Sunday, November 28, 2010


     I love nicknames. My oldest brother started this. He chose nicknames for my brother and me and when we were kids they stuck. (They are now classified, so don't ask. And yeah, I know, hypocrisy with a capital H.)
     I didn't like that then but now I too feel this need to nickname people. For me it's a playful, loving impulse. It's like a slowmo air punch to my beloved's chin: I only do this because I love you.
     Unlike my brother, my nicknames do not stick because IMO, they shouldn't. A long-term nickname is limiting; it loses its flavour. Words are delicious to me. New spices, new flavours. So I like to let mine evolve. And there's no logic to them. They're not alliterative and usually, they have no resemblance to anyone's actual name. I have nicknames for my wife, my daughter, our pets and even one co-worker friend (I shouldn't divulge his nickname. Let's just say it has something to do with urine and it never fails to make me smile.) But mostly my nickname compulsion is aimed at my son.
     This is a guy thing, isn't it?
     My wife tolerates this but once when my son was still a toddler, she vetoed one of my monikers. From those I can recall over the years (in somewhat order), can you guess which one she put the kibosh on?
  1. Smiler
  2. Bum-Scoocher
  3. Big Tooth
  4. Dawg (Word to Randy Jackson!)
  5. Dawg Log
  6. Diaper Log
  7. Rat-boy
  8. Googler
  9. Googlefish
  10. Hossenfeffer [sic]
  11. Mr. Deebs (This is loosely related to his love of all Adam Sandler's movies which I introduced him to with Happy Gilmour, a classic.)
  12. Deebzee
  13. Deebus LasVegas
  14. Ding Dang
  15. Flappy
     She vetoed "Diaper Log." Can you believe it?! She claimed I was calling him a piece of poop.
     Yeah. So?
     Oh that nickname still makes me chuckle so. I explained to my wife that after all those years of changing his diapers, I was entitled to this but shockingly, she could not comprehend that "Diaper Log" is actually a kickass term of endearment. She didn't get it. She still doesn't even after I rented I Love You, Man for her and kept pointing at the screen to underline each moment I felt validated. Oh I love that movie. Thank you John Hamburg. That movie just gets me *double fist pump.* Uh, yeah, probably too much eh? Moving on....
     This nicknaming compulsion is so familiar to my son that he barely blinks an eye. In his teens now, he too seems to be developing the habit. Not long ago he began calling his mother a variation of Mom: "Mumps." And me? "Measles."
     Yup. I'm proud.


paulsifer42 said...

I have a few of these, most date back to High School though. Jase-Face, Nyeh-Nyeh (This is the closes I can come to spelling what we call him), Na-vih (again, the closest I can figure), Xander, and a few others I'm sure I'm missing. It may be a guy thing, but I think it's all for the best.

Nicole said...

Peanut Butter Pants has been a favorite of mine for all of my kids. From the Latin term for infant poop: yuck.

My mom is the nicknamer in my family. I was Poop Stain (meant in the most loving way) and my sister was something like Princess Perfect Twinkly Nose. Guess who was the bigger pain in the ass as a child? My sister and I both realize that my brother could be nothing more than the Prince. We accept no substitutes. We know our places as not mom's favorite.

I love the idea of the evolving nickname. So true!

PS-Word verification is "smashypo." Big Brother is watching.

Artist and Geek said...

Your teenage son is calling his parents childhood illnesses?

Let's hope your endearing nicknames don't "evolve" into "Ebola" and "Cholera".

dbs said...

@paulsifer42 Those nicknames remind me of Avatar. Works for me.
@Nicole Poop stain = awesome. I think you might have inherited your mother's sense of humour. But as for Big Brother, he's so 1984.
(Sorry. Couldn't resist.)
@A&G Hahaha! Very clever!

Artist and Geek said...

dbs-most humble thanks. "Genius" tries to please. ;)

Alittlesprite said...

I started calling my son "Bubby-cub" when he was only about 4 weeks old, because he used to make these little grunty-purry noises when he was asleep. I still call him that today. He is
I'm not mentioning the nickname my brothers horrible friends called me at school.
Pretty much anyone who pisses me off is immediatly nicknamed "Dumbass".

Chelle said...

I remember taking a second to process in my brain that you were Mr ____ (I don't know if you're guarding your identity from these crazies or what, but you know your last name, so I don't need to put it in) and not just "Stew". Then I became a mature grown up and call you Dave, or Teacher Dave or Mr T (After your wife. Okay I don't, but that would be so cool).

My nicknames are as follows: "Bernie", "Meesh"(hate), "Chelle"(checkmark), "M-Lo", "Mickle the Pickle", "Pickle" & most importantly "Bees Knees".

Ali Dech__ and I called each other Diva & Newanda in highschool. We might have signed our work that way, too. I can't remember; high school is hazy for some reason *cough*.

baygirl32 said...

I have been hit with the same affliction! kiddo has been called everything from stinker to droopy drawers to little shit (I'll save husband's nicks for another day)

Michael said...

From the day my oldest was born, I called his penis (I hate that word) a johnson. "That's your johnson. Don't pull your johnson so hard, it'll come off. Put your johnson in your pants; nobody wants to see it at supper."

Years went by. When he was six, he had his first eye examination.

"Hello, I'm Dr. Johnson, what can I do for you today?" the optometrist said.

My son wrenched his head around to look at me. Eyes bulging. Mouth as wide as the shuttle bay on the Enterprise. "Johnson!" he mouthed.

Kudos to him for not saying anything out loud.

It was a perfect moment of timing and delayed gratification.

jono said...

Oh my goodness your posts do make me smile. :-)

The nicknames I use for my kids have all evolved over time until sometimes I cant remember how they started. The best part for me though is that now in their teens I hear their friends using the same names. :-)

The Gaelic Wife said...

Now we know what to call you. My dad had a nickname for me that only my husband knows. And that's the way it will always be.

dbs said...

@Alittlesprite I agree. Dumbass is indeed quite useful.
@Chelle Mr. T! My wife likes that! P.S. These "crazies" = hilarious.
@baygirl32 My wife enjoys swear-related nicknames too.
@Michael. SO FUNNY! You are so lucky he kept that thought to himself!
@jono Yes. Sometimes the history escapes me too.
@TheGW I hear you. Some information should never be shared but be careful, I bet wikileaks already knows.

Simple Dude said...

Total guy thing.. I am trying to think of a close friend of mine that doesn't have a nickname. Oak, Dirt, Dude (not me), Stone, Bumpy, Puffy, Joker, Smitty, Shmitty, Tailgate just to name a few.

My lady friend gets called Great One by people she works with for some reason. Personally I think thats disrespecting Gretzky just a bit, but it is what it is.

Kev D. said...

If she thought Diaper Log was calling a piece of poo, what did she think Dawg Log was? A piece of dog poo? And why is that okay?

Bum Smoocher is my favorite.

Missy said...

I have been Missy Pissy since first grade! The kids name was Kermit. Yeah, isn't that funny?

Vinny C said...

I'm surprised Rat-Boy was allowed. There's no way my wife was letting that one by.

Fortunately for me, nicknames never seemed to stick with me growing up.

Late comment, I know. I'm just catching up on what I missed in the last two days.

dbs said...

@SimpleDude Gretzky will have to live with it.
@Kevin D Good point re: dawg log. Uh, bum-smoocher wasn't on my list so is that one of your nicknames or some sort of Freudian slip?
@Missy No. That makes me feel bad and a little guilty for loving the nickname thing. Mine aren't mean are they?
@VinnyC Rat-boy was one of my favourites.

Elly Lou said...

I knew a woman whose real true name was Lauren Rich Fine. If I were her, I'd never let anyone call me by anything but my full, incredibly awesome, name.

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