What’s in a name?

I recently went to NHS EXPO and noticed something strange; nearly everyone who I networked with called me ‘Annie’. Now most of you all probably know me as Annie and if you were to meet me in real life you would perhaps call me Annie too, so why is this so strange?


I joined Twitter in July 2012. I remember creating my account and wondering what I would call myself; I instinctively thought it needed to be memorable and reasonably short. I had an ex-boss who used to call me ‘Coops’ so I tried that first but – it’s a common name, Cooper – it had been taken, so as it turned out had AnneCoops. anneYou see my given name is Anne, no middle name, hard to shorten or abbreviate. Everyone who knows me in my family and most of my friends would never call me anything else (unless they were being rude; matron has been known). It was just a flash of, you might say, inspiration – and AnnieCoops was born.

Since then my life lived via social media has been a really fun experience. My career and working life before 2012 was fine but the opportunity to develop my networking skills has allowed me to create a new social ‘me’, I hadn’t really expected Annie to stick in the way that it has. As AnnieCoops I have met many many interesting and incredible people and I hope very much that it won’t stop here.

I never thought of myself as Annie, in fact my paternal Grandmother, who I was not particularly close to, was called Annie. I didn’t think I matched the name but somehow it’s taken a life of its own, so much so that at EXPO I heard my self say (I cringe) to Kate Granger (of all people) ‘Hello, I’m AnnieCoops!’ I have even bought the domain name anniecoops.com for my blog.

It’s become part of me and my persona. I don’t think it was ever a deliberate act but I have completely embraced AnnieCoops and now love being called Annie. It tells me quite often where I know you from and how long we have chatted! Life often creates strange and interesting twists and turns, and I hope AnnieCoops will stick for a long while yet!

So, what’s your twitter name and what does it say about you?


9 thoughts on “What’s in a name?

  1. Hi Anne……. Annie………Coops……..

    You’ll always be Coops to me!!!

    I’ve had to undergo a name change recently, I was @HoJane – naive person that I am – I didn’t know what Ho meant – I wondered why I was getting some dodgy followers…..

    I’m now @HoorayJane which fits my personality so much better – posh bird from Yorkshire! NOT

    It fascinates me the names we give ourselves and why?
    Almost as fascinating as avatar ‘egg’ picture….. Why? Just put a flower, goldfish or hen but #ditchtheegg………..

  2. I always think of you as Annie Coops but used to make an effort to call you Anne (because that’s what your twitter name is) but always feel like I’m calling you the wrong name if I do that, because in my head your Annie C, queen of Coops Coop ;))

    I was always Georgina as a youngster, no-one ever believes this bit but I was quite shy at primary school, refusing to make eye contact etc. My Auntie was the only person on the planet who called me George, until first day of secondary school and my form tutor (who was also the PE teacher) was calling the register. Miss T called me George and there was no way I was going to correct a teacher – so from that day on I became George. Strangely I can remember thinking that day that the only way I’d survive at secondary school was by being something different, so I decided I’d be braver and less shy too!! Some may argue I went too far, but I only ever get called Georgina now if I’m in severe trouble 😉

  3. lovely blog Annie (!) I must get round to giving the story of why mikey3982 – I also bought the site for my blog!

  4. Until I joined FB and had to have an e mail address I had always been known as Chris or Christine when in trouble! But I have a nephew of the same name and he is also on sm and as Chrissy doesn’t suit him (!) I became Chrissy, and am now known as much by that name as Chris, and rather like you, I like it!

  5. I’m always interested tobsee the people who use their real name vs those with a nickname. Back in 2007 most people seemed to use a nickname on twitter … and a random picture not a head shot. Wonder what changed?

    Also I’m not from Watford, or have ever lived there. But I do drink tea and come from north of the …


  6. Shazza is a kind of a mickey taking nickname for me, used by good friends after a glass or two. I am professionally Sharon, and Shaz to my friends and family, so it feels kind of lovely that my twitter persona is the one that is associated with fun times with friends.

  7. Thank you, this was a really interesting read and good to reflect on our different identities in different places/media.

    I have three identities: at work I’m David, at home I’m Foord (a relic of playing rugby and all my family call me Foord, even my Mum; my wife’s never called me David!) and on Twitter I’m @dgfoord (my middle name is George). This is primarily because @Foord and @DavidFoord were already taken when I signed-up to Twitter. At the time I didn’t really understand what it was all about, thought you had to choose a ‘username’ like for many websites and I’ve just stuck with it over the years now, but if @Foord or @DGFoord ever become available, I’ll change.

  8. When I initially joined twitter I pretty much had my real name and a couple of digits as my handle. Then as I started using it more and began using different social networks for different aspects of my life I soon realised the importance of privacy. I still wanted my name, as I still wanted to show the real Me rather than an anonymous face. I’m generally known as Jo, some people call me JoJo but only my Grandma ever called me Josie. She was an important woman in my life and I suppose, in finding a new e-identity I wanted to breath new life into a name I haven’t been called since I was 15. And @josie_jo_F was born. 🙂

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