What’s in a name, part 2
I grew up in a neighborhood with a lot of other children. We played outside, generally from sun up until sun down, and we all knew each other very well.
One of the funny things about growing up in my neighborhood was that everyone had a nickname. Well, at least all of the boys had a nickname. These nicknames were a part of them, and became a part of their personalities. There was no getting around them and most of them are still in use today. This is mainly because so many of us still live in or around the same town we grew up in, and we still see each other on occasion. Sometimes this is by accident—it is very likely you will run into someone you know at the grocery store or local Target—but generally, many of us keep in touch and are still friends.
I still think of everyone in terms of their nickname. “Buckethead” was so named because of an unfortunate haircut. This nickname is often shortened to just Bucket, and everyone who grew up with us knows exactly who Buckethead is without ever mentioning his ‘real’ name.
There was also a Segneddet (pronounced sedge-na-dett) which was his actual name spelled backwards. Whenever this boy is mentioned, I automatically reverse his name in my mind. The name “Raisin” was given to someone because he looked like one, as was the name “Dutch Boy”. Dutch Boy’s little brother was known as “Chino”, and even their mom had a nickname, “Burl”.
Raisin’s little brother was called “Spike”, I think because of his hairdo. Another boy was called Lizard because his name started with an L, he sort of looked like one, and I think he had a pet snake, which is sort of like a lizard.
There was a Sheepdog (he looked like one), a Hulk (he looked exactly like Hulk Hogan and still does), Duck (can’t remember why), and Bagel (he was Jewish). Spooey lived next door to Bagel, and Mile Smile was the only girl that got a nickname because she was the coolest and also had a big smile. She lived behind Sheepdog.
Scary Blob was also called Hairy Slob (both of these names rhymed with his real name). He was also called Walrus. This is unfortunate because Scary Blob was my favorite and I still have a huge crush on him. Also, he’s not scary. Or hairy. Or a walrus. The other boys were probably just jealous because he was so cute. Whenever my husband is mad at me I tell him “Hey! If you ever dump me I’m just going to go marry Scary Blob!”, which doesn’t have quite the impact I want it to have. Still, I’m sure he’s scared.
My own little brother was called “Chimp” and also “Chi-Chi” which was short for Mon-Chi-Chi. Mile Smile gave him the Chi-Chi nickname because she said he was her little mon-chi-chi. If you don’t know what a mon-chi-chi is, here is a picture of one.
Here is an old picture of some of the people I’ve mentioned:
Buckethead is in there. So is Bagel, Mile Smile, and Raisin.
As I said, the girls didn’t get nicknames. I, however, was given a nickname by two evil boys in the 5th grade. There are maybe a handful of people (including said evil boys) who know of this nickname. It isn’t a variation of my name, and it doesn’t have anything to do with my appearance. It is the name of a movie character from when I was in elementary school. It is very obscure. I can’t remember the name of the movie or why they chose to call me that. I only remember them saying, “From now on, we’re going to call you (name withheld)”. I have since come to love this nickname as I love all the nicknames mentioned here because they were given out of fun and remind me of good times. I love my nickname so much, I considered using it as my pen name, but instead decided I’m going to use the name in a story. If any of you know the nickname (besides the two evil boys and those of you I have personally told it to), let me know…perhaps you will win a prize.