Saturday, July 14, 2012

Nick Names: Love'm or Hate'm

     Now I haven't taken a survey but I would guess that the percentage of people who have or have had nick names is pretty high. There are family , school , friends and sport nick names to name a few. My last post was on given names and then I got thinking about nick names.

     Now all of my family had family nick names. I was the first born and I was always called Grandpa or Grandfather by my Dad. I don't remember anybody else in the family calling me grandfather. My next brother was called Merce because some little guy, namely me, couldn't say Myrven. Other people in the community used this name. My sister was called Deen or Deeny because two little boys couldn't say Doreen. The fourth sibling was called Ditter because two little guys and one sister couldn't say Victor . My youngest brother was so much younger that he didn't suffer receiving a nick name caused by siblings who had problems pronouncing a name. Our mother did call him Dadid as his name was David. The Dadid probably comes from him not being able to say his own name when he was little.

    I have a neighbor who is in his mid fifties. His nick name is Dirt. He's a twin and guess what? His twin brother couldn't quite say Stewart. The closest he  came to it was Dirt.

    High schools are great places for nick names. My high school nick name was Pop, Pa or Paa. See any connections to another nick name I had? I don't know where this nick name came from and I was always too afraid to ask. The skinniest guy in the class was Tub. The guy with an early peach fuzz mustache was called Shnir ( don't think this is spelled right) and it means mustache in German. Other nick names were from name alterations. Bergy came from Bergen. Remp came from Rempel.

    As an adult I have had several names. The Eskimos called me Ehunga which means crooked mouth. It refers to my physical facial feature. When they got mad at me I was Ehungnaq. They would never tell me what this meant.

     As a teacher , I know that most classes have a nick name for you and it's usually not discovered by the teacher. One I did discover was Slime. Did I say anything? No. I did not let on that I knew their secret? No.

     As teachers we quite often played against school teams. I am not any kind of athlete, but I got the name killer in volley ball and it stuck for quite a few years. The sports world is full of nick names.

    Nick names probably come on a very incidental basis from very small happenings. But love or hate your nick name you're stuck with it. Somebody who tries to fight a nick name they don't like is asking for trouble.

  Fortunately most people have interesting  and descriptive nick names that end up being a lot of fun.