What’s In A Name?

A derby name is a very personal thing. It will follow you through your life, not just the life of your career. Some of my closest friends who have retired still are referred to by their derby names. They become our nicknames. When I first started many moons ago, I was told to choose a name. Coming from an athletic background, it was hard for me to think of something cheeky to call myself; I already had a few monikers. After all, we don’t give ourselves nicknames, they are typically bestowed upon us. I enlisted the help of my 6 best friends and they came up BIG. My derby name was going to be CU~T (pronounced cutie or QT). It was a push for both women’s empowerment and taking the power out of just one word. A short, short history of the word: it is believed that it used to be a term that meant strong woman and somewhere along the line its meaning was twisted.

Photo by Jim Bush
Photo by Jim Bush

This word though became the single worst word in the English language. It evokes many gut-wrenching feelings. Why would I call myself any version of that? Because I don’t feel any one word should have that much power. I was on a one (wo)man mission to take back the name. If I called myself that, then people might stop to think. Several people asked why I did it and I happily explained. They all seemed to take it well, including my Dad.Last season, I chose to skate under my legal name. I felt it was time for me & our sport to stop hiding behind something. This IS a sport. Currently, in my opinion, people should know our names. We shouldn’t be written up in articles as Tabrina, by day and CU~T by night. Also, one cannot print anything with words that look like foul language in mos articles. Or perhaps we should not identify as alter egos for the public to take our sport seriously. This is not to say we cannot have nicknames, we just shouldn’t need to hide behind them. We should be proud of our sport and the fact that we play it. We are amazing, tough, dedicated athletes.

After having skated for a season under my given name, no one was angry that I dropped my derby name from the master roster. Some people call me CU~T and some call me ~ T. Both are perfectly fine because they are my nicknames. They are me.

Tabrina Schreier
The skater formerly known as CU~T