What’s in a Name

I get many comments and emails about the spelling of my name, Patsye.  So I’ve decided to come clean about this and confess that my name is really Patsy.  However, here’s where I come cleaner and divulge that my name is really Patricia.  I’ve been Patty, Patti, Pat, Patsy, Patsye, and for a short span in college when it seemed normal to have abnormal names – “Cool Breeze.”  …kind of like when Frank Zappa named his first born “Moon Unit.”  That, as they say, was the 60’s.

So why Patsye?  I don’t know because I’ve been using it off and on until I realized the uniqueness of it.  There are only 66 living Patsyes in America right now.  Indeed, if you Google the name, the first page is filled with obituaries. Apparently we’re dying and taking our name with us at an alarming clip.  Most of us are in Texas (about 17), which is strange because the origin of the name (and it is a Christian name as well as a nickname) is Old English.  Those proper folks used to put an “e” on anything that ended with a “y.”  I think this was for fun, but who knows.  I imagine it could have started with a swirl after the “y” and someone in ancient times thought that swirl was an “e.”

On the graph of what is purported to be “common” names, Patsye is at 33,000 or one in every 6 million people, thereabouts.  But I think this is in America, and since the name is of English and Irish origin (and I’m Irish), there may be a lot more of us.

That's Patsy on the right!

Patsy is a unisex name.  Remember Patsy (probably Patsye, since it was a British film) as King Arthur’s “faithful servant (assistant, companion)” in Monty Python and the Holy Grail?

Princess Patricia

Patricia, Patsy and Patrick all fall into the “Of Nobility,” ie: patrician, category.  The Romans split into the plebeians and patricians.  And when Queen Victoria named one of her grandaughters Patricia, the name really took off.  However, in the 20th century, a vaudevillian named  Billy B. Van who played the character “Patsy Bolivar,” quickly changed the popular meaning of patsy into “dupe” or “scapegoat.”  And is it my imagination, or do a disproportionate number of the Italian Mob sidekicks use the nickname Patsy (probably for Patrick)?

Yesterday I realized Patsye.com is available, and I promptly grabbed the domain and settled it into my Whimseytopia account. What am I going to do with it, you ask?  Well, I’m going to have all my mail forwarded there so that I can eliminate the swirling red lights and jumping weirdness and loud music and blinking, annoying, page-covering ads that my current mail provider foists upon me every time I try to read an email.

My particular domain provider offers five websites for the price of one, so this was a truly free event.  I’ll park Patsye and just use the email.  It takes a few days to register the domain name into the WWW, but by Monday my email will change forever, no matter where you write to me, I’ll get it and will read your words in utter silence and peace.  I can’t wait.

Sincerely yours,   Patsye (A Gal on the Go-Go)

p.s.  Try Googling your own name and see what you can come up with in terms of origin, history, and uniqueness.  You might even look for your own first-name domain and be as surprised as I was to find it available.  Good luck.


About Patsye

I am an older woman and artist. I love to craft. I love to sew and knit and crochet and needlepoint. I love to paint and draw and make art with my hands. Being creative is what gets me up in the morning. Art is my tea, my fresh air, my good book, and my cats all rolled into one. I have much to share and hope you'll visit often.
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10 Responses to What’s in a Name

  1. Pat says:

    From one Patricia to another, my mother (and everyone in my family to this day) always called me Patricia. If she was in a hurry, it was Patrish. Somewhere around the time that I was 12 or 13, I started going by Pat to my friends. I never liked the name Patty, because it reminded me of a hamburger. And you’re right about Patsy, too, it does have that negative connotation.

    There used to be a woman (an office bully, really) where I worked whose name was Deborah. She insisted on being called nothing but deBORah. If you were so stupid as to call her DEBrah or Deb or Debbie, she would go into full meltdown mode. I really didn’t care for her and she picked up on that. She threatened to start calling me Patsy-Watsy. I said sure, no problem, Debbie Doo Doo. That shut her up. I should say here that I’ve know a lot of nice Deborahs, Debbies and Debs.

    I took a Spanish class recently with a Patrick who never wants to be called Pat because of the androgynous character on SNL’s “It’s Pat.” However, in class we really had to listen carefully to the last vowel of our names when the instructor addressed us by our Spanish equivalents: “Patricia” and “Patricio.”

  2. Jill says:

    HAHA! My mom named me “Jill” because she thought it’d prevent nicknames. Ironically, I’ve had nicknames all my life and my mom hasn’t called me “Jill” since I was maybe 12 – she calls me “Paanty” or “Paant” (what Porky called Spanky!) I’ve also had these nicknames, and some still keep: “Jiller, Jillsy, Jillsy-Illsy, Jilly-Bean, Jill-Kill, Killer, Keela, Thrill, Booba, Woman, Sister, Wee-One, and Pea-Head!

  3. cruberg says:

    What a thought provoking post. I always thought the way you spelled your name was interesting, but I never really thought anything of it, since I used to do the exact same thing with my own name. I came up with dozens of different ways to spell my name, and for some time was even a bit miffed that my parents hadn’t put a bit more of a creative spin on it. I liked switching the C to an S and the Y to an I or an EE. Thanks for sharing this!

    • Cindy is a wonderful name, and I think it suits you. Like in The Grinch, you remind me of Cindy Loo Who; very pretty and very gentle. I need the story on the Wobbles. Where did that name come from? Is it yours, or from a children’s book? How did you ever get started with such an interesting design? At the very least, please write a post about the origin of the name …or is there one already, and I missed it. Patsye

  4. Deb says:

    Hmm, it’s hard to imagine a name more common than Debbie (Deborah) for my generation. I’ve met namesakes who will only use Debra or Debbie, but never Deb. I’ll answer to Deb or Debbie, but never Deborah. That’s as much individualism as we get (although Deborah has become uncommon for the last several generations).

    While growing up I took ballet for many years. Even in a relatively small class there was more than one Debbie. I remember the teacher calling out “Debbie, straighten you knee” repeatedly one day. I got to the point where I was afraid I was going to break my knee if I strained any harder to straighten it, until I realized that she meant the other Debbie. After that she called us by whatever colour of leotard we were wearing at our lesson – Purple Debbie or Blue Debbie.

    • I do know a lot of Debbies, including a neighbor across the street, but I still think it is a beautiful name in all its variations. That’s a great story. Thank you for sharing it. Patsye

  5. cubbyholes says:

    Ok you got me thinking. Here’s what I found. My name is pretty common so there are tons of people named Jean/Jeanie.

    Jean is a very popular first name for women (#58 out of 4276) and also a very popular surname or last name for all people (#1909 out of 88799). (1990 U.S. Census)

    It is hebrew and means God is Gracious.
    There is Jean.com, but Jeanie.com is already taken by an older woman who posts like once in a blue moon.

    Now, I was named Jeanie by my mom because when she was a little girl she had a best friend named Jeanie. She just loved this little girl and they were very close. She was a little black girl and you can imagine how well that went over, specially with my very autocratic, German grandfather. Well her friend moved away and she never saw her again and swore she would one day name a daughter after her. My older sister is first named after my father’s mother, and middle named after my mother’s mother. I am named after her best friend from all those years ago and my mother’s middle name is mine.

    This is funny. It is also the name of an ATM Network out of Cinncinati, Ohio. I have machines all over that have my name in huge big letters on it. And this is how busy a girl I am:
    Jeanie Firsts!
    First online shared network
    First network bill payment
    First online adjustment system
    First network to offer shared deposit taking
    First to offer customer select pins
    First to issue over the counter ATM cards

    Today, Jeanie lets you connect to customers nationwide!

    Jeanie has:
    Over 20 million Cardholders
    Over 7,500 ATMs
    Over 700 Financial Institution members
    Over 2,550,000 POS terminals
    Located in all 50 U.S. states

    Virtually eliminate down-time with two data centers that are fully operational 24 hours-a day, seven days-a-week.

    Am I good or what? ROFL.

    • You are excellent! Wow. IamJeanie.com is available. So is SkinnyJeanie.com and NotInTheBottle.com. I’m sure you could think of something appropriately wild to hang on to forever.

  6. Sue McB says:

    I wondered about the name too………..but was too polite (!!!??) to ask! My Mother was Patricia, known as Pat to her family, but became Paddy when she met my Father, and Paddy thereafter. Both were Irish, and Paddy is the common diminutive of Patrick, and of course, an informal and often abusive name for an Irishman.

    • I remember Paddy as the wonderful father in The Thorn Birds. I think it’s a great name, and given my propensity for changing my nickname, I may be a Paddy someday. I’ll put that on my list. Thanks!!!

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