When was a nickname, so I thought
When I was born my parents decided to name me after both of my grandfathers. My mom’s father’s name is James, and my dad’s father’s name is Edward, so my name ended up being James Edward Lyttle. I’m pretty sure that my parents decided to name me after their fathers to avoid the stress of having to choose a random name.Not long after, my aunt came up with the idea of mixing my first and middle names together.
She took the J from James and the Ed from Edward, which made my first nickname Jed. I wasn’t old enough at the time to realize that Jed was a nickname, so I thought that I had three names. It was a little bit confusing being taught how to spell my name (James) while being called Jed.
Even though I knew that my real name was James, I stuck with Jed, at least until grade school. Since my legal name is James, all of my teachers had that on their attendance rosters. As I moved up through the grades and had more and more teachers to deal with I began to give up on telling all of them that I went by Jed instead of James. It never really bothered me, because I like the name James just as much as Jed.
Even though my teachers knew me as James all of my friends continued to call me Jed. That is also how I would introduce myself to everyone I met. As I entered middle school all of my friends started coming up with nicknames for each other.
The decided to make my nickname, which was already a redneck name even more so by calling me Jebidiah, and Jethro. I wasn’t offended by either of them. I actually thought that they were pretty funny.Now that I have explained how I got my first, middle, and nicknames, I will tell you about my last name. The name Lyttle is from my father’s side of the family.
When my mother and father got married my mom took my father’s last name and gave up her maiden name, Jones. Lyttle is originally from England. When I asked my family about the name, they couldn’t give me any fun or interesting stories about it, so I decided to make one up myself. One cold day in England way back when, A man named Ralph was chopping wood to prepare for the cold winter that was just around the corner. Ralph couldn’t afford a standard sized axe, so he had to make his own. His axe wasn’t quite as big as everybody else’s, and he was a little bit embarrassed about it. While he was chopping his wood on a cloudy fall day, a big man named Rex saw Ralph’s small axe and began making fun of him.
Ralph was the joke of the town for the next week, because he had such a small axe. One night the bully Rex thought that it would be funny to paint “little” on Ralph’s front door, but not being the smartest man Rex spelled it “Lyttle”. Winter was coming up very soon, so Ralph didn’t have time to wash of the paint of his door. As the snow fell and the temperatures dropped everyone began to run out of wood. Ralph realized that he didn’t have enough wood to keep him warm for the rest of this long winter and thought that if he used his small axe to cut the logs in half one more time he could have fire for twice as long as he would normally be able to.
The rest of the townspeople were just about out of wood when they realized what Ralph had done to make his last longer. They all tried to use their big axes to split their wood, but it didn’t work. Ralph decided that he could forgive everyone for making fun of his axe and let them borrow it. That small axe saved the town that winter.
The following spring Ralph left the word Lyttle painted on his door and made many more small axes that he called Lyttle Axes to sell to the rest of the town.I have met a lot of people that don’t like their names at all, so I feel very lucky to enjoy mine. Even though I made that story about my last name up off the top of my head, I think that I will stick with it and tell it to my children.