Brian gives everyone he knows a nickname. When he was still a teacher he had a nickname for almost all his students. That's how you knew he liked you. For instance there was Dean the Spleen (hi Dean, hope you're reading). Dean's side kick, Shaela, was affectionately called Sloopy. We don't really know where that one came from. His brain just works that way.
According to Wikipedia a nickname is:
"a usually familiar or humorous but sometimes pointed or cruel name given to a person or place, as a supposedly appropriate replacement for or addition to the proper name", or a name similar in origin and pronunciation from the original name. It can also be the familiar or truncated form of the proper name, which may sometimes be used simply for convenience (e.g. "Bobby", "Bob", "Rob", or "Bert" for the name Robert)."
Most of us have lived with a long line of nicknames throughout our lives. I've been call Carrie Canary, Cash and Carrie, Care Bear, Woody, Red, and I'm sure my students have had some nicknames for me that I wouldn't want to repeat. Since I've been married I've had whole string of Brian's nicknames, too. Of course the one that has really stuck with me is Phil as in Frednphil (that's a long story for another day).
So of course my kids have quite a list of nicknames that we have affectionately given them.
I call Grace Gravy Boat. I have no idea where this came from or why it stuck, but she answers to it and she has no idea what an actual gravy boat is, so it doesn't seem to bother her so far. Brian started calling her Grendel, as in the bad guy from Beowulf, when she was a little bitty baby and was having an especially monstrous day. She also doesn't get that literary reference yet so I guess we're safe for now. We probably should have saved that name for Louise.
Haven has the nickname Havy Wavy Chicken Gravy. Is that hilarious or what? Grace even calls him Havy Wavy! Brian also calls him Wooba. It sort of sounds like a cuddly stuffed animal name and Haven was definitely that as a baby. Check out this early post from Haven in his Wooba days and Grace in Grendel form.
Immanuel and Josias had nicknames picked out for them before we ever brought them home. Manny and JoJo have definitely stuck and most people don't even know their given names. I think Brian secretly likes them because they already sound like the names of professional baseball players. Manny is also known as Manny Boo or Boo Bear. Manny Boo comes from a kids song that was on one of their toys. Katriel calls him Boo Boo. It is soooo adorable.
JoJo has been known as JoJo the Destroyer from time to time, although we had to back off on that nickname because Grace started using it and blaming JoJo for anything that ever got broken in our house. Katriel's name for JoJo is even better. She calls him Dodo, so Brian has started called him Dodo Bird. That won't cause him a complex! Some people try to call him Joe. But he is simply not a Joe. He's JoJo--just like the sweet little boy who saves the day in Horton Hears a Who.
Katriel of course is shortened to Kat, but mostly I call her Kit Kat or Kitty. Brian calls her Fat Kat or Thunderlicious. She's not really fat like when she first came home and was drinking formula by the gallon, but she does have some serious junk in the trunk! Sometimes I whisper Pretty Princess into her ear. Isn't she gorgeous!
Louise was supposed to be nicknamed Lulu. That was decided before we met her. But it just didn't stick. She just wasn't a Lulu. She's too tough for Lulu. I definitely didn't want her named after Weezie from The Jefferson's, but darned if all her siblings haven't started calling her Weeze, mostly because Louise is too hard to pronounce. Her most endearing nickname is Mama Fifi. This is what her foster family called her back in Congo. Josephine is her middle name so that's where Fifi comes from. Grace likes to call her Luigi. More and more I've been calling her just Lou. Maybe its because of all the cross dressing she's been doing. Thankfully she has grown out of the nickname Yoda, but back at her first birthday you can see in this post she was a dead ringer for the little green man.
So will these nicknames stick? Will they bring shame and embarrassment or be comforting reminders of childhood? Will they be the sort of names that we are only allowed to call them at home, but never in public or in front of their friends?
I personally think fondly of my nicknames. They help me remember the person who gave them to me and the phase of my life at the time. Do you have any memorable nickname stories to share? Pass them along
and I promise I won't use them in public :)
Gotta go! Gravy Boat is begging me to come cuddle her. Can 't pass on that! My favorite nickname these days of course is Mama.
And speaking of Mama, don't forget to enter the big More Love Mama prize giveaway. Check out my post from Monday or visit Millions of Miles for all the details and the easy ways to enter.