Hi Nice to Meet You!


When I started writing online five and a half years ago, to me, the internet was a place where unibombers hung out. I certainly wasn’t going to put my name out there for all to see. Especially a name like mine, that’s so different that all the unibombers would certainly search for my address and then unibomb us. Whatever that means. Plus most of the population looks at my name and then pronounces it wrong. It’s like how we were all pronouncing Hermione wrong the first time we read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.  It seemed like a pain to claim my name.

I figured I’d just call myself The Nester since my blog was called Nesting Place and it wasn’t like anyone would ever read it anyway. Who cares what dorky name I called myself?  Sometimes the internet surprises you. People read, my name was dorky and I realized that by using an obvious pretend name, I actually brought more attention to the fact that I wasn’t using my real name. Curious people started researching and finding me. It became a “thing” when I went to conferences. The very attention I wanted to avoid was happening and it was my own fault. I should have just said my name was Amy. No one would have ever questioned that.

This will hurt my mom’s feelings but I’m not crazy about my name. It’s weird. I’m an introvert. Being a kid and having a weird name that when people read it they don’t know how to pronounce it is an introvert’s nightmare. Not only do I want to avoid all unnecessary talking in elementary school (and still even now), but the substitute teacher just called me “Mr. Morland” because they didn’t want to mispronounce my first name and now everyone is laughing because I’m a girl. I was the kind of introvert who more than anything, didn’t want to be the center of any kind of attention. I still don’t. I hate writing this post by the way. Can we talk about paint now?

As an adult I find myself overcompensation for my name. Once I went to the mall with a neighbor who by the time we came home, I was positive had no idea what my name was. I’m sure to her I was just “that girl with the weird name”. So now, even last week, I saw an acquaintance and even though we had been introduced before and I knew her name I was all telling her my name and she said, “I know who you are.” so I awkwardly explained how I always reintroduce myself to people with my name so they won’t feel weird asking. The curses of an odd name.

So if we haven’t met in person, or if you haven’t already seen it somewhere online or in a magazine, my name is Myquillyn. It’s pronounced like Jacqueline but with a Mike. If I had a dollar…  And really, I’ve been meaning to write this post for years. You can hear my fellow odd-named-friend-Tsh pronounce my name here on her podcast. There’s no story about a Himalayan princess that is my great-grandmother behind my name, my mom made it up and liked it way before she ever met my dad. Then together they got super creative and named my baby sister Emily.

I’m happy to finally, really meet you. And know that I never was trying to hide anything from you, just from the unibomber.


stuff about me

I’ll be here all week sharing stuff you might not know about me. Thrilling! If you go by a pseudonym online and want to introduce yourself in the comments feel free, and feel free not to as well. If your name is Myquillyn, let’s have matching bike license plates made together!


  1. She Who Shall Not Be (Real)Named says

    When I first started reading this post I thought, “ya right…there is NO way her name is as unusual as mine!”…I was wrong! I’m happy though, to know there’s someone out there who’s an introvert like me and is at odds with her odd name. I too don’t like my name though everyone I meet says “oh that’s a pretty name” and I reply with “no, it’s really not but thanks”. My sister also has an odd name and sometimes we have conversations of great length about who’s name is worse. ;D It’s scary to reveal one’s true name online when it’s an odd name. Everyone will know it’s YOU. There’s no hiding behind the anonymity of Susan, Jamie, or Mary (and the likes). What it makes it worse, in my opinion, is the fact that I have an equally uncommon last name. A double whammy. So, if I use my real name online, anyone who searches for my name will find ME. This is such a double edged sword because as much as I want to remain anonymous (or just not as easily searchable online), if I’m to have the career of my dreams, I have to put my real name on my work.

    Thank you for being brave and sharing yourself. :)

    • I definitely understand the wanting to not be found, but needing to put your name on things. I now go by a shortened version of my completely unique name. Those who know me more than 10 years know that full name so it is fairly easy to find online. :( At first I tried very hard to keep my last name offline, but eventually that came out too.
      Good luck!

  2. My name is hard to pronounce and spell too and every day of my little girl life I dreamed I could change it to Ann. Everyone can pronounce and spell Ann.

    In college I started going by a nickname, which has for the most part stuck. So to most, I’m KK and they are grateful because they can’t pronounce my real name.


    • So funny, I have always suffered from the exact opposite. My name is Jill. Kind of like Ann. Easy. Never misspelled or mispronounced, even in a nursery rhyme. BUT SO BORING! I have always hated my name, much to my mom’s sadness! My sister is Rebecca, and gets shortened to cute Becky. Mine is just Jill, short and boring. My best friend’s name is Jane, and she too has always hated her name because it so plain. (And she’s not at all plain!) I’m sure there are quite a few Anns out there that hate their names too. I never thought about it from the point of view that all of you with unique names have just brought up. I guess the grass is not always greener.

  3. I think your name is positively BEAUTIFUL :) Boring names are Way overrated anyway!!

  4. RubberChickenGirl says

    Wow! You should have had a Rumplestiltskin (sp!?) contest before the big anouncement. So, what does Emily call you? And your husband? I always wonder why parents use invented spellings/names with kids…..as in “You do know NO ONE will ever spell that correctly, right?” I knew two little girls whose names were Annie and Danielle. Only they were NOT Annee and Dan-yell…..they were Ah-Nuh and Dan-Yell-Uh, of course. Of course, we all like the names we give our kids or we wouldn’t give them….my firstborn hates his name, but every time the family hears an odd (to us) name, we say, “Well, J______ could have been named……Melvin OR Ernie OR Harry OR LaMonte OR Herbert…..”

    Did you ever read the study about children with odd names actually being more confident because they had to deal with the reactions and social situations? And usually end up liking their names? I’ll have to see if I can find it for you.


  5. As the wife of a darling man who insisted that we chose baby names based on predictable spelling and pronunciation (and who now has two children who are often mistakenly called Sophia and Henry because their true names, Sylvia and Harry, are a bit too like the more common counterparts), I APPLAUD your name. AND your alias. Plus, “Myquillyn Nester” passes my could-be-a-reporter-for-NPR baby name test. It humbly suggests profound insight and clever talent, just like your blog!

  6. Hi Myquillyn, my name is Paola, people look at it, then look at me(then I can hear their wheels turning in their heads)..and I hear an um how do you pronounce your name and they end up calling me Payola, my parents prounce it Powla and I just say it’s Paula with an O instead of an U.
    I like your name and I’m glad you shared it with us :)

  7. I feel your pain!! Even though I have come to really love my name, it was hard growing up and it’s annoying sometimes when you know people are avoiding saying your name. My first name is Dutch, my married last name is German, but I’m Cuban, born and raised. It’s very complicated to explain all this when you first meet people. So I decided to give my twins “normal” names :) BTW, I never commented on a post before but I LOVE your blog :)

  8. My name is Chilla… there aren’t many other Chilla’s out there (at least in English speaking countries – I believe the name is more popular in Serbia/former Yugoslavia). I love having a unique name, I couldn’t imagine being called by any other! Funny about having siblings with simple names… I have a brother named Tom. Doesn’t get much more simple than that!

  9. RubberChickenGirl says

    I think this is the article based on the book Bad Baby Names…..
    A Boy Named Sue, and a Theory of Names

  10. RubberChickenGirl says

    Do you pronounce it Mike-Lynn or Mike-Whi-Lynn cuz people pronounce Jaqueline differently?

    Sorry to post again, but I am not sure if that was clear.


  11. Hi, Myquillyn, I feel your pain. I, too, shuddered when people asked me to say my name again because they didn’t catch it the first time. I have grown to love, love, love my name as an adult, but I still don’t want to be the center of attention. I ended up with a David and a Sarah which are very common but traditional family names for my children. I love personalized gifts/things because you don’t find Millicent on anything off the shelf. Do you? Thanks for sharing!

  12. We named our firstborn “Anastassya”, and I can’t count the times she has marched up to a teacher and said “Ana-stah-zha, not Ana-stayz-ya”. Thank goodness she’s an assertive child. We felt bad about so many syllables, so we names our second “Maia”. Um, “Maya” would have had everyone pronouncing it correctly, but why would we do something silly like that? I like your name. Your parents have imagination.

  13. (Early on in your blog, you once emailed me and signed your name, but I could never remember what it was, just that is was unique, and honestly maybe you even used an alias then, too- ha!)) The fact that your parents named your sister Emily just cracks me up! Proves my theory that the first born really is our eternal guinea pig:-)

    Love that your name is uniquely you, even though I understand your angst. Seems only a fitting reminder, though, that we all have a “name” just as unique, in God’s eyes.

  14. I’m so happy to see you finally using your real name online! (I don’t know why… it just makes me smile.)

    While my name is not unusual, it was always spelled with a “C” on bike license plates … so I never had one either.

  15. You are cracking me up…your parents’ creativity in naming your sister “Emily”. I remember once when you posted and people were guessing… you said back then that it was really different. I remember thinking to myself- really? How different can it be. Her sister’s name is Emily! Ha!!! So glad you finally shared. The good news is that we all LOVE you and this blog, whether your name was/is Myquillyn or Amy!

  16. Nice to meet you also! I had the opposite situation where my parents tried to be as traditional as possible with my name because they were afraid of making a mistake in naming their first child, but then got more daring with each successive child…

  17. Elise Orlando says

    I feel your pain. Mine was not quite as unique, but the most common mispronunciation was Elsie, which seemed rather grandmotherly to my childhood self. (Old fashioned names were not yet in vogue. It was all Amy’s and Jennifers.) The way I pronounce it is “Uh-lease.” I’m sure the correct French pronunciation is a lot more beautiful and exotic. One teacher called me Elisa on the first day of six grade in an experimental junior high where grades 6-8 were mixed together. I was too shy and intimidate by those 8th graders to correct him, even 2 years later, when friends would nudge me and encourage me to correct him. How to you tell a sweet, grandpa-type teacher that he’s been calling you by the wrong name for 3 years? And my maiden name was Reine. How do you pronounce that? We pronounced it “RI-Nee,” but ALL doctor waiting room nurses would call for “Elsie Renee” I was quite relieved to marry an Orlando. Now I only have to spell my first name, and, go figure, my husband’s sister’s name is Elisa.

    • Hi Elise,
      Did you happen to live in MN when you were younger? Your maiden name is familiar to me and I have memories of my family knowing your family … Just thought the internet is such a small place to come across you here! Hope you’re well..

      Marijke (Groat)

    • Hey Elise…I personally LOVE our name now, but growing up, also got called Elsie a LOT! One teacher even said it phonetically “E-lie-see”. Um, not even close, Coach!

  18. You know I never thought too much about your name, except you look very similar to a friend I had in highschool named Amy. So when you started your post talking about your very weird name…Amy, (‘m too literal sometimes that’s what I thought you were saying) I was like “oh I got it right…and how is Amy weird?” lol Anyway, with a unique name like Roberta, I grew up with many kids telling my I had an old lady name, and occasional called Robert in a role call. When I was 15 I walked up to the counter at the DMV to test for my drivers permit. Nervous and insecure I handed the man my bank statement letter, he looked at it, looked at me, looked at it again and in a loud angry voice said “What are you trying to pull? Who’s is this? Is this your brother’s?” I was baffled and even more insecure and nervous at that point. I had no idea what he was talking about. “What IS your name?” I meekly replied “Roberta (plus last name).” He looked back at the piece of mail and simply said “Oh.” Moved me to the test, no apology or anything. I guess those moments help build character. :)

  19. angela s. says

    i love it! it’s very southern. if you lived in the deep south it would be Myquillyn Claire or Myquillyn Elizabeth and no one would bat an eye! xo

  20. It is SO nice to have a gathering place for people with odd names! Seeing how many of us are out there makes me feel like we should all rent a pavilion at a park, have a potluck, and agonize over our childhood woes! My name is a mash of my parents (Roger + Julie Ann = Roganne) and wasn’t really a problem until the men’s hair growth product Rogaine came out…when I was in the 7th grade. But the best part about having a crazy name that noone can pronounce is going to Starbucks and giving the barista a fake name to write on my cup. It’s the best. Most of the time I tell them my name is Kitty…just for fun :)

  21. I also have an odd name. My name is Glabe…and no the last vowel is not silent. So imagine for 12 years on the first day of class when they did roll call my name was always mispronounced. I dreaded it. However now I embrace my name it doesn’t define me.

  22. Way to be courageous, sister! You truly crack me up and make me think deeply all at the same time. It might seem odd but I have subscribed to your blog for several years, more for your quirky sense of humor and unique spin on life even more than for the decorating vibe. And now I have the sudden urge to call you “Myq” for short, but I will restrain myself, as that would be incredibly forward of me on the first day that I “met” you! haha

  23. Here is my best hide-my-name blog story: when I first started blogging I went by Mommy Dearest. My mom and I had an inside joke about the name (I wasn’t trying to confess a strange hang-up with wire hangers, although coincidentally I got rid of all of them years ago . . .) and I started blogging because I missed her and wanted my kids to have memories, from their mother, written down somewhere. Anyway, I used to design blogs for the Proverbs 31 Ministries girls and I left a comment on one of their posts. Apparently she freaked when she saw a comment from someone calling herself Mommy Dearest and talked to the other P31 girls about it. One of them said, “Oh, that’s just Dawn.”

    So, I not only had a fake blog name, I had one that frightened people. Mwahahaha!

  24. A name is a name…it is what our mother’s and/or father’s chose to call us. We can allow it to define us

    You could have your name legally changed to Nester and that would be a fine name. Or, you could use your current first name as your second name after Nester. I think that would also be a fine name. For my part, I came to know you as “Nester” (not ‘the’ Nester,,,just Nester) and have known you as that for a few years. It’s what I call you in e-mails or comments. It doesn’t seem odd or strange for your name to be Nester, it’s just how I know you. So, I guess what I’m saying is, I think you are smart, creative and funny, which is the reason I started reading and subscribed to your blog way back when.

  25. wellllllllllllll, my first name isn’t all that odd,except for the fact when BrittNEY is starring you in the face say on facebook or something people will still spell it BrittANY, it annoys me, BUT my middle name however well lets just say ive never met another, it is………drum roll………….Nichelle (pronounced like “knee shell”) yea im not that crazy about it, but it is what it is, now my children have normal or not names depending on where your from, first up is Kali (like callie) 2nd is Britton (like the country but not, and hes a boy) the little miss Chloe (who we came super close to naming Honey) and the baby TuckerJack (that’s his first name btw) they do go to a small school but they are the ONLY ones in school with their names so they are just a touch unique, my friends and family have chose to name their children beautiful more unique than my kids names as well, so I guess unique is the norm around here.

  26. Kind of a related story…before I got married last year I questioned (for about a minute) whether or not I should change my last name. I did change it to my husband’s but the hesitation came from the pretty great Google presence I’d built with my name compared to the terrible presence that somebody had created with my future name. I’m still working on getting the search results into something positive because I HATE searching my name and seeing a bunch of articles about she-who-shares-my-name’s many arrests.

    On that note, I didn’t want to use my real name with my blog just in case a future employer doesn’t like my honesty. But here it is, I am Jennifer (last name withheld until I like what I see on Google).

  27. That certainly is a unique name! Embrace it and know that you will always be remembered for it. We’ve given our kids simple short names but sometimes even that poses problems with role call and introductions. When my oldest son was in elementary school, he used to introduce himself by saying “Hi I’m Kurt, K-u-r-t, Kurt,” because so many people would call him Curtis or Kirk instead. Now when he runs into former teachers and old friends they joke and say “I remember you, K-u-r-t Kurt!”

  28. I love unique names, but my hubby is not so keen. We named our daughter a unisex name as a bit of a compromise I suppose.
    I went to university with a Michaeline, but your spelling is lovely! I’m sure it has caused much grief at times, but it is uniquely yours.
    To Brittney – our small town had a Nichelle!

  29. I just REALLY want to know how you ended up with that name and your sister’s name is Emily.

  30. Awe, I feel your pain. Every time I’m in a Dr’s waiting office.. I hear “Um..Rachel…C…ook?” Then I have to be all weird, do you mean Rachelle? So I end up introducing myself like Hi, It’s Rachelle Czuk, Not Rachel Not Rochelle..Ra-shell, and Czuk rhymes with took, but with a Z, silent C! I know.. Crazy. Don’t even get me started on my middle name that RHYMES with my first.. and has a V in it. I really won with the whole parents naming me and husband having an awesome last name. ;)

  31. I love your name. I remember meeting you at Relevant (Allume) 2011, and adored it because my name is unusually too. I was called Madonna A LOT during elementary school, and STILL have to spell my name out loud when giving it out over the phone or whatever. Even my blog name is weird. I just can’t seem to get away from weird names. I did stop with my kids though. Glad you’ve finally “confessed” your name. HA!!!

  32. Well if I get the pleasure of sitting down to lunch with you again at Haven this year, I will happily try to pronounce your name. :)

  33. Loved this as I have always wondered since you first mentioned it. And with a sister named Emily. I’m sure your name has its challenges but I like the way it sounds. My mom wanted me to name one of my boys McQuillen as it was my great grandmother’s maiden name and I was named after her (Elizabeth Ann ‘no e’.) I chickened out.

  34. Cheyenne says

    First of all, what a pretty name even if it is very different. And second of all, I wanted to share how happy this post made me because I too have a name people constantly mispronounce/can’t remember/can’t spell and that substitutes always saved for last. (The number of times I’ve been called Diane or Ann and misremembered as that-girl-with-the-geographical-name are simply countless.) I appreciate your struggle greatly! And thirdly, as someone possibly starting a new chapter of her life with an immense amount of debt it’s wonderful to find a blog centered around the idea of beauty without perfection. Thank you for your blog!

  35. Grace Calling says

    Funny how people would always say my name was unusual as a teen. I hated it then. The older I get the more Janelle’s I meet and it’s totally not that unique now lol. You have a magical name and I find it adorable hour sisters name is Emily!

  36. Like the other BrittNEY my common name was and still is often misspelled even by friends who see my name on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, etc. Pretty annoying! I am having my second daughter in July and both girls have unique names: Hadley and McCallen. I don’t want them to be plain Jane or the millionth Kate to join this world so we decided on “non-traditional” names.
    I think that your name is beautiful (although tough to spell) and its not an easily forgetable moniker! Thanks for sharing with us. :)

  37. So so so funny!! LOL Loved this. A truly beautiful name for a beautiful woman Unique and fun, just like you. haha I like that you re-introduce yourself for other people’s comfort. LOL so sweet. I do not use a pseudonym, cannot imagine needing to… Maybe I should… hhhmmm…

  38. Hi Myquillyn, its nice to met you. My name is Sharen and I have lived with name pronounciation issues my whole life too.
    I get Sharon, Sherrin, Shareen. It’s said none of these ways.
    Two syllables: Sh – ren, silent A.
    Can you believe I actually had a teacher in high school chew me out in front of the whole class one day because I corrected her mis-pronounciation of my name. I may have cried a little.
    Or a lot.
    Luckily though the other kids were pretty cool with it and the whole class whould usually be the ones to let the teacher know they were saying it wrong.
    And yes, my kids will have names that are said how they are spelled :)

  39. I just discovered your blog and I love your name…do you have a “nickname” at home? My daughter’s name is Penelope…which is not a popular name, but not unusual either. People freaked out when they found out I was naming her that though because they think it’s too difficult to say, which…it’s not really. Names are wonderful things and I think you should wear yours with pride! :)

  40. I know. . . me too. . . I’m guessing you have no idea how to pronounce my name and believe it or not, it is among my main struggles with going online. I have used my initials or usernames to this point. Amazingly I use my name on Twitter. . . that was an accident that I simply have tried to be brave about. ;) My name is pronounced RoSEEo Long ‘o’s and the accent is on the ‘i’. I so hear your heart in this issue, but for what it’s worth, I absolutely love your name! Blessings, friend. :)

  41. Just got back from “no electronics allowed on trip” trip… and was so happy to read this post! I’ll keep this short – thanks for sharing! And, no worries if you can’t pronounce my name correctly :) I’m use to it. And I celebrate the fact that it is different. I forgive the “Janets”, the “Jannas”, the “Jants”, it goes on and on… I’m happy it’s not easy. It makes me feel unique! For the record, I really like your name! It’s lovely…

  42. Wow, I love all of your names!

  43. I also, have a unique name. It’s Shene’, as in rhymes with Renee. And yes, it has the ‘ at the end. I’ve spent my life explaining it, spelling it, and cringing when I’m called “Sheen” or “She-nee”. (Why would those ever be a first name?) I YEARNED for a bicycle license plate with my name growing up. Now, I hate when you have to give your name for your food. I’ve just given up and give a fake name…I just have to make sure I remember what I told them and respond to it.

    All that being said, it is kind of nice to be the only one and not have to go by Jennifer B. or Jennifer W. in a school setting, etc.

    Like it or not, at the end of the day, I just couldn’t imagine being anyone else.

  44. I nearly choked with cough-laughter when you came to Emily!! Can I just tell you how many Amys there are my age – about a billion and thirty four!! I loved meeting you at Allume and had figured out your name before then. I love this post and that you wrote it out there with such humor. I promise that I’m not a unibomber even though I do have stalkerish tendencies and may have freaked you out at the conference. Sorry about that! (I’m an extrovert of the highest order) You truly were a highlight for me.

  45. I feel ya. My first name rhymes with a certain male body part. Fairly certain that that was unintentional by my mom, who is European and didn’t know English at the time.

    Luckily, most Americans pronounce it eye-nis … which I just go with ;)

    My friends call me Nis.

  46. My husband has trouble with his name, too. It’s Hugh but the spellings are hilarious that people come up with. Ever order fast food and they ask for your name? We’ve seen Huge, Hug, Hue and my favorite, Q. Sometimes he just tells people his name is Steve!

  47. Well, my name really is Amy. :-) lol

  48. Heehehehe! Love this! I am an anonymous blogger for my children, not for me. Although I do not post my name all over my blog so that my blog is not found by people I may know in real life. Isn’t that just odd?!! I feel odd. I don’t mind being odd though. I wonder how many people are looking all over for me because of these things now. Hmmmm… Ah well!
    My name is Dee. :)
    Take care,

  49. Hi,
    I think it’s funny how recent generation have seen a surge in unique names, because I am one of those who was born in the 80s and am not entirely sure why parents these days think that’s a good thing! Especially when they make the name sound unique AND spell it oddly. There are so many names to choose from that are also “unique” as in not in the top 100 most popular, but still in common memory, so the child is spared the repetition of pronunciation and/or spelling their entire childhood.
    I understand the bravery it takes to share your real (full) name online since you might just be the only one, and therefore easily found, for good or ill. My married name is, in my mind, somewhat worse than my maiden name, since it combines the spelling difficulty with pronunciation difficulty. It’s Jacy Stuck, but the U has umlauts. So it’s Jacy, pronounced just like Lacey (and you can imagine the creative spellings I’ve seen – Jaycee, J.C., and once, Jay Z!), and Stuck is pronounced stew-k. So yeah, I feel your pain. Thanks for sharing!

  50. What a beautiful name! I have to admit when I read a past blog post of yours about not revealing your true name, I did try to google it and find out what it was… Sorry I swear I am not a stalker… I never honestly gave much thought to names until my siblings and my husband’s siblings started having kids.. Now we have some different names in our family, but here it goes! We have Aeson pronounced Jason but with no J (Ace for short) Hymilee (huh-miley) she goes by Miles, Khale like the vegetable… then finally little Miss Finley came along… All the other kids have what you could classify as normal names. So I admit I do cringe at times when I have one of those kiddos with me and someone asks their names and you see the perplexed look on their faces…. But I’ve been a Jill my whole life and nothing is more annoying then someone on the phone is saying Joe or Joan… So I have had to use the phrase like Jack and Jill for as long as I can remember.. and no I married a Ben! But I will not be like my crazy parents who thought it was funny to name each of their kids with the letter J… My mom can never say my name, it literally comes out as Jail every time she says it.. Her excuse is that she is thinking about my brother Jason but trying to say my name.. Love your name!