Monday 23 August 2010

Nom de Café

You’ve heard of NOM DE PLUME and even NOM DE GUERRE. Some elderly Frenchmen might say nom d’un nom when they’re agitated and my Very Adorable Nephew says nom nom nom when he’s enjoying his dinner.

And now I’ve added the NOM DE CAFE. Quoi?

It’s something I’ve been thinking about for a while. When you order a coffee to take away, they often ask you what your name is. I’ve discovered the hard way that saying ‘Eithne’ just involves pain and really far too much confusion for a simple transaction. I tried just ‘E’ but that wasn’t much better – I got a lot of ‘E … for what?’ Finally, I settled on Beth.

Why Beth you ask? Well, it has all the features of a good coffee alias. Easy to spell. Easy to remember. It has the advantage of sounding quite like one of my nicknames (Eith/Eth) AND my middle name is Elizabeth, so I don’t feel like a complete fraud.

Today I tried it out for the first time. When the woman behind the counter said ‘is there a Beth here?’, I yelled, ‘here I am!’ I took a photo (with my phone) of the spot for posterity. It still feels a bit weird (am I Beth material? Do I look like a Beth?) but so far seems to be working out, with the added bonus that I feel a bit like a spy. Vive le nom de café!


  1. Genius. From now on I will be known in Coffee shops as Phyre, after my cousin who died in a tragic stampede.

  2. hope you won,t take up lugubrity and sanctimoniousness to go with the name

  3. Some of us have a nom de continent... having suffered much massacring (massacration (?) ) of my name in the UK I decided to change my name to Ro in the USA thus saving much heartbreak... it also worked in Starbucks...