I didn’t have any problems with my name when I was in grade school, but when I entered middle school I started to see how my name did and did not bring attention to me. It started with too much attention- kids teasing me and calling me Erin Hump for Free and Erin Hump and Freeze. I laugh at this now, but at the time it was not funny. It caused me a lot of embarrassment for several months. My taunters soon tired of not getting a reaction and the nicknames were put to bed (no pun intended).

Not long after that I started to feel as though my name was not glamorous enough. Other girls in my classes had names like Elizabeth, Crystal, Kimberly, Jacqueline, Katherine, Cassandra and Monique. I practiced signing my name as Erica, but then practiced Erika because a K is more exotic than a C. I tried it out by telling a few friends that was my real name. Nobody really bought it, and I was too afraid of being found out to keep it up.

These days I am perfectly happy being Erin Harty. It’s definitely shorter than Erin Humphreys and Harty is easier for people to spell (after you over enunciate the T). Some people still have problems with Erin though. I get a lot of Aaron and sometimes I see an Aerin or Aeron, but that’s mostly from hipsters. Over the phone people often call me Karen after I identify myself. I’m not completely sure why that happens, but it used to annoy me, now I just say Erin with an ‘E’.

I’ve been Erin Harty for half my life, but occasionally I will sign my name Erin Humphreys on something- usually a check. The last time it happened was right after I returned home from attending my grandfather’s funeral. I had just spend an entire weekend with Humphreys and it seemed to stick. There’s probably some syndrome to explain this phenomena- there’s a syndrome for everything. I’ll have to ask one of my psychologist friends.


Here are some Undeniable Facts About Being Named Erin from BuzzFeed.