Saturday, May 31, 2008


I used to call my brother Burnhead.  Burnt for short.  Or I did till he got married,
and for some reason, his wife didn’t appreciate it very much. 

I don’t remember how that nickname came about, although since his real name is Brent, it’s possible that Burnt came from a morphing of that name. 

It could also be because he once rubbed the head of my brand-new Ken doll against the rough wall of the living room.  It took off all of Ken’s nice hair.  We had to use a magic marker to
help repair the damage, but the head always looked burned after that. 

Isn’t it odd about nicknames?  These are really called “hypocoristics” or “pet names” (according to Wikipedia) because they’re used between people with a close emotional bond.

The Old Days seemed to have more nicknames than nowadays.  When I was growing up, there was a man everyone called Skinny.  There was a Red, a CJ, a JC (CJ’s cousin, of course), a Stretch, and Hap—everybody liked him.

In the third grade, I was called Scabman.  That was due to my severe and serious run-in
with poison ivy when my parents were clearing out a fencerow and I “loved-up” the dog a bit too much.

In the sixth grade and beyond, I was called Porky.  My nose seemed to flare out in a certain way
that caught the attention of some of the boys.  It WAS done affectionately….

Two of my high school friends still sometimes call me by the nicknames we had back then.  My friend Chester calls me Spike, and my friend Johann calls me Alice, which comes from the major role I had in the musical Bye Bye Birdie:  I had 2 whole lines (unless you count the 3rd  line I spoke when Karen forgot to get us started on Act 5).

In my own house today, we have a Bob.  That’s because two-year-old Ben always answered “Bah-bee” when you asked him what his name was.  When I went to the homeschool convention, I
bought him a shirt with Veggie Tales’ BOB THE TOMATO on it, with words that
said, “Hi, my name is Bob.”

We sent him off to VBS at a sister church with that shirt, and his teacher, who had never heard of Veggie Tales (you're right, they have no television) thought that was his name.  It took years to get THAT straightened out!

The rest of us in this house decided we needed nicknames too.  So we sat down and came up with names for ourselves. 

But when you do it that way, it never really sticks.  These names only really get used online or
for computer documents.  I’m afraid you’ll have to come to my house and rummage through my computer to find out what THAT one is for me!


  1. This is MOST unfair.  You can't just start a story and leave it hanging!
    Your Older Son has nicknames... which at least get used at our house... A.W. and A1 both.  (And they have both confused me on food related items -- rootbeer, obviously, and steak sauce.  I think of him every time we have steak sauce.  :P)

  2. You are correct....nicknames were much more in vogue at one time. Hmmm. I wonder why that is....

  3. and GopherBrane did not happen to mention the moniker your DS has given her... at least, last I knew, it was Pisces Obesus...
    this from the mother who today woke her children with a loud cry of "Pickleheads! Time to rise and shine!"
    Around our house, we do more than our share of nicknames. But I don't think they make it outside of the family.

  4. Oh yeah, nicknames are huge in our family. We have Sweet Petunia, Daisy Mae, Mattiekins, Deanie Boy, Chipmunk, Mei Mei and Rae Rae. My grandmother was one of 13 and they ALL had nicknames that stick to this day.