My name is NOT. CATHY.
My given name is Catherine, and my parents still call me that. Everyone else has called me Cath since I was 14. I don’t dislike the name Cathy itself, I just really don’t like it on me – I don’t think it suits me at all. Plus I have two close friends and one sister-in-law called Cathy (or Kathy), and it’s nice to be distinctive*.
This was never a problem in the UK, where Cath is a relatively common name. But here in Canada, people just can’t seem to get their heads around it. If I introduce myself as Cath, the person invariably says “…Cathy?” in a confused voice. Cath just doesn’t register as a name, even in writing; if I email a new contact and sign off with my preferred name, 9 times out of 10 the reply will read “Dear Cathy”. Only one person has ever realised and apologised for this.
I don’t know where these people are pulling the y from, but I know where they can stick it.
Now, I’ve always thought that (in person at least) I’ve corrected the Cathy people very politely, and with a smile, but the perception among one particular group of friends is that I aggressively jump down people’s throats if they call me by the wrong name (Mr E Man assures me that I never actually have). So now, when a new acquaintance calls me Cathy, I can’t even get one polite word in before at least two of my friends shout “OH NO! Don’t call her that! She’ll kill ya!”
These days I introduce myself as Catherine over the phone, and often in person too. Then I can just casually drop in a “most people call me Cath” at a convenient time if the relationship develops. But this tends to confuse the people who already know me, especially at work.
I’m sure this problem isn’t unique to me – does anyone have any advice?!
*Undergrad roommates included Catherine, Cathy, and Kate. Then I lived with a Cathy in Glasgow, and (at different times) a Kat and a Katie in Vancouver. During undergrad, my parents would call and ask for Catherine, Catherine’s parents called her Cathy, and Cathy’s parents called her Cath. Our other four roomies dreaded having to answer the phone.