Herald Journal Columns
April 1, 2002

Everyone has had a nickname


How many of us have ever had a nickname?

I'd venture to say that most people at some point in their lives have been tagged with a name that somebody thought was either funny, cute, or fitting to their personality or appearance.

I went to school with a kid named Buck, and to this day, I don't remember what his real name was. I do remember it was a nickname, though. I would expect that he still goes by that name rather than his birth name.

Sometimes the origin of the nicknames is difficult to trace. I remember a guy named "Greenie" who was not green at all. He told me that he got the nickname as a child, because he always chose the green crayon. That's a cute story, and I don't think he ever minded his nickname.

My family had a childhood nickname for me that I have always despised. I will never share it with you because I hate it that much.

Suffice it to say that the only one that ever gets away with calling me it is my dad, only because he's "Dad," and long-lost relatives that don't know any better.

You better believe that I am quick to point out that I now go by my given name, rather than that dumb nickname. Sometimes they get the hint, sometimes they don't.

By the end of the family gathering, however, they are already retraining their minds to call me by my birth name, because I am so adamant about it. I have been known to correct a person every few minutes if need be, just to get the point strongly across to them.

And if you are curious to know what my nickname is, all I have to say is this - too bad - and I'm not telling. End of discussion.

Unfortunately, my brother still does remember it, and has taken to teaching his children to call me "Auntie (insert nickname here)," which in turn has filtered down to my own kids.

The straw that breaks the camels back will be when he tries to teach our baby to call me that. Then we will have to bring out the big guns. And I have stories that are just waiting to be told!

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