Friday, June 30, 2006

Nicknames

Nicknames are an overlooked yet fascinating phenomenon. I am talking about nom de plumes, pseudonyms, those "endearing" pet names we saddle on our friends. Most of us have had at least one of them assigned to us, but I have had many given to me. All of them are nicknames I want to forget, but the cruel connection they had to one of my visible traits branded them into my brain forever. In some cases, the nicknames came from a chance rhyming scheme dreamt up by some devious, knuckleheaded, prepubescent boy. I never had a cool nickname like A.J., Duke, or T-Bone (the nickname George Costanza tried to get everyone to call him). No, not me. I had nicknames like Itch, Red, Fart Face, Mr. Shiny, and Pink Honky. I hated them all.

I have been on the dispensing end of nicknames. What a tragedy that is.........well, at least for someone else: Dinky, Booty, Caboosie, Meat, Bittle-Battle, Noodles, Jackal, Spasmo, and my personal favorite, Crutch Butt. I also handed out some good ones, ones that the recipients were proud of: Jimbo, Rosie, Double O Seven, Captain, and my personal favorite, Smoothie.

I also have nicknames for kids. Now I am not so cruel as to have nicknames for the individual children in my life. I am talking about nicknames for children in general, or more specifically, those kids who run through restaurants screaming and bumping into diners' chairs, leave boogers and other leakage on shopping baskets and everything else I come in contact with, or stare at my head and then ask, "Say Mister, what happened to your hair?" I know I should be ashamed, but I have nicknames for those kids in our society. Many are obvious and everyone has heard them. Others are new and created by myself. These nicknames are: Rugrats, Imps, Brats, Tots, Urchins, Chits, Mess Masters, Toy Trashers, Booger Eaters, and my personal favorite, Hornets, as in, "Uh-oh! Hornets at three o'clock!" Some are more affectionate, such as Pizza Eaters, Chilluns, and Muffins.

Do you have any nicknames for kids in general? Do you have any nicknames for yourself or nicknames you "dished out" to a friend when you were a kid? Please share them by writing them down in the comment spot below this blog for all to read. No comment is necessary. Just write down a nickname. We'd all love to read it.

13 comments:

Laura said...

For Jake:
munch
pooper mcscooper (how awful really)

For Olivia:
liver biscuit. This one is especially confusing for Simon, whose favorite sentence is "want a biscuit". He is starting to eye Olivia hungrily as a result.

My favorite one for kids MBF Tracy coined a few years ago: Parasites.
The tagline of this blog is stolen from her, as she called me one day and sighed, "They're sucking the very marrow from my bones...."

Laura said...

Uh, and when were you hanging out with pimps who gave you the moniker "Pink Honky"??????

tracy said...

Walter you touched a nerve with the nickname thing. Mine was chubber from the age of 9...yes what a wonderful older brother I have, I'm 42 and it still bugs me. Last summer his daughter called her younger brother the same name..I came near to kicking her butt so hard.

Kids that are all over you...my personal favorite: red ants

I of course do not remember using the nickname parasites, but I like it!

tracy said...

Nicer nicknames for my kids.
pumpkin (for Jacqueline) my mom called me that when I was a kid
bunny (for Hayden)
These of course are doled out when they are not being red ants!!

Walter said...

I managed a convenience food store in a tough, black neighborhood. One of the black customers put the tag "Pink Honky" on me. I hated it and fortunately, it didn't catch on, but he used it.......relentlessly.

Laura said...

oh my god, I forgot Red Ants, Tracy...one of my favorites...!

Laura said...

I went to school with kids with great nicknames: Kitzi, Bitsy (River Oaks gals), Trey for the boys (they were the thirds in their waspy lineage) or Kip.

I never had a nickname, and still want one...

Walter said...

You need to qualify your statement that you want a nickname. I mean, you could wind up with a moniker like "LardAss." I bet that doesn't work.

Jack said...

Peanut.
Ellie-belly.
Katie-batie.
Ally-wally.

Then there's the silent ones (or said aloud to other drivers who are out of earshot):
asshole.
jerk.
incompetent shit-for-brains.

Hey! Many of the names in your post I recognize as being ones you used mercilessly on me, you , uh, peanut.

Anonymous said...

I just remembered that peanut was short lived and quickly evolved into variants:
goober
goob
goog
I was astonished a few years ago to realize Garrett's cousin called him Goog. I hadn't used that name since he was 2, but she still calls him that.

Anonymous said...

My brother called me stinky. I always hated it. My husband thought it was funny and now he calls me it when he really wants to hurt my feelings. I don't think anyone should be called a nickname.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you, Gorgeous, but that just ain't gonna happen. People just love to use nicknames, so you'll have to tough it up, Gorgeous.

Ariane said...

Laura,

I adore Kip as a nickname.