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Saturday, September 4, 2010

Nicknames

I never had a nickname. My name is short enough, only four letters, and doesn't lend itself easily to a nickname. Or so I would tell myself while secretly wanting one.

During my first pregnancy I thought a lot about names. I thought a lot about names that had commonly known nicknames. We didn't know if we were having a boy or a girl, but I was pretty sure I wanted my kid to have a nickname.

The girl was named in the hospital room. Thankfully she was a girl because we didn't have any boy names we liked. We hadn't settled on a girl's name, and the husband was ready to have a discussion, but I knew. And so I named her.

From the beginning it felt strange to call her by her name. It seemed so long for such a small child. When I would hold her in my arms I would call her everything but her name. Whispered terms of endearment. Laughing silly words. Always coming back to her nickname.

From the time she could talk she called herself by her nickname. She would speak about herself in the third person. She would introduce herself to others that way. When the girl was not yet two and she met another little girl with the same name, she just called her MoreNickname. She still calls her that.

The nickname was who the girl saw herself as being. It is who we see her as too. Until I want her to stop jumping on your brother and listen to me! Then I trot out her full name and repeat it loudly in my sternest voice.

The boy wasn't named when we left the hospital. Thinking, but not knowing, we would have another girl we had decided on a girl's name but not a boy's name. We discussed a few. We had a preference. It wasn't until we were home and the girl said her brother's name that we were sure.

The boy's name is longer then mine but shorter then the girl's. It has a common abbreviation that I love, despite the fact that it is also becoming a popular girl's name. To us the boy is both this full name and his nickname. He still doesn't call himself by either. He is just me.

I never had a nickname. I have one now. Another four letter word. A word that is shouted. A word that is filled with demands and pleading. A word that is shared with countless other. I love it.

10 comments:

  1. I was named specifically for all the nicknames and when I called myself "Jekka," before I knew anything else, I got an automatic third. Enter high school, and my sister started calling me, "Juicy," too. Not bad for a seven-letter name, right?

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  2. I have a name that cannot really be 'nicked'. It's really dull. I never considered that I actually do have that other nickname too. Pretty cool!
    I gave my daughters names that I could nickname and even named one For the nickname. Of course she insists on being called by her full name, spoilsport.

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  3. I always kind of wanted a cool sounding nickname that would make me sound like a trashy secret agent or a gutter punk. Like "Trash" or "Rocket" or... I don't even know. Instead I got stuck with Lizzard as a childhood nickname. Which is fine but it makes people think I have a thing for lizards.

    Nicknames are best when other people give them to you, don't you think?

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  4. When I had Joel, I knew he was going to be Joel. It's a name that also doesn't lend itself well to nicknaming. But I have managed to find several for him. Mostly I call him Joel-ey. My husband picked Mieka's name, and she gets called Mieks or Miekey quite a bit. When I was pregnant with her, her nick name was Josephine :)

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  5. i am the only one that is allowed to call the jellybean, jellybean. i imagine myself calling him jb when he is older. i really liked the name sebastian, but the hubby didn't like the shortened versions of seb or bass. i know both and like them both. but we are happy with the name he has. it suits him. though i hardly ever call him it, unless its with my stern voice. um, well, i guess that is all the time these days...

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  6. My daughter does not have a nickname, because her name doesn't lend itself to that. My son Jacob, though, there's the obvious 'Jake'. I don't use it, EVER. I don't have a problem with it, but I far prefer his whole name. And I'll admit, when people just assume and abbreviate, I feel vaguely annoyed. Which is totally irrational.

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  7. Kiernan is Kier and Juliette is Julie (or Jules to some) and Quinn has a similar problem to you (and I loathe Quinny ;)

    Some people call me Lar and I actually really like it, despite few people feeling the need to shorten my name. Mommy is definitely the most special of all though :)

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  8. Just today Gal Smiley asked me why I never use her name. She said, "You always call me sweetie, or honey, or sugar pie. But never my name." I think she's afraid I don't know it. I hope I can make her understand that my nicknames really mean, "I love you." Honey pie :).

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  9. I never had a nickname either, but I love calling my pets all sorts of silly names, like Ceecee, Booboo and Bear.

    Crazy animal woman that is me! (Hey, that could be my nickname! ;))

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  10. Names are such a big part of a person's identity. It's such a big responsibility naming a child. Luckily my girls love their names and I hope they always will. I personally like the somewhat unusual names that you and I have :)

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