Wednesday, March 12, 2008


As a child I longed for a nickname. The first time that the thought occured to me was in first grade. My friends and I were playing a game, and they came up with the name "Dee Dee" for me. I took to it, and when I came home from school that day I requested to be called,"Dee Dee" from that point on. My mom asked why, and when I told her that it was a name I had been using at school during recess, she agreed. We never spoke of it again. I started playing a new game at recess, and gave up on being called "Dee Dee", but the desire to have a cool nickname remained.

This desire was only fueled further a few years later when my sister gave nicknames to everyone in the family BUT me. The closest I got was another sister teasing me and calling me "Anya", which I hated because at the time, I was embarrassed by my Thai name. It only got worse when my brother called me "Rat", an even worse take on that same name. So, needless to say, my search for a nickname only intensified. Fortunately in middle school my friend Susie started going by "Sooz", and calling me "Daiz". I was so thrilled to finally have a nickname, and it is one that my friends still use. In having a nickname that I liked I felt that I finally belonged, and mattered to my friends. It was as if giving me that name signaled an acceptance from someone else, and a tangible proof of the affection between us.

This feeling has carried on through to today. When I get close to someone I usually shorten their name, or even change it completely. This is seen the best through the nicknames I have given to my children. And note, I gave them these names. Ed more or less goes along with them once he has heard them enough times and gets used to the butchering of his kids' names.

Even before we picked E's name, we had her nickname picked out, and planned to use it in everyday life. Once she was born she got a list of nicknames both based on her name and as terms of endearment : Ell Belle, Ellie Belly, Love Bug/Snuggle Bug/Bug, Belle, and Goose (as in "You are such a silly goose"). When N was born I started by calling him "NoBo" which got shorted to "Bo" which got lengthened to "Bo Bo" which got further lengthened, on occasion, to "BoBologne". I know, very silly- even Ed won't go so far as to call him that last one. But we still call him "Bo" and "BoBo" on a daily basis. When K was born, I didn't know what her nickname would be. I started by trying out "Linnie Lu" but it didn't really stick, although I still use it occasionally. What did stick was KK. When Ed first heard me calling her that, he asked why I didn't call her KC (her initials) but it just didn't fit. So Kae Kae it is. On top of all these personalized nicknames I have given my children, there are the general ones that I use interchangeably with all of them: Baby ( the older ones aren't too happy with that one, but I can't help it, I just find myself saying it), Cutie Patootie, Sweetie Pie, Sweet Pea, and my own made up version- Sweet Pea Pie.

So, I want to know what nicknames have you given and received?


Becky said...

This is so funny because I spent my young life trying to get rid of my nickname--Becky. I wanted to be Rebecca or Becca. Becky was "too childish" to me. My Dad called me Skeeter, don't know the origin of that one.

Aubrey has bunches of nicknames. Aubrey Boo has also gotten shortened to Aboo or just Boo. She also is known as Bear (she used to growl and sort of roar), Baby Bear, or her most common nickname Boo Bear, a combo of the two.

Pumpkin also is used. That was one of my nicknames when I was young, but it made more sense for me because I was an end of October baby. For a July baby it isn't very logical, but what do I call her, my little watermellon?

Tamara said...

Ahhhh, I've had so many over the years that I'm sure I can't remember them all. But we'll start with the one you know best: Tami. I intended to change to my given name when I changed schools my Junior Year of High School. But my mom filled out my paperwork with "Tami" instead of "Tamara" so I didn't bother trying to "change" it until college. But since no one can say "Tamara" correctly (sounds similar to "camera"), I let people shorten it to "Tam" (sounds like "ham"). I've also been called the following: T-Bird, Bert, Aunt Jemima (sp?), Jem, Tee, Tam-a-lam-a-ding-dong (that was Bridget's nickname for me at PMCA).... and I can't remember any others, though I know there were more. I have about a ZILLION nicknames for Davey (his given name is David) but this is long enough already! :)

Oh yeah - unrelated: I "designed" my blog with paper & other scrapbook products. Dave scanned them and somehow figured out how to make it "interactive" to use for my blog. I'm so happy I married a computer geek!

Tamara said...

here are a few more I just remembered:
my gram called me PRINCESS. Princess Suzy-Q. and Suzy-Q. i miss her.
my brother called me Bucky-Beaver-Bean-Pole (I finally got braces - just got them off in December) and Blister (as in "my sister is a blister").

partlycloudypilgrim said...

Mine are boring
I call G - just that G

Alice - I call Mrs. or Miss Alice (I think in recognition of the bossy thing - I find myself calling her Missus all the time.) Weird

Daisy said...

you are so funny, your nicknames make me laugh! Esp. "my sister is a blister"- I am sure my brother would have loved that one, if he had thought of it.

I love Aubrey's nicknames, totally my style- for some reason I always go with names that start with "B"- Elle Belle, No Bo, Erika Bearika, etc. I like Boo Bear, that is very cute.

PCP (or should I say "Sprite" :)),
That is funny that you call Alice "Missus". Although, at least you have a reason- I call my girls "Miss Lu all the time, for no apparent reason. And what are you doing up so early?!

EEEEMommy said...

I've had a dozen nicknames myself. Angel is short for Angelica, but then it gets shortened even more to A, Ange (long A), Geli (Jelly), Gel, Aine-ding (my baby sister called me this when she was born, and my dad has kept it up to this day), Angle, Angle B, Angle Beta (my geeky high school friends called me those). When I was a baby I was Moose. I had even more rolls than your K! :)

I also love to use nicknames with my kids: E, Elle, Em, & Ed (started as a family joke, from her initials & the sitcom about the bowling alley attorney...poor girl) are the regular ones. Elianna has the most depending on her mood: Sweetie-Anna, Silly-Anna, Grouchy-Anna, Goalie-Anna, I also call her Jeannie-girl (from her middle name)...I wonder if the other girls feel slighted that they don't have as many. I do use all the common ones: baby, love, sweetie, honey. Ethan gets called "son" a lot. I often address my daughters by, "hey, beautiful" or gorgeous, or pretty lady,...
Yep the list goes on and on, and I agree with you about the sense of belonging it provides. It's always kinda cool to me when someone outside my family shortens Angel to A or Ange. But PLEASE do NOT call me Angie or Angela or Ange with a short A! Ugh!!!

JoshHan said...

Hmmm...names are so interesting. I meant to ask you about this the last time you blogged about names but we will have to sit down one day and discuss the history of your names. I know before I got it legally changed to my middle name, my Korean name was the official first name on all my stuff. So I can identify with the juggle.

Bala Waxworks said...

Nicknames and pet names weren't used too often in addressing me, but there are two that come to mind. My first best friend began calling me "Lee Lee" while she was in kindergarten, and because it started so early in our friendship at a young age, we were never sure if it had any association with my middle name, or if it may closely resembled your having been called "Dee Dee" in the 1st grade. Most of my friends and family began calling me "Lin" from Middle school on as a familiar term of affection. Then in High school, a friend began calling me "Dr. Crane" since I was so analytical by nature and would advise her with her many associated "age related" calamities dealing with the crushes and social crisis that develop thru the harsh years of 9th-12th grade. I've had similar times in my lfe since High school and college that I have also been referred to as "Dr. _____" because others have picked up on my psychological tendencies in relating to people and problems. As for giving pet names to others, I've really limited myself to addressing my "little furry one"- ie: cone-face, mouse-face, Missy-moo, Daddy's girl, and pretty girl, etc. I guess addressing your 'kid' is always associated w/ nicknames- no matter if human or not!

Soo Jin said...

I have had some really mean ones growing up because people would look at my name and be totally confused. The most memorable one I got in college was slo gin fizz than eventually turned to fizz. Caleb doesn't have any special nicknames... just buddy or baby Caleb then when he started watching wonder pets and loving the show we started saying, Baby Caleb... this is serious from time to time.

EEEEMommy said...

Yep, the Lube. Yummy!

I keep thinking about this post every time I use a nickname now. I forgot quite a few for the kids. Emilia is called Mealy-Mouse by my family, and Mealy-Bug by Chris' and my family calls Evangeline Toad or Vange/Vangie (short a)-I don't particularly care for that one.
Chris doesn't have many, but his sister still calls him Dweeb.

I'm glad to read that your dad is home and doing well. We're continuing to pray for him.