It is no secret now that I was born in Mexico, but what might not know, is that for the first 15 years of my life, I was not known as Ana, but as Luisa.
Back in 1982, my mother first picked my middle name, based on the Saint of the date of my birth, Saint Louis (San Luis). The first name was up for debate for about a week, she went back and forth between Maria, Fernanda and Artemisa, the last one rhymed weirdly with my middle name, so it was immediately tossed. She settled in Ana, and never used it again until 1997.
In Mexico, we don't put a lot of value on the first name, hence a lot of girls are named Maria, and a lot of boys are named Jose. The name we give priority to, is our middle name. When asked, we answer our middle name, and only dig out the first name for official documents.
Anybody who knows me in Mexico, knows me a Luisa. Close family here call me Lui.
So, when I first moved here, my first day at school, all my teachers would ask me "What is your name?" and on my basic, and very broken English, I would say "My name is Ana Luisa Soto" they would stare at me and asked me again, then finally another classmate came and told me, "not that name... the other one, you know your first name".
Later that day, that same classmate and I had ESL together, and she told me "Your sister is going to be there!" I was so excited, the first day of school was scary, I didn't know anybody, and the possibility of seeing my other siblings was very exciting. Then she said "you know, your Sister Maria!" and I still remember my response to her... "No, you are wrong I don't have any sister whose name is Maria". Only to remember that Yes, I did.
All of my siblings are the same, when we speak English, we call each other by our first name. And that took us about 10 years to get used to. In Spanish, we call each other by our middle name. Except for my brothers, who don't have a middle name, but we call them by their nicknames, which are shorten versions of their names.
I always tell people that I have 3 sister and 2 brother, but when I speak of them, I call them both of their names. So a question that is often asked of me is "I thought you have 3 sisters, and I have hear you mention at least 8 names, who is Vicky? Who is Bety?"
Even my son had this confusion when he was 3. He knows his favorite aunt as Tia Bety, and the first time his father called her Maria, he immediately asked, then corrected "Who is Maria? That's not her name Dad, her name is Tia Bety!"
Do you have a middle name?
Does anybody use your middle name ?
Do you have a family nickname?