Wednesday, April 27, 2011

What's In A Name?

The name of my blog might seem a little random, but there's a story behind it that deserves telling.

I grew up hating my name. Having a name with a unique spelling is no fun when you're a kid. All of my friends had key chains, license plates, and mugs with their names printed on them. I was never able to find anything personalized. The names went straight from Catherine to Cathy. My aunt ordered a specially made rubber stamp for me one year when I was six or so. I was so excited to finally have something with my name on it! I still have books from my childhood; my name is stamped on the inside cover of each one about a hundred times.

I'm still forever having to spell my name for people. If only I had a dollar for every time I stated my name is Cathey with an E. And then there are people who don't believe me. I never understood why people respond with "really?" when I tell them the spelling. Why would I joke? Then they usually tell me that it must be short for Catherine. If it were, why would I choose a strangely spelled shortened version? I've even had someone ask me if I'm sure about the spelling. I've had the name for 25 years now - I ought to know how to spell it by now.

I'm also annoyed by computers that tell me my name is incorrect. Even now, it's suggesting Cathe, Cathy, Cathee, Cathay, and Cather. But it's ok now - I've added it to the dictionary. No more mean red squiggly underlining.

But I've finally grown to love my name due to who I'm named after. The name Cathey was actually a surname in my family.

My great-grandfather, Royal Cathey, took in and cared for 
the majority of his family when the Great Depression hit.

My great-uncle, Royal Cathey Jr. (Bubba), was in the Navy during WWII. in 1945, a boat he was on capsized. Eleven men lost their lives, but Bubba, who couldn't swim, held on to a piece of wood until someone rescued him. Bubba was, and still is, the smartest man I've ever known. He was also so sweet and caring towards everyone.

This is from the newspaper article describing the accident. 
Bubba is on the far left.

My grandmother Margaret Cathey was always known by everyone as Cathey. She was a talented, hard-working, and extremely loving single mother to 5 daughters. She suffered through so much in life, but I don't remember ever hearing her complain.

This is my favorite picture of my Grandma

She was so stylish for all of her life

Gorgeous, isn't she?

These are the people whose name I share. I think a little bit of suffering through misspellings and a lack of personalized items is worth the privilege of  bearing the name of Cathey. I never got to meet my great-grandfather. Bubba died 14 years ago and my Grandma passed away in 2004. I miss them both so much, but due to my name, I always have a part of them with me. And I love that.


  1. aw your name has a great back story!

  2. This is a great blog post! I totally understand the name thing: My name is Moira. Not only can no one remember how to spell it, no one was say it properly either, haha! The only things I had with my name on it had to be shipped from England, and even then, it was hard to find.

    By the way, I wanted to let you know that you are the winner of my blog giveaway! I'll send you an email, too.

  3. I share a uniquely spelled name also. Charisse...I like it. It suits me. It's just some name my mother found in a book somewhere. And she loved it. But MAN...I understand mispronunciation, for sure!!!


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