Sunday, October 21, 2007

All in a Name

There are many positive and rewarding aspects to working with young children, but one of my favorites is the cute nicknames their parents call them when they arrive at the end of the day to pick them up. Some of the names are just love names, some are variations and butcherings of the child's given name, still others are siblings attempts at pronouncing the other child's name and it is just considered so cute the whole family has to join in.

"Hi Bean!"
"come here Be'be' "
"How was my little pea's day"?
"Where's Jaxie?" (Jackson)

It goes on and some of the little nicknames will probably stick on into childhood, much to these children's chagrin.
For example, when I was younger and my brother Jonathan was born (much to my delight by the way), I nicknamed him "Thins". It wasn't as if I couldn't pronounce his name (I had actually learned to enunciate and speak in full sentences by the time I was 18 months old, so speech wasn't an issue) but rather just a way for us to be connected. It stuck, and throughout the years, as we were growing up I referred to him as such for various reasons -- to show I loved him, to irritate him, to embarress him, whatever and whenever the urge struck. There were times he didn't mind and there were moments I know he could have strangled me with his bare hands. My prents tried to force me to stop, but nothing worked and even now from time to time, I will dig into the recesses of childhood memories and pull out that little token of affection when talking to my baby brother.

With my own children, well, yes we are guilty of nicknaming.
Jacob is referred to as Jacoby pronounced Ju-ko-bee, with the emphasis on 'ko'.
Maxwell's name is of course already shortened to Max, but he still gets 'maxy' which I am sure he HATES, or soon will, and from other non-family members he gets dubbed names like Maximus, Maximillian, Maxwellian..the list goes on unfortunately. People seem to really have fun with his name. Poor kid.
Journey is 'sweetness', my name for her when she isn't whining or carrying on. So, needless to say I don't say it often! Kidding.
Serenity's little pet name is 'peek-ums'. Don't ask. Her brother designated that one when she was about 6 months old, I think because she was so enthralled and amused with peek-a-boo.

I have noticed around here a regional favorite that everyone calls their baby at some point is 'boo' . Regardless of name, gender or age. This one I do not understand, never heard before moving to the south, but alas, hear it nearly everyday when parents arrive to retrieve their little angels, and I can't help but smile.

Do you have a nickname? Do your children have love names or unfortunate nicknames that have stuck no matter what?
If so, do tell!


slouching mom said...

Unfortunately, we do. We call Jack "Jacky." Which he doesn't mind now, but will mind soon enough, I'm guessing...

I like "Jac-O-by"!

InTheFastLane said...

My 13 year old was called "Bug" by her much older cousins and still is. She doesn't seem to mind, yet.

niobe said...

We used to call one of our little sisters Anaconda and the other Rattlesnake. I don't think either one appreciated itl

JenK said...

The Kid is called Munch or Munchy-butt depending upon my mood and the Baby is called Bug. I've been told that girls should have something cutesy but it never fit. Munchy-butt fits. Bug fits. Hee.

painted maypole said...

ah yes, "boo" for every child was a new one for me, too.

I call MQ baby all the time. She is 5, and has yet to ask me to stop. I'm sure my days are numbered, though.

Amy York said...

I can honestly say I've never called my children "Boo". :) Bubby, Buddy, Ty & Gav... but never Boo :)

Christine said...

my little girl has always been sugar bean. not sure where it came from. . .

blooming desertpea said...

I call my teenage girl "cactus" but she calls me "momation" so I think that's a fair game

RealAge22 said...

I don't have kids, but as you know I have a dog named George who doesn't complain one lick about nicknames, so I feel this gives me the unique liberty of butchering his name into many other completely unrecognizagle words that I consider names.

A collection of nicknames for George:

George the Dog
G the D

Or any other combination of these words that might slip neatly off the tongue. But I can't help it, "I learned it from watching you!!" (gratuitous Charter Lakeside reference; few if any will get that one)


Anonymous said...

My oldest children were referred to as "Broom Hilda" or "Hildie" (because of the way she cackled) and "Boo", "boo-boo" or "boo-boo bear" because she reminded me of Boo-boo Bear in the Yogi bear cartoons.

Guess I watched too much TV when I was a kid...

Sara said...

oh yes,

my oldest kiddo is named alexander, called alex at school and otherwise. he has been piglet since he was born, skinny and long little dude his whole life. he's bubby, and alley and even alley cat, then there's al, and xander, and memaw (cause hearing difficulties) calls him alec.

dylan i swore up and down id never give him awful nicknames, but i have. he came home pooh, since he's always been a bit "chubbers" which was what i called him for a very long time, then there's dilly which my mom hated when i first started doing it and now does it all the time herself, and alex started calling him dildy 2 years ago and its stuck, which is TERRIBLE since its so close to dildo. course he gets the dill pickle thing as well, but mostly i just call him dill

Jenn said...

We have occasionally called our daughter "Boo" but it's only because we actually call her Boodles. I have no idea how or when it originated but it stuck (probably because my husband wouldn't let me call her Peanut because I already called the cat that). When she's being especially destructive she becomes "Boo-zilla" but that's another story. I was on a bus in London once and we drove past a storefront and Boodles happens to be an upscale jewelry store. I got off at the next stop and walked back to take a picture for her. Who knew?

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Remember Boo Radley?

When I moved to NC from Vermont, I was also amazed at the imaginative nicknames everyone seemed to have. And so many "Bubbas," which "Boo" may actually be a nickname for.. a nickname for a nickname. Hmmm.

Nearly everyone has two first names which are both used, like Billy Bob and Willie Ray.

My children's nicknames are all variations of their given names, although I called my youngest "Little One" until she objected.

Anonymous said...

We've witnessed many parents calling their babies boo-boo, or stangers calling our baby boo-boo. It seems to be catching on like wildfire for some reason.