Wednesday, April 8, 2009

What's in a nickname: My nicknames

When I was a sophomore in high school I sat down before class and wrote out a list of all the nicknames that I remembered being called throughout my life. At the time I came up with around forty nicknames. This could be considered a testament to how well liked I was— but since many of them were derogatory, I tend to think it just shows how multifaceted I am. Since that time the number has grown to 53 at last count— so large that I am considering rewriting the list on a new 3x5 card (but don't for fear that the old card will fall into the wrong hands).

At one time I had strict guidelines as to what constituted an official nickname that made it to the list— but I may have become more lax lately since any nickname is flattering to have. Here are some of the guidelines that I used to use:

The nickname must be used by two different people.
I always find that if I hear someone use a nickname, that it must be said by two different people. If it's not, then it's probably more of a pet name and not a nickname.
The nickname must be used in more than one place.
I certainly don't want to be called something at a party and it never be used again. It's always helpful if a nickname is used in more than one locale— but sometimes it only works in one place.
Self promoted nicknames don't count until someone other than myself use them.
In high school I used to answer the phone "Hello, CJ" in hopes that people would call me CJ. It wasn't until five years ago that someone other than myself called me CJ.

Throughout the years I have had many nicknames— from those that my father used to call me as a child, to those that people give me just to identify me from all the other people who have the same name as me. I've had a lot of nicknames created based upon what I was doing at the time, and even those that relate to how I look.

I'm not much into giveaways… but I will challenge you to either come up with some new ones— or tell me a story behind one of my better nicknames if you know them. The biggest challenge should be if you can come up will all 53 of my nicknames. I'll forewarn you that some you may never guess… (unless my 3x5 card has fallen into the wrong hands).

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