Friday, August 31, 2012


I was asked recently where the name beylit comes from. I realized that pretty much no one has ever asked me that question and I have been using it for over a decade now. I needed something to write about today, and as my other choice is writing about my really weird dreams or my recent Doctor Who obsession, I decided name origins would make the best post.

I never really had nicknames growing up. At least none that I knew about. My name lends itself fairly easily to being shortened or altered into pet names, but I don't actually like when people do that. I prefer the full form of my name to the most common shortening. My family, both blood and choice, are the only people that I don't mind using an alternative form of my name to address me. That is sort of family prerogative.

If a stranger or an acquaintance or even a friend who I am not close to uses the three letter abbreviated format of my  name, they will quickly and curtly be told not to make that a habit. If they use any of the other forms of my names I will still ask them not to do that. I don't want to be that familiar with people.

So when I hit college I was distinctly without any sort of nickname. My screen handle had always been Grace, but that was something I chose. It was also fairly obvious choice. I am anything but graceful, so I liked the irony of calling myself Grace.

Still picking a nickname for yourself is simply not the same as someone else giving you a nickname. I have no idea why, but I desperately wanted someone else to give me a nickname. It was this weird sort of need that hit me out of the blue one night as a group of us were driving to a party. I sort of just looked around the car and blurted out that someone needed to give me a nickname.

Let me note that this probably isn't the right not best way to gain a nickname. Nicknames are supposed to be spontaneously generated based on things you do. One does not simply ask for a nickname. Of course I am not your normal sort of person.

So there was my demand, floating out there in the dark car as my friends sort of stared at me in silence. I sort of regretted my request as soon as the words left my mouth. What was I thinking? Well I was in college and had probably already been drinking at this point or was suffering from sleep deprivation.

Anyways, after a moment of silence my friend Ash piped up from the front seat and declared from that day forth I should be 'beylit'. I asked where the hell that came from and was informed that it was supposedly the name of a character from a Conan book. In theory this character is some sort of pirate queen. I liked the concept, and I liked the sound, and so I agreed that this was an acceptable name.

I have no idea if the spelling is the same as the book. I chose the spelling as being phonetically compatible and aesthetically pleasing.* I also consciously chose to not capitalize the b. I don't remember why, but at the time I had a clever reasoning for it. Now it is sort of ingrained as the way to write the word out.

Surprisingly it stuck. There are actually certain friends of mine who will call me beylit to my face. It has become my online identity completely. It is a name that I identify with and really actually like. I might not had achieved it in the right fashion, but the ends justify the means.

*Random unrelated note: Why can I spell phonetically and aesthetically correct the first time without trying but I can't spell prerogative or achieved without the help of spell check? 


  1. You have plenty of nicknames in my book, but because I love you, and know you would kill me if I did, I won't share any of them here. Besides, no matter how you got the name, I think beylit suits you, or maybe I'm just used to it now. Either way, you will always be my _________ :)

  2. Yes well you are my mom. You are allowed to call me whatever you like, and I like it when you do.

  3. My family and oldest friends call me by my full name. I started introducing myself by my nickname in college because I was tired of people always trying to shorten it or change it. Apparently a three-syllable name is too much for the average American. I've been called Christine, Christie, Chrissie, Crystal, and even Tina. I don't mind going by Krys, most of the time.