John Oliver did a very funny/scary episode about Donald Trump, er, Drumpf. It got me thinking about nom de plumes, the pen name for…pen names.
plural noms de plume \ˌnäm(z)-di-\
People change their names for all sorts of reasons, and in the writing world they often reflect historical or marketing decisions. For example, someone doesn’t want to be known for writing a biography about Benjamin Franklin after they’ve successfully built a romance empire featuring women who love unicorns only too well. Stephen King worried about overexposure, so wrote four novels under the name Richard Bachman. Women published under masculine pen names so that their work would be read, like George Sand, aka Amantine-Lucile-Aurore Dudevant, née Dupin.
Pen names also seem to help with long names.
I have often wondered how our names reflect who we are. Would you think of me differently about my words if I was Allie Augustyn, or Jonathan Augustyn, or Mimi LeFleur? How about Doctor LeFleur? In a profession where words matter, your name is worth examining, if only to imagine what your old family name was, or what your name might still become.
Here are a few other names I might like. Who would you be?
- Allison August (shorter)
- A. August (even shorter)
- Alexandra de Augustyniwich (the longest, and includes an allusion to “sandwich,” which we can all get behind)
- Sir Paul McAugustyn
- A.S. King (j/k. Readers, if you don’t know who she is, FIND OUT)
- Allison Drumpf