(This was originally posted June 3,2004, so some of the particulars have changed--I no longer work with Charmel, and my dog Stormy has since passed away--but the weirdness remains the same. :))
It's a compulsion. I can't seem to let people who are close to me just have their given name...I have to give them a nickname, and often it gets completely out of control.
For example, take my daughter Elizabeth. It started with me calling her "Lizzy Boo." Then, for some reason, it progressed to "Lizzy Boo, the Tiny Roo." Not content with that, I had to shorten it to just "Roo"...which then morphed into "Roony Toon." From there it became "Roony Toons Adventures" (yes, I know it's weird!!!), then "Roony Toons Adventures in Odyssey," then just "Odyssey." Oh, the Odyssey of a nickname! Nowadays, I will often say something like, "Roo, will you answer the phone?" or something to that effect, so I guess it's calming down. Although for a while I was calling her "Roo Paul," and she just put her foot down on that one. You have to draw the line somewhere!
My husband Doug was first "Dougie-Wuggie" while we were dating (please don't get nauseous...I know it's syrupy!) Then I shortened it to Wugs or Wuggles. Sometimes I even call him "Wuggles the Clown." He totally answers to Wugs, though, because I've called him that for years.
Sometimes, the nicknames stick. When were were very young children, I started calling my sister Lisa "Lido." I have no idea why...but now that's what I call her, more often than not. We both attended the same Bible college, and as others would hear me calling her "Lido," they picked up on it too. Soon, complete strangers were calling her "Lido"--which she wasn't crazy about. "Lido" was a pet name that should have been reserved for close friends and family!
Then there was my good friend and former co-worker, Joel Griffith. (Joel is now a staff writer at Slavic Gospel Association
.) I found myself calling him "Joel
," with the emphasis on the second syllable. That reminded me of a girl I went to high school with, whose name was Joelle Palermo. So I started calling him "Joelle Palermo," and that got shortened to "Palermo." Soon, just about everyone who worked at the radio station at the time was calling him "Palermo," and I even still call him that to this day...and he answers to it!
Now, my co-worker Charmel
is often called "Charmie"---thanks, of course, to me. It's caught on to the point that people even call her that on the air sometimes. (Actually, it started as "Charmie-Pooh." Yep. Really.
Even the dog is not exempt. Our German Shepherd's name is Stormy, but for some reason I morphed that into "Stormcloud Trooper," and now, more often than not, I will just call her "Trooper." Smart dog that she is, she answers to either one!
Interestingly enough, given I'm the great bestower of nicknames, I don't really have one myself. Unless you count the fact that my real name is Cynthia and I'm almost never called that. Although, my dad used to occasionally called me "Cindoza," and my brother-in-law Steve called me "Cindinka." Come to think of it, my brother David has called me that too, and even "Dinkers" for short.
This weird nick-naming thing must be genetic. Apparently, Grandpa Garrett was a great giver of nicknames. And my sister Lido and I found out something really strange recently. One of the nicknames I had given Elizabeth at times was "Creekie May." (Don't ask...I have no idea why.) Come to find out, completely ignorant of that strange nickname, my sister sometimes called HER daughter "Creekie La Luna"!!!
I often call my sister Bev "Buv" because of the way a friend of hers used to pronounce it. And don't even get me started on all the strange nicknames I gave my brother when he was a kid. The one that has stuck through all the years is "Dave-o," which is useful to help distinguish him from my sister's husband, who is also a David.
As I re-read this before posting, I am once again reminded that I am REALLY weird. (sigh.)
For more on nicknames:
Here is a nickname generator
, where you can find a nickname ranging from mobster to superhero to vampire to rap star and a ton of other choices.
Do you know who was called The Sweetness? How about The Big Hurt? Here's a quiz to see whether you know your sports nicknames.
We can all identify The Big Apple and The Windy City, but what about Big Raggedy or The Fruitcake Capital of the World? Here
is a list of American city nicknames...TEXAS gets its very own list
How about you? Got any weird, funny or cute family nicknames?