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).


The Panic Room said...

when I was about 15 or 16 a "friend" at the time showed up to football and started asking to be called "dough-boy" he had even scribbled it onto a white T-shirt in marker. Well, less than an hour into the game we had all ripped his shirt apart and gave him a new nickname that stuck with him for years after that day: "dumb-bitch"

Trying to nickname yourself can go horribly wrong sometimes. We were nasty NASTY children.

Barbaloot said...

53?! How on earth do you ever remember all those?

Ann Imig said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog. Love the jelly beans. mmmm. Perhaps that's a clue.

Jelly Bean? As in Yo. Jelly BEAN! What's up?

Well, probably not.

See you 'round bloggy land.

Eternal Lizdom said...

My dad called me "Spud" as a kid. I loved it until about junior high. Now I wish he still called me that.

My BFF calls me Lizardo. He's the ONLY person who can get away with it, too.

And we have nicknames for our kids... Teagan is generally called Teapot. Zach is generally called Zappy. I hope those stick with them both for a long time!

Otter Thomas said...

That is an interesting thing to remember and catalog. People on my basketball team called me Bert. I have been called Julio because of my dark tan. I was chief in college. Mostly I have been 4 letter words though if they count.

Sprite's Keeper said...

This is an awesome break down!
I have known others who would ask to be called something when they were something else. An old flame of mine was named Richard, but wanted to go by his middle name, Todd. So everyone started calling him "Churd" which quickly turned into "Turd". Meh, he was a wimp anyway.

Anonymous said...

My grandpa used to call me Skeezix, but I don't think that counts, because I think he called all of his grandkids that when they were little.

My favorite, non-name related nick-name is Roxy. Silly story behind it, though. That was a college one.

There is no way I even have 20 nick-names. 53 is crazy.

Midlife Mama said...

I think you should use Cal or Calvin. I love Calvin and Hobbs...great cartoon. CJ is great too.

There is a woman that works for one of our vendors at work, and her name is Bonnie Jean....her nickname is BJ. Ummm...yeah. I'm thinking as a woman, I wouldn't want to be known as BJ...because men might get the wrong idea as to HOW exactly you got that nickname. *ahem*. I'm just sayin'.

Midlife Mama (just call me MM) said...

...and I have no nicknames. None. Zero. How sad is that?? Does that mean no one loves me?? I'm going to have to go ponder that one....

Hit 40 said...

My favorite nickname is sunshine. They called me that because I always smiled. Two children (boys) later - no one calls me sunshine. Olive Oil was also good.

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