No special characters allowed


photo credit: better syntax

I have a hyphenated name. Always have, always will. I know a lot of people add hyphens to their names to make them sound cool and interesting, but that’s not me. My mum made my name up over 50 years ago. Her middle name is Rae and she wanted to use it but felt it sounded a little short, so she hyphenated and added Anne to it. Apparently she copped a lot of flack for it at the time.


I love my name, but I didn’t always as a kid. Here are some random things about my name that bother/ed me:

  • My name was never called out on Romper Room. Miss Patricia never saw me through her magic mirror. Romper bomber stomper boo, tell me tell me tell me who, magic mirror tell me today, have all my friends had fun at play? I can see Jane and Mary and Michelle and…..every morning I waited patiently for Miss Patricia to see me, but she never did.
  • I couldn’t have personalised stuff. Name plates, books, cups etc. Although my uncle did get a necklace made overseas for me once from silver which was really cool.
  • People typically don’t remember it or spell it correctly. This has never changed. I have been called everything from Raelene to Roxanne and Roseanne. Please don’t ever call me Roseanne. That is all I ask.
  • I had this idea as a kid that people couldn’t tell if I was a boy or a girl just from my name, so if I entered competitions I would write girl next to my name on back of the envelope.
  • Technology can’t cope. Special characters are not allowed is a common error that comes up when I enter my name. Even my Facebook page extension for my writing page wouldn’t allow it. Fortunately my URL worked! I even had an arrogant Jetstar employee once change the spelling of my name as she said her computer didn’t like it. It no longer matched my passport and I was travelling overseas! No matter how many times I tried to tell her, she wouldn’t fix it, despite me being able to book online correctly and never having an issue before. Technology needs to catch up as there are many of us with unique names.
  • People don’t know what a hyphen is! When I spell my name out loud they hunt and peck at their keyboard looking for the illusive hyphen. They try underscore, dash, apostrophe and backslash, really, it’s not rocket science. However having said that I am a grammar and spelling freak, so to me it’s just common sense. I bet they’d know what it was if it was a hashtag.

photo credit: elite editing

Things that are nice about my name:

  • I love it.
  • It is unique, I am unique and it suits me. I am definitely no Susan or a Mary.
  • My mum made it up, how cool is that?
  • There has only ever been one of me, anywhere. I’ve seen a few Rae-Annes around now as the name seems to be around a bit, but rarely if ever spelt the same.



photo credit: Bill Collopy

I am unique. I am one of a kind. I am me. I am Rae-Anne!

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4 thoughts on “No special characters allowed

  1. Mr dooby, how do you do, I’m going to play a game with you, I’ll let you buzz, I’ll let you fly and catch you while you’re sailing by! She never said my name either as you well know and I was even ON romper room and she called me JULIE! I don’t know who that is as my name is Julie-Anne! No middle name thanks, for sometime I actually thought my real name was ‘Julie-Bloody-Anne’ as that’s all I heard for some years as I was a bugger and never left my sister alone as we were only 20 months apart and she was an easy target I suppose! She also never heard her name as it was just ‘Kerryn’ also no middle name! I say WAS as she passed away three weeks ago tomorrow and I am feeling like miss Kim (as she was in Newcastle), let us both down! Now I’m back to ‘Julie-Bloody-Anne’ as I seem to be grieving incorrectly or too publicly for my parents and family to cope with but like you, I’m unique, one of a kind, loud, opinionated and passionate and currently having my first brush with mental health issues which has made me so very, very broken as my bubby has gone! I called her bubby or Lloyd (she had massive eyes so I nicknamed her Lloyd from a very young age – not sure why). In her later years after her first marriage broke down she changed her name back to our maiden name but as her son had his fathers name, she changed hers by deed pole to match him in some way and the reason we had no Middle names was if we were to have one, it had to be hamilton! She told me she’d always been jealous of my hyphen and like she had been ripped off just having one name and me really having two so she changed it to ‘Kerryn-Hamilton’ as her sons name is Jake Hamilton and my son is Jack Hamilton and all of my uncles, aunties and dad have hamilton so now I feel left out! For at least five generations back and three still living, every child on dads side of the family have ‘hamilton’ as their middle name or no middle name at all! I’m the only one without it in my entire family as mum wouldn’t allow it as we were girls but had we been boys we would have had it! Names are strange, they define us, design us and sometime shame us or make us jealous but I like you love my name and I am very much a Julie-Bloody-Anne! 💖💜💖


  2. See me walk so straight and tall, I won’t let my basket fall. Eyes ahead and don’t look down, keep that basket off the ground. Watch me hold my head up high, like a soldier marching by. A back that’s straight and strong you see, helps to make a healthy me.
    I will always think of you when I think of Romper Room my darling friend. Sad thing is I can still sing all of the songs. And I do mean all of them! My dream was to go on Romper Room and drink milk and get a milk moustache, sadly it never came to fruition. Maybe I need therapy about this.
    I too don’t have a middle name. Maybe you can add another hyphen and add your own Hamilton there :).
    You can never grieve incorrectly beautiful, grief is very personal and different for all of us and we all have our own way of doing it. Do it however you need to. You are honouring your sister and your love for her shines in everything you do.
    The two of us can be loud, brash and mentally fragile together…we do it so well.
    Love you bucket loads Julie-Bloody-Anne! ❤


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