A Rose by Any Other Name

The narrator of one of my current books announces early on that she and her husband have several nicknames for their 5-year old son: Chicken, Peach, Cutlet, Noodle, Sweet Pea. As the book goes along, she uses these nicknames frequently and it made me think about how much I use nicknames.

My daughter has had many nicknames over the years: Pooter, Babycakes, Babylet, Honeybunch, Punkin. My animals have many as well: Rhiannon, Rhianny-boo, Rhi Rhi, Guinevere, Gwen, Gwenny, Gwenner. Nimue, Nimmers, Nimeray, Zorro, Zozzo, Zodder.

I also have nicknames for a lot of my friends – Abster, J-fer, JuJu, Bob-o, Jaw… the list goes on.

I only have two nicknames given to me (that I know of): She and Verily Sherrilee. “She” is from when my baby sister couldn’t say Sherrilee and it kinda stuck.  And, of course, Verily Sherrilee was bestowed on me by my fellow baboons here on the trail.

Are you a nickname giver? Or a nickname receiver?  Let’s hear some of them.

32 thoughts on “A Rose by Any Other Name”

  1. In the nickname game, I am a giver, never a receiver.

    My erstwife sometimes called our daughter, Molly, Petunia. My name for her was Molliwog, and she has used that as an online identity.

    Our first cat, Pippen, had many nicknames. I mostly called him Piggen but also Piggity and Pippen-Poppen-Piggity-Poo.

    Brandy, my springer spaniel, was also Bangers and Brandy-Pupper.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Rise and Shine ‘Boonies,

    Well, yeah, I am a nicknamer. When my son was a child he was pumpkin-head, Tootsie Pop, sweet stuff, Honey-Bunnie, etc.

    The dogs, Bootsy and Lucky, are Bootsy-Lu, Boo-Loo, Little Lady, Lucky-Poo, Luckmeister, Lucky Duck, and on and on. They answer to almost anything.

    My uncle was creative nicknamer that had nicknames for everyone. It became his “Badge of Love.”

    Jack Sprat
    Oh, Johnny
    Nellie Bellie
    Gail Bird
    Julie Bug
    Dan’l Flannel and Pete

    Liked by 2 people

    1. We used to tease our parents that they had (yesterday’s theme) toilet names. Dad was “Harlan John.” My mother—Dorothea Lorraine became “Dorothea Latrine.”

      Liked by 3 people

  3. I will be off to Iowa to visit my mom for her last 80’s visit from me. Sept. 3, my next visit, is her 90th birthday. She says she feels old.

    I doubt that I will be on the Trail much.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. There were nicknames aplenty in my home town. I heard a lot of them whenever I was at my dad’s coffee shop. Clarence Thone was a regular customer. I was always told he was a “junk man”. I don’t quite know what that entailed, but he was terribly filthy and grimey. No one called him Clarence. He was called Abie, which was a stereotyped Jewish name, since Jews were stereotpyed as junk peddlers. The long suffering office secretary at the Farmers Union was called Tinkerbell. I remember Shorty and Swede, too.

    Husband is sometimes called Kiffey, an Irish diminutive for Chris. Daughter is Anniebelle or Little Volcano. Son is Gaberoo. One of my coworkers was christened Denelle, but is usually called Toots.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Clarence spent some time in the “House of Corrections” (Leavenworth Prison) in his youth for bootlegging.


  5. I’ve told before about how many ways you can alter “Barbara” – from Barbwire to Barbadino…

    Our cat Charlie was sometimes Chuck, and Snowball became Slushball became Slush. Kittens we had early on named Puff and Boots were Puss ‘n’ Boots, and then Pluff…

    Baby/toddler Joel was the Little Buddie, then The Boy. A brother-in-law was great with nicknames – nephew Vin became Vin Louie… will try to remember more of these.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I was called “Fancy Nance with ants in her pants” and “Groomsie”. My extremely precocious son, Steve, was called “El Destructdo” by the entire family for years.In 8th grade during a parent teacher conference, I was told that he’d either become a US senator or a Hell’s Angel. Thank God, he turned himself around and didn’t go the dark way!!

    Liked by 3 people

  7. I don’t do nicknames and People don’t call me anything either.

    There’s a clerk at the Kwik Trip who calls everyone “Hon” and a receptionist at the clinic called me “Bud” when I returned to her desk the second time yesterday.
    But I wouldn’t consider those actual nick names.
    At least she didn’t call me ‘Dumb Ass’.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. I’m really neither a nickname giver or receiver. There are two people, Bill Hermann and Rick Kelly, who call me Maggie, and from each of them I know it’s a term of endearment. But no one else has really attempted to give me a nickname. Perhaps it has to do with the no-nonsense personae that I project, all business and no fun, don’t really know.

    Hans has a few nicknames for me, but they are Danish and would be completely meaningless to English speakers, so I’ll not reveal them here. I suspect not having had kids makes a difference. I can see myself having all kinds of silly little names for kids. For adults, not so much.


      1. Well, I took the moniker PlainJane when I first started participating on the trail. I actually thought it was a requirement to have some sort of handle. I chose it because of the background story that gave rise to it, a sort of reminder not to take myself too seriously. Other baboons, promptly shortened it to PJ, which I like, and that’s really how I think of myself when I’m participating in baboonish matters. I got a chuckle out of Jacque – I think it was – admitting that for the longest time she thought PJ was my real name. 🙂

        And yes, my parents always called me Margaret. Strangely enough since my mother’s friend, for whom I’m named, went by Marge.

        Liked by 2 people

  9. The nickname used for strangers in this area of Michigan is Bud. “You want fries with that, Bud?” I’ve not been called that before. If you travel anywhere south you will get called Hon or maybe even Son.

    Liked by 3 people

  10. I notice that many of our Native American friends have given names that they are rarely called, and go by their nicknames. They also have formal traditional names. . It could be a phenomenon in plains tribes, since I don’t know what other tribe are like.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. This is actually a very common theme in fantasy writing. Your real name is a closely guarded secret, to give it out to people gives those people power over you.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. When I got my first cat, Franny, I called her Sweetie a lot. When the second cat arrived, I didn’t want to confuse them by calling her Sweetie, so I called her Honey. I called her that till I settled on a real name for her, which was Georgia.

    Mostly, though, I’m not one to use pet names or nicknames. No one ever calls me anything except my real name. I’m inhabiting a world that is very literal with names.

    Liked by 2 people

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