Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Multiple Nicknaming Disorder (MND)

What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.

Juliet got it right, but one can have so much fun with names.

I have this thing with nicknaming the people I love.

I think I might get this from my Dad who has several nicknames for each person in our family.

If you must know, his nickname for me is Kit. Or Kit Kit. Or Kit Whiskers. Don't ask. It doesn't make sense.

Or Olive Oyl. Oh geez, that one sadly made sense and made one tall, gawky, self-conscious teenager mad growing up.

I at least developed hips. Maybe not the upper half of the development, but the hips are there. Sadly.


Dad's nicknames are never a play off of one's real name. Oh no. They're too unique to be an offshoot of a name. Although Kit and Olive Oyl are familiar to the ear, many of his nicknames sound more like a name for a Dr. Seuss creature. For instance, someone in our family was referred to as "Spadook" for at least the first five years of life.

I can probably count on one hand the number of times my Dad called my Mom by her given name. And this was probably in reference to a Census Bureau question or something similar. If Dad calls you by your real name, it's serious business.

And here I am. I do the same thing. My sister's nickname 'Joey' had to be abandoned after I married a real 'Joey'. She is now 'Jo'. I won't list the nicknames for my brothers as I would be excommunicated from their world if I mentioned the embarrassing nicknames I've had for them since they were little. Or my fun nicknames for Joey which are endless and constantly evolving. I won't go there.

But I will give you a little insight with my dogs: Bogart and Gus. Joey has cautioned me in my use of multiple names for our dogs and fully believes that Bogart has no idea what his name is because I never call him the same thing twice in a row.

Here are a few of the most frequently used nicknames (FUN):

Gus: Gustafer, GusGus, Gusser, Gusarooney, Gusaroo, Gustafari, and Gustave (this is when he's being suave).

Bogart: Bo, BoBear, BoBaby, BoBuddy, My Little Bofriend, Bozer, Mr. Bo Jangles, Bomaniac, Boger Bear, Bowie, Bozer Bear and Bogie.

What is it with all the 'bears'? I was recently informed by a co-worker that her childhood nickname was BoBear. So I'm not alone with this little naming convention.

So there you are. If I call you something other than your given name, know that you are loved.


  1. Dad doesn't have a nickname for me! It's just Joanna Claire.

  2. I know! I was thinking that very same thing when I wrote this. I was thinking of all of his funny nicknames for people and then realized he always calls you Joanna Claire. Maybe it's because you were always in trouble that he kept the full-name-your-trouble-thing as your nickname...haha!