My first name comes from my mother’s youngest sister. There is a 13 year age gap between the two sisters and they are quite close, as my grandmother was quite unwell after giving birth (it was baby no 6 and there was another one after my aunt) and my mum looked after her baby sister. Mum had always said she would call me Stephanie. As it happens, I get along famously with my auntie Stephanie, who lives in Enniskillen with her husband Gerald and nearby to my granny Kitty.
I get Steph a lot from my friends and my work colleagues. I do prefer to be on a Stephanie basis with my dentist and my doctor though, both of whom are incredibly nice. It was a real shock when the first doctor I saw in Ballarat called me Steph- it was a sense of familiarity which was a bit disconcerting. I did forgive him somewhat as he confirmed in the same breath that I was pregnant :).
My middle name is Moya after my dad’s youngest sister- it’s a variation on the Irish name for Mary. When I hear my name in full from my parents I just know I’m in trouble, even at the age of 42. Having names from both sides of the family has been good, but I chose first names for the children which were their own rather than being named after a relative.
My maiden surname, McGlinchey is a mouthful, and for many it’s a hard one to say, and for nearly everyone, it’s impossible to spell. The only place where I haven’t had to spell it out is in Ireland :). The name is Irish, even with the Mc, with its origins from Donegal. It’s the name I use in online interactions and at work, as all my qualifications were earned in that name, and it is one I regard as my professional name. It is a pain to spell, but it’s distinctive and it’s a part of me I am reluctant to relinquish.
However, when Miss BG was born in 2007, in a fit of hormones I decided to change my name to my married name. So on my bills, on my drivers licence, and at the kid’s school I am Stephanie Cummings. No one calls me Mrs Cummings though- I am strictly first name terms with all and sundry!
I’m also known as Mr BG’s wife, and Master BG and Miss BG’s mum. And I’m sure the cat knows me as the ‘big human who gets up early to let me out and feeds me breakfast’.
I have lots of names, but they’re all a part of me.