the child formerly known as ellie

This week, Ellie is at a new camp.

Sorry, this week The Child Formerly Known as Ellie is at a new camp.

Yes, Ellie is trying out a new name.

Ellie’s name is actually Elizabeth. A week or two ago, she asked me if she could choose a new nickname. She feels that Ellie is a little girl’s name and she really wants to try out a different name.I was really surprised – I thought she really liked her name. For years she has refused to be called Elizabeth, insisting that Ellie was her “real” name.

I explained that because everyone knows her as Ellie, not Elizabeth, so it might be strange and confusing if she is suddenly Lizzy or something. I suggested if she is really serious, she should go by Elizabeth for awhile, then try a new nickname.

Just to be sure she likes her ‘new name’ she is testing it out at a camp where she doesn’t know anyone. So this week, she is known as “Eliza” to everyone at camp. So far she says she really likes it and she think this is a better name for her than Ellie.

I guess this is part of growing up. She is outgrowing things she used to love… including her name. I’m not upset by it – I’ve actually said to my husband that I like Eliza better than Ellie and wished we had called her that instead. But this symbolizes a beginning of a growing up journey – and her beginning to find herself and becoming her own person.

And I’m wondering who she’ll grow into. Ellie? Eliza? Elizabeth? Liz? Beth?

I thought I knew…


About Melissa

Melissa is founder of Girlymama and co-founder of the mom fashion blog, All Things Chic. You can also find her designing blogs at Eliza Grace Design and on Twitter as Melissa Angert.


  1. 1
    Heather says:


    My mom calls me Beth and Bethany because my middle name is Elizabeth. Hope her re-branding works out for her, you’ll have to keep us posted ๐Ÿ˜‰

  2. 2
    Jo-Lynne Shane says:

    C just went thru this. She decided to go by her middle name for a while. she got over it lol. But we let her try it out. I figured it’s just part of growing up.

  3. 3
    hchybinski says:

    interesting. . .we haven’t had anything like that. . .but it’s hard to do a lot with Ryan. . .LOL. . .wondering if it’s more a girl thing. . .I still wish I had a cool nickname. . .

    kids – they are never boring that’s for sure =)


  4. 4
    Brenda says:

    Tell her there are adults that are named Ellie. The one that comes to mind even has her own tv show!

    • 4.1
      Melissa says:

      I know – I think its just ‘her’ baby name, you know? I wouldn’t be surprised if it doesn’t last very long….

  5. 5
    Mary B says:

    My youngest daughter (age 10) is an Elly. Her actual name is Eleanor. She does flip flop back & forth. Its always amusing to me to see some of her schoolwork come home with Eleanor written on it. I’ve always told her I don’t care which name she chooses to use. And she does go by Elly at least 90% of the time.
    Its fun to see them exert some of their individualness especially since she (and your Ellie) are the only ones with 2 names ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • 5.1
      Melissa says:

      Its so interesting, isn’t it? I think I’m going to push towards Elizabeth for awhile and see what happens…
      (And Gracie was almost an Eleanor! We were going to call her Nora!)

  6. 6
    Lisa says:

    I remember my James doing this when he was nine. Up till then, he was Jamie. It was a bit sad for me b/c i really loved the name Jamie, but i’m glad he at least went to James (never liked Jim or Jimmy for him).

    The cute thing is that some family members and long-time friends still call him Jamie sometimes. It’s kind of a right reserved for those who’ve known him a long time, and now that he’s older (can you believe he’s 20?), he doesn’t mind so much. So maybe she’ll still let you and Nick and the siblings & cousins call her Ellie. Someday.

  7. 7

    We’ve had the same here too ๐Ÿ™‚ We call our daughter Gabriella Gaby, but a few years ago she had a girly girl phase going on and she wanted to be called Gabyrella – mix of Gaby and Cinderella ๐Ÿ™‚ For a while she also liked Gabriela, and her old school thought WE had made a spelling mistake in her name, and they changed her name in the papers to Gabriela, because that’s what she signed everything…