What’s In an Email Name?

A common outgoing email...

I had just finished sending my hubby an email at work, asking about something exciting, like open season on health insurance enrollment, and I realized I’d signed the email with my first name.

To some people this would not be startling. I would guess some people sign their emails to spouses (and boyfriend/girlfriends) with their regular, given name. But in our relationship, it sounded odd.

We rarely call each other by our first names at home, in person. And yes, we have forced ourselves not to slide into the pattern of calling each other “Mom” or “Dad.” Occasionally I’ll get a “Jude?…”, when he’s trying to get my attention. Even that’s rare enough that the kids will comment on it and sometimes break into a bad rendition of the Beatles song.

So, when it comes to electronic communications we’ve developed another system. It started when we lived in Utah. I felt bad not signing my emails at all. They just seemed to drop off after I’d said my piece.

But signing “Judy,” like I do for all other friends and family, seemed very formal and stiff, for this man I’ve shared half my life with. So I started signing them “YFW.” I let him guess at first.

I liked some of the suggestions. “Your Foxy Wife?…” was my favorite. But it was not correct.

Just to play with the stereo type of the Utah culture, I began signing his emails YFW to mean “Your Favorite Wife.” It made him smile every time he saw it.

Now it’s stuck. He recently signed an email to his mom with ‘YFS’, meaning “Your Favorite Son.” His mom got a kick out of it, especially since she has five sons who all claim to be her favorite.

The typo in my email this morning made me wonder how other people handle this situation. What name or nickname do you use, when you’re signing the internet communications with your significant other? I’m sure I’m not the only one who doesn’t feel comfortable using her formal name, when corresponding with her informal spouse.

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11 thoughts on “What’s In an Email Name?

  1. We have always been Wifey and Husby for that and most things. Whenever we sign Sarah or Benjamin it is special because we so rarely use our actual names. The use of first names, especially full – Benjamin not Ben – are a stop and realize I love you moment for us.

  2. That’s an interesting question. My hubby typically gets only “J” as a signoff. But then, so do some of my close friends…

  3. That’s an interesting comment, Sarah, because I do sometimes get excited/touched when I hear him call me by my ‘real’ name. He so rarely uses it that it’s touching to hear. 🙂


  4. L., W.

    L for love and W for my name. I always use the period with the W. when it is him and for the friend I email most often it is simply W (or oxo W) without punctuation.

  5. First of all, mind-in-the-gutter-me thought the “F” stood for something else and I was thinking “Oh my!”

    Now that I know it stands for “Favorite” I feel much better 🙂

    I have signed e-mails “PF” (before marriage) and now “PV” (after marriage) since e-mail was first invented. When they were Air Force e-mails, they were “Lt PV” , “Capt PV”, and now “Maj PV”. I had to keep that “P” in there because my hubby was floating around often in the same unit, and he was “Maj DV”.

  6. My boyfriend and I call each other “feo” and “fea” lol (both mean ugly in Spanish). The other day I was in the bathroom blow drying my hair and I couldn’t hear him calling me from the bedroom until he shouted “CINDY!” and it startled me.

    1. That’s funny, Cindy! That’s usually when my husband calls me by my ‘real’ name…to get my attention!

      And Patricia…that version of MFW had never occurred to me! My husband will laugh when I tell him. 🙂


  7. My husband and I started dating just before Monsters Inc came out. We’ve called each other Kitty and Boo ever since.

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