My parents bestowed on me the first name Lisa (considered, they protested, unusual at the time.) My husband handed me the last name Southard (pronounced Sutherd, ideally, but South-hard will do.) Most of the world; this includes many close friends; know me as Lily Tequila, or Silverbetty Sequin… it’s nothing more complicated than fun. They aren’t alter egos. Silverbetty was a dancing days stage name, borrowed from my daughter’s teddy, Lily is a derivative of Lilith, an autobiographical-ish character from a novel I claim to be writing (have written, but not to my satisfaction yet.)
Both pseudonyms are exactly me.
Having suffered this at school-
‘Which Lisa are you?’
(Think I was Number 5-) it is easy to realise why I might want to distinguish my existence with some flashy nom de plumes. Also why my Girl and Boy have slightly odd real names, and have preferred simplification.
Plus ça change, plus ça même change…
If I ever had an alter ego alias it was The Bad Girl Who Lives In My Head. I can blame everything I’ve ever done wrong on that fabulous monster and I love her dearly. She is retired, but keeps herself fit and well. I still dine out on her stories, so those are kept close, they are my fat gold scandalous coins of memory.
And, from 1811, neatly deflecting any further revelations, I present some grammar related punishment metaphors:
To be put in a pillory was to be held in a wooden parenthesis; an iron parenthesis was a prison.