My name is Annabel, but you can call me Abbie.
I’m named for my maternal grandmother. Her birth name was Anna Bell Eakin. Bell was a family name, and Anna was one of her aunts. When she was a little girl one of her teachers used to call her “Anna” just to tease her.
She would puff up and say, “My name is NOT Anna.”
He would reply, “Well, there must be a Bell to it, by the ring of your voice.”
As soon as she was old enough she changed it to Annabel.
* * *
When I was two years old, just learning to talk, my mother and grandmother were trying to teach me to say Annabel.
“Say ‘Anna’,” they would say.
“Anna,” I would answer.
“Say ‘Bell’,” they would say.
“Bell,” I would answer.
“Say ‘Annabel’,” they would repeat.
“Abbie,” I said!
And Abbie I am to this day.