A Child Called “Baby”

Today, Emilia of My Inner MishMash asks us about our name. How do you feel about it? Do you know where yours came from or why your parents picked it?

I probably shared this before. In fact, I did indeed write about this topic in 2019. I didn’t bother to actually look up the post until finishing this one though, so well, here’s the story again through a 2023 lens.

When I was born, my parents didn’t have a name picked for me yet. The reason is the fact that I was born three months prematurely. As a result, for a few hours, the name plate on my incubator read “Baby Van Woerkom”. According to my mother, my father was so displeased with this that he quickly came up with a name (or picked one from the names they’d been discussing among each other). And thus I was named Astrid.

Of course, my parents do have a story of why they named me Astrid. Apparently, I am named after Swedish author Astrid Lindgren. Similarly, my sister was named after Sigrid Undset.

I do like my name, sort of. I like its relative uniqueness. I don’t like the fact that it’s hard to pronounce in English, but I do like the fact that in English-language literature for this reason I hardly come across characters named Astrid. I avoid books when I know they have a character named Astrid in them.

I don’t have a middle name and yet, I always wanted one. As a teen, I’d pick random middle names that bore neither an etymological nor a linguistic similarity to “Astrid”, such as “Elena”. Now if I had to choose a middle name, I’d go with something that also has its origin in northern Europe but is relatively easy to spell and pronounce in Dutch and English, such as “Kirsten”. I liked that one back as a teen too but didn’t use it as often. The name “Kirsten” is Christian in nature though, while “Astrid” has Pagan connotations. However, I don’t really care. The combination might actually signify the importance of the Christ, as the name “Astrid” means something like “beautiful God”.

We Are Cinderella!

Hi all! Today, I discovered Throwback Thursday. Well, I had heard of it before, but always assumed it was an image-based blog hop, as this is what the term usually means. Not so in this case. Lauren and Maggie’s Throwback Thursday allows us to write a post taking a stroll down memory lane. I’m pretty sure photos are allowed, but the main focus seems on writing. Today’s topic is nicknames.

I have had many nicknames throughout my life. Some are derived from my name. For example, many people simply abbreviate “Astrid” to “As” and my husband and his family then add the commonly-Dutch “-ie” suffix for “little”, so my nickname becomes “Assie”. My husband and his two sisters all have -ie nicknames, with my husband Jeroen’s nickname, “Joenie”, being the most related to his actual name.

Then there are these nicknames that are based on some letters out of my name but not many. An example is the Dutch word “asbak” (which translates to “ashtray)”. I hate that nickname with a vengeance.

Another one is “Assepoester”. This is the Dutch name for Cinderella in the fairytale. I don’t like the Dutch nickname, but I for one do relate to Cinderella, particularly to the feeling of having to be transformed by a fairy (ie. put on a mask) in order to be acceptable as I am.

For this reason, I sometimes still use Cinderella as my nickname. That is, I do so when referring to myself and my multiple alter personalities (dissociative identities) as a system. Usually, I refer to the collective as Astridetal, as in my blog’s URL, but at one point we felt somehow like we needed a collective name that didn’t claim that Astrid was the “owner” of everyone else. So Cinderella System was born!

Did or do you have any interesting nicknames?

Names: The Story Behind My Name #AtoZChallenge

Okay, it’s time for day 14 in the #AtoZChallenge and I’m feeling incredibly uninspired. That is, I have a ton of ideas floating through my mind, but none that I can get ahold of. For this reason, I am choosing the same topic I used last year for my letter A post for the letter N. I am going to share the story behind my name.

I used to be very interested in names. I still am to an extent, but I don’t know nearly as much as some of the onomastics (namesakes) bloggers I know. I know what my name means only because I googled it last year. In fact, when I was still big into names, it was more a matter of listing as many interesting and foreign names as possible.

I have no middle name. My name is just Astrid. Because I was born prematurely, my parents didn’t yet have a name picked for me when I was born. For this reason, my incubator was for a few hours labeled “Baby Van Woerkom”. My father was so annoyed by this that he quickly came up with a name and that became Astrid. I am supposedly named after Swedish Author Astrid Lindgren.

Astrid means “beautiful god” or something like that. It is derived from norse mythology.

I at one point asked my mother what she’d have named me had I been born a boy. She said “Lennaert” and wasn’t sure how to spell it. I am currently using the Belgian spelling (I think). My father preferred “Leonard”, which I think is much better. Still, I”m glad I was named Astrid.

That being said, I’d like to have a middle name. In my teens, I variously used Elena (which matches horribly with Astrid) and Kirsten as my chosen middle names. Both are alters in my system, the ones most active at the time. I don’t think I can choose a middle name though, in case someone in my system would like to claim it. I don’t want to play favorites, after all.

Friendly Fill-Ins Week #115

I discovered Friendly Fill-Ins already a few months ago and participated on my other blog a few times. However, I didn’t like it that my posts always came out way shorter and less “serious” than I intended my blog for. I felt they were cluttering my blog. Well, since this blog is quite chaoitc anyway, I’m giving it a try here.

This week’s questions are:


  1. I deserve a gold star for _________________ today.

  2. Right now, I am loving _____________.

  3. The best advice I’ve ever been given is _________.

  4. If I had to choose a new first name, it would be _________.

My answers

1. I deserve a gold star for blogging so much today. This is my third post for today. I have a rule on my other blog that I can’t post more than once a day and I can’t post less than once a month. Also, posts have to be at least 300 words long, because I seem to remember shorter posts (especially without pictures) are bad for your Google ranking. Now, on this blog, I don’t care about my Google ranking.

2. Right now I am loving the WordPress community. I guess I take my other blog a little too seriously, because I didn’t like connecting with personal/journal-style bloggers. IN fact though, I love this type of bloggers and am so glad to be interacting with them now.

3. The best advice I’ve ever been given is to live your life. I don’t really know who said that, and maybe it’s a combination of advice I’ve received, but I agree. My life is mine alone.

4. If I had to choose a new first name, it would be… I really have no idea. We’d each want our own first name and we have one already. (For those who don’t know, “we” refers to the multiple selves or alters who share this body.) I don’t think we could have one name that we all agree on.