Heroine I name and call on when I need to feel strong. She has a determined look in her eye, big Wonder Woman bracelets and red Cowgirl boots.
How many names do you have?
What do you call yourself? Do you have a Secret Heroine/Hero name for yourself when you need to feel strong?
What names do you use to describe yourself? Who do you imagine you are?