As you could probably guess, my full first name is Abigail. Almost everyone I know calls me Abby, but here in Chile that causes some minor inconveniences. For some reason, “Abby” sounds like “Javi” which is a nickname for “Javiera”, and on more than one occasion people have become confused and thought my name was, indeed, Javiera. Also, I almost always have to spell Abby, and Chileans tend to have problems with double letters.
So, most of the time, I go by Abigail here. Plus, it’s my full name, and Chileans are formal enough that when introducing yourself you should use your full name even if everybody usually calls you something else. Here, Abigail is pronounced “Ah-bee-guy-EEL”, and most people know how to spell it already, only sometimes confusing the “B” with a “V” (they sound the same in Spanish).
There is one reason people know my name here: a soap opera.
Back in the 1980s, there was a soap opera (or teleserie) from Venezuela called, you got it, Abigail, starring Catherine Fulop (if you’d like to see some woman-flesh, I suggest doing a Google Images search for her…ahem!). EVERYONE in Chile who was old enough to watch TV in the 80s knows this soap opera. Inevitably, when I tell people my name, they tell me about the teleserie.
Yesterday, I was in a taxi with a very friendly driver. Normally I don’t like talking to taxi drivers because they always ask the same questions and it gets tiring. But this guy was so happy and positive that his good energy rubbed right off on me and we had a good time talking about anything and everything. At the end of the ride, he asked me my name.
“Ahhh, Abigail. A Venezuelan name,” he said.
I laughed and replied, “No, it’s actually Hebrew, but you’re right, there was a Venezuelan teleserie called that.”
“And are you like the Abigail from the show?” He asked.
“I doubt it, but to tell you the truth, I’ve never watched it. I don’t even know what it’s about!” I confessed.
Thank God for YouTube, you can find almost anything.
My conclusion? I’m pretty much nothing like Abigail, who is a high school girl in love with her literature professor. She’s pretty sassy, spoiled, and a huge flirt.
The above video is in Spanish, but if you’d like to laugh at some 80s fashion and sound effects, I invite you to take a look, but fast forward to about 1:18 because the opening credits are long!