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Some facts about my being named "Woozle":

  • It derives from a scene in the children's book Winne-the-Pooh.
    • See Wikipedia for an explanation of where it comes up in the story.
  • My parents started using it as a nickname during the first week after I was born.
  • It's the first name I remember being called.
  • It has always felt clearly like it refers to me, is me.
  • As of mid-June 2019, "Woozalia" is my legal first name, with "Woozle" as a diminutive.

Some History

When I first switched schools to Durham Academy in 2nd grade, my teacher (Mrs. Land) wouldn't let me sign my work "Woozle" anymore, and made me sign by my full name. I went along with it at the time, because I was an obedient child – but in retrospect, I wish I had kicked up a fuss.

I only adopted [deadname] because it was better than the full version of my first name – and I didn't think of doing that until several years later.

In high school, there was this one incident where Jenny was trying to get my attention and kept calling "[deadname]! [deadname]!", but it wasn't until she called out "Woozle!" that I heard her. She mainly called me "Woozle" after that.

I think it was at that point that I started to realize that allowing them to take "Woozle" away from me had been a mistake.

Unfortunately, I continued to use "[deadname]" in most contexts, because I thought I had to. I finally realized in 2017 that this was also a mistake, and legally changed my name to "Woozalia Nicola".