Nicknames: How Do You Turn Phoebe Into Wobeson?
Novelist Joanne Lessner guest blogs about the family nicknaming tradition that can turn any upstanding name into something much more ridiculous.
My family loves words. We make them up, we pun incessantly, and we number several lyricists among us. We’re really rather annoying. But possibly the most vexing trait we exhibit, at least to those on the receiving end, is the generations-long tradition of an older sibling blighting a younger one with a ridiculous and, to the uninitiated, mystifying nickname.
We are nothing if not consistent in our weirdness. Our nicknames are all preceded by the definite article. For example, long before there was Rupert, there was my mother, nicknamed The Grint by her older brother. How, you may reasonably ask, did my Uncle John get The Grint from Helen? Apparently, she grinned a lot, and my uncle, misunderstanding the word, started calling her The Grinter, which he then shortened. My mother hated it, but as Helen was the 24th most popular name for girls born in 1941, my grandmother found it useful for getting her attention in a crowded store.
I can tell you how my sister Katherine became The Lool, since I’m the perpetrator of that misdeed. When she was born, she made noises that, to my four year-old ears, sounded like “la, la, la.” I started calling her The La Baby, which evolved into The Loolie La and, eventually, The Lool. In high school, she tried to use it to her advantage: “If you buy me a car, I’ll put Lool on the license plate.” She didn’t get the car, but she did finally give in and proudly own her nickname, adding party hats and other holiday flourishes to her signature the way Google now does. At her insistence, my children call her Aunt Lool.
Which brings me to the current generation. My daughter’s name is Phoebe. Who knew what a wealth of nicknames that would inspire! By the age of nine, she has racked up Phloebus, Phoebalicious, Phoebicent, Phoebazoid, Phoebelocity, and the adjectival Phoebibbian. And, following in the fine family tradition, her older brother Julian has landed her with The Wobe. Phoebe became Phobe, became Dobe, became Wobe, with all the accompanying diminutives: Wobecint, Wobobulous, Wobeson, and Mrs. Wobesonberry. Wobeson, in particular, amuses me. (I was so taken with it, I even gave it to a minor character in my novel as a last name.) It rather puts me in mind of ladies’ maids in English novels, who typically go by their last names.
“I’ll wear the green tweed traveling suit, today.”
“Very good, ma’am.”
Curiously, parental attempts to saddle the older children with nicknames have been unsuccessful. Maybe we first-borns are naturally more assertive, but I rejected The Weakel (from Squeaky Weakel), and Julian long ago sent back The Sport as a mailer-daemon. You might think that the younger sibs would stage an uprising and coin nicknames for us in retaliation, but strangely, that hasn’t happened either.
Recently, however, Phoebe put her foot down and now refuses answer to anything that rhymes with “obe.” The only nickname she has sanctioned is Pheebs, which came not from us, but from her friends. Whenever I slip, I’m met with a steely glare.
Secretly, I’m glad that she’s showing the mettle to forge her own nomenclatural identity. Do you remember The Simpsons episode when Homer and Marge are naming Bart? They troubleshoot all the possible nicknames, “Art, Bart, Cart, Dart, E-art…nah, it’s fine.” The point is no matter how hard you try to avoid a silly nickname, somebody will think of something you didn’t anticipate. And in my family, at least, if you’re a younger sibling, all bets are off.
Joanne Sydney Lessner is the author of Pandora’s Bottle (Flint Mine Press, 2010), a novel inspired by the true story of the world’s most expensive bottle of wine. The character of Jack Wobeson first appears on page 152.
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Whitney Gigandet Said
on January 3rd, 2011 at 2:53 am
It isn’t exactly a baby name, but I call my mother, whose name is Teresa, “Chu.” I fell into the Pokemon craze when it first made it overseas in 1996, and as a little girl I always loved pretending that I – and those around me – were characters from it and my other favorite television shows, movies, games, etc. Long story short, I called my mom “Pikachu” and “Chu” somehow managed to stick more than a decade later. Everyone calls her by it – me, my dad, my husband, my friends.
on January 3rd, 2011 at 2:53 am
My grandpa’s aunt is named Sarah but, she is called Doodle and then I have a cousin named Sarah and my grandpa calls her Doodlebug.
on January 3rd, 2011 at 2:56 am
I have a friend named Phoebe. Sometimes we call her Phobi Wan Kenobi.
on January 3rd, 2011 at 3:09 am
I’m Kristen, but my nickname is Joe. It started when I was really little with my mom saying, “Ready to go, Joe?” just because it rhymed. My dad picked it up and kept calling me that. My middle name is Marie so it didn’t come from that either! I swear I graduated high school with half of the people not knowing my actual first name. All my friends call me Joe and it was always my nickname for the softball teams I played on.
on January 3rd, 2011 at 5:37 am
I love nicknames my dad calls me bean it started out as jelly bean and my friends gf goes by Lou which started out as Luna from a french friend who had trouble her name Myra which she hates for some reason so it works.
on January 3rd, 2011 at 7:40 am
I named my now-21 year-old son Aaron with a half intention of calling him “Ari” and occasionally, jokingly called him A-ron like the very countrified receptionist at his pediatrician had. One day, after calling him this, he looked me dead in the eye and said, “My name is not Ari. My name is not A-ron. Ron [my step-dad] is a ‘Ron.’ My name is Aaron. A-A-R-O-N!”
He was all of three! LOL! And then, when he was in 5th grade one of his friends tried to give him the cool appellation of “Arrow,” but he wouldn’t have it! So, no nicknames for him!
on January 3rd, 2011 at 7:58 am
My dad came up with the longest nickname I’ve ever heard of for me: Ms. Lumpkin Bumpkin Pea Pickle Popper Puddin’ Pie Pumpkin. All one name. Sometimes it’s shortened to Pickle, and my mom occasionally calls me “Lou Beans.” Nobody in our family knows where they got those crazy names, lol!
I also have a brother whom our parents sometimes call, “Bricklink Sandwich”, out of Britton. That one just kind of evolved, haha.
on January 3rd, 2011 at 9:01 am
My son Peregrine has many nicknames–Pip, Perry, Pickle, Pen, Ping, and Lil’ P, all bestowed on him with love by various family members. Nicknames are funny that way…
on January 3rd, 2011 at 10:23 am
My name is Christina, but I decided at a very young age that everyone should call me Tina. That turned into Tina Bean and then just Bean and my step grandma shortened it to Tia, possibly just cuz she liked it more. My sister Emily gets Emma, Mo’, Emo, Momo, and Em. My sister Hannah gets Nan, Nanu, and when I was little I called her Nino.
on January 3rd, 2011 at 10:27 am
With the name Rebecca, my nicknames are fairly straightforward. Between friends and family I’m called Beccie, Becca, Bex, Betzine (a combination of first and last name), Beccie Boo (shortened to just Boo). My brother Joseph also has a few nicknames that are pretty self-explanatory, but my favorite is Giuseppe. Giuseppe is the Italian form of Joseph, and it’s one of the only nicknames my brother will respond to the first time.
on January 3rd, 2011 at 10:31 am
My first two daughters were born 12.5 months apart. As a result, my oldest couldn’t pronounce her younger sister’s name, Genevieve, when she was born. She would repeatedly call her “Di-Di-Dah” which eventually shortened to DiDi. You should see the puzzled looks on the faces of the people who ask her what “DiDi” is short for when she proudly announces that her name is Genevieve.
Nancy S. Brandt Said
on January 3rd, 2011 at 10:33 am
My daughter’s name is Juliette Amy and her uncle (my brother) calls her “Amy Jo Butterfinger Smith” or Little Face – and she’s 21 now. Her dad started calling her “Booger Child” just for fun which got shortened to Boog and I made the mistake of calling her that while helping out in her third grade class.
We adopted our son, Noah, when he was 8 weeks old and Juliette was 12. I call him “Boo” but his grandfather started calling him “No-ster the Toaster” and we all figure that’ll be what he puts on his football jersey should he ever turn pro!
on January 3rd, 2011 at 10:47 am
Our oldest son couldn’t pronounce his baby sister’s name when we brought her home from the hospital. Her name is India and he would call her “Inya” or “Binya”. Binya evolved into Beenya, and then Beans. So now, she’s Beans, Beanie, or our Bean Girl.
on January 3rd, 2011 at 10:58 am
I’m so glad other families torture eachother with ridiculous nicknames. Great topic.
I am a 27 year old wife and mother and my father only calls me by one of many ridiculous nicknames, usually Bone or Bono. I gave up the fight years ago. It’s just strange to be called Bone by one of my father’s friends who I’ve know since childhood. I’ll take you through the evolution; my name is Vanessa, my father has rarely ever called me this, became Ba-nessa, became Bo-nessa, as a skinny child became Boney, then Bone, then The Bone which was very off putting to my friends when I was a teen, now a softer Bono lingers. there have been other things that help reinforce this bad naming behavior. Perhaps my love of the George Thorogood song Bad to The Bone when I was a toddler catapulted the theme.
My sister tried to shake the name Bobo upon entering kindergarten when my parents joked about the teacher putting Bobo her name tag on her desk so she’ll know where to sit. At that time no one called her Jerica. When I was 4 I saddled her with the Bobo nickname which came from Rainbow Bright, I couldn’t say Rainbow, it was Bobo. Now I only call her Bobo on her birthday or special family events. Now my father has several very ridiculous nickname for her; Jeri-Coney-Biscuit-Face or The Corn Dodger, Coney, Cone, Corn, Corney. My dad gets a kick out of introducing us to people and Cone and Bone.
And my brother, the only boy is Sonny mostly. For awhile he was Sonny LeFever, which I think came from a Wrestler. Many more that didn’t have staying power. My mother still calls him LeFever or the occasional Squirrel Bait.
Emmy Jo Said
on January 3rd, 2011 at 10:59 am
When my brother was little, he couldn’t say our sister’s name very well. She’s Melody, but he called her Meddy, then Meddy-wee, then Meldy-ree, and finally Meldody. Meldody got nicknamed to Dody or Meldode, which then evolved into Doodle, Doodlebug, Moldy, Moldy-Poo, and Mealy-Toad. She doesn’t seem to mind the nicknames at all.
My brother is James, but he often went by Jimmy growing up. His nicknames have been the rather tame Jameson (since our dad is James, too) and Jim-Bob (though Bob has nothing to do with his middle name).
I’m Emily, sometimes called Em, E.J., or Emmy Jo by my parents (my middle name is Joy). Then my sister decided if she was Moldy, I had to be Phlegm instead of Em. She also calls me Emil-stop-plus (from the hair removal product Epil Stop Plus).
on January 3rd, 2011 at 12:10 pm
My mom called my sister Josephine so frequently that she genuinely believed it was her name. It’s not. She’s a Kimberly. And I was Sally Mae…a far cry from Jennifer. Not sure where either nickname came from, but we all still think it’s hilarious that until she was five or six, Kim would unfailingly tell strangers that her name was Josephine.
on January 3rd, 2011 at 12:27 pm
There are four grandchildren in our small family, and all of us were saddled with bizarre nicknames, most of them relating to food. As soon as I was born, my grandparents nicknamed me Muffin (Muffy, Muffs) for reasons unknown. Though now I mostly go by Dan, Dee, or Danni within the family, the workers at the bank where my grandmother once worked still call me Muffin… try explaining that to your friends when you’re a teenager… they still do that! My grandfather also nicknamed me Charlie Brown, which became just Charlie, as well as Sunshine and Sunny.
My sister, who was rather chubby as a baby and was born just before Halloween, was nicknamed Pumpkin. I couldn’t pronounce the name Samantha for the longest time, so as a child I called her Samanfa, then Manfa, then Manfred, then Man. She’s 20 years old and I still call her Man, Manny, or Manfa.
My cousin Kyle dubbed himself Kykle because he couldn’t pronounce his name until age 4. His parents called him Fred, I guess because he loves the outdoors and spends a lot of time hanging out with old guys, hunting and whatnot, and Fred sounds like a old hunter? I have called him Bubba or Captain Bubs, and still do. He also goes by Joe-Shmoe.
My youngest cousin, Kara, is known as Peanut Butter and Jelly (one name), Peanut, Nosey-Rosey, Rose, Pickles, Franny, Fanny, Fran, and Fans.
This past Christmas, my grandmother called the four of us to breakfast by saying, “Muffy, Manny, Fred, Fans! Help me set the table!” Gotta love unrelated nicknames.
on January 3rd, 2011 at 12:49 pm
I call my sister Ass for Ashley. I know it’s rather slight and obvious, but she wouldn’t let Ashtray fly and refused to respond to it. But I can slip in an Ass here and there without her knowing it. Her friends in school called her an even worse one that I won’t repeat, but to this day, ten years later, when she runs into them and they call her that she gets really upset.
on January 3rd, 2011 at 12:53 pm
My Phoebe is also known as Phoebelicious! And Pheebs, and Phoebe Deebie, and Madame Mim, and the Bug…
on January 3rd, 2011 at 12:56 pm
Glad to know I’m not the only one. 🙂 Our daughter is saddled with “Master Goo” because early on I felt like her butler and would ask “Does that suit you young Master Goo?” It stuck. Be careful with what nicknames you choose… they have a way of following you.
on January 3rd, 2011 at 2:04 pm
This is so funny to read through! My brother is Jeffrey and my mom mostly calls him Jefferson, she says now that she wishes she had named him that. When I was young I called him JayJay, which became Jay. In school he went by Jeffrey and Jeff, but in high school it turned into JT and now that’s what all his friends, and my son, call him. Except my grandma calls him TJ because she can never remember, lol.
My dad calls me Ninny (Lyndsay -> Linny -> Ninny) a lot of the time, probably more than he calls me Lyndsay, actually. My mom and Aunt call me Lyndsay Lou to each other, but they don’t actually call me that to my face. I like Lou more than Lyndsay so I tried to get that to stick, but it didn’t work. I’ve only had one friend that ever called my Lynz. My brother calls me Lyndsley sometimes, just because I don’t like it.
My husbands parents and sister (but not his brother for some reason) call him Bud probably twice as often as they call him Chris. His brother and sister don’t have nicknames like that, and I have no idea why he does.
My son Dashiell gets tons of nickname. I call him Dude a lot, which mixed with Dashiell became Doodle. Dashie, Dashie D, Dashie Doo, Dashadoo, Dash Attack, Dasher and Dashaway (at xmas time). My brother calls him Dasheelay…
on January 3rd, 2011 at 2:40 pm
I started calling my daughter Pookie Pie Mookie Moo as a baby. My husband’s family always had nicknames and his brother was Pooker so I think we got it from that. I don’t know why, but now that has evolved into the nickname Monkey, which I use all the time for her. She is 12 now so I am trying to break the habit, since her classmates laugh if I use it in front of them. It is soo hard, though! My older daughter was Beetle Butt. Thankfully that didn’t stick!
on January 3rd, 2011 at 2:45 pm
My grandpa was the big nicknamer in our family: my mom’s sister, my Aunt Mary, was always Smudgepot; her sister Carolyn became Dede or Deeds; and my mom is Torpedo, because she’s always racing around.
His name for me was Steen (Kristin — Kristine — Steen). I am the only one between my cousins and brother who was tagged with a Grandpa Joe nickname, so I feel lucky to have it. My mom and step-dad call me Kristiney (like Kris – tiny).
My godparents son was a big Winnie the Pooh fan, and so dubbed me Kristinfer Robin when I was born (he was a toddler at the time). My dad still calls me that sometimes.
Kim W Said
on January 3rd, 2011 at 3:17 pm
My youngest brother Stephen is TT because my sister had trouble with the initial “s” sound and called him Tephen, which somehow morphed into TT.
on January 3rd, 2011 at 3:22 pm
My Phoebe is known as “Beeps”. Phoebe – Beebee – Beeps. My Hadley was known first as “Waddles” which came from “Hadley Wadley was a bear” and “Widdle Waddle Woo”. Now it has morphed again into “Wally”. This one has stuck for some reason. All this from someone who did not want a nickname for my girls!!
on January 3rd, 2011 at 3:47 pm
My dad still calls me Pickle (Nicole->Nikle->Pickle) to this day. I am 30 years old and pregnant and he has started calling the baby Little Gherkin. I fear this will stick too, haha!
Jade Diana Said
on January 3rd, 2011 at 4:29 pm
My siblings and I have barraged my baby brother, Dane, with unusual nicknames. Poor kids knows to respond to everything from Buggle to Small One to Buttercup. My sister Brogan’s nicknames generally circle around the sound “Boog” or just the letter B – B-stah, Beenie, Bebe, etc. Aidan has been dubbed Schoolie as he is the only one of the four of us who has gone t school (the rest of us were homeschooled). A few other gems from my cousins:
Victoria – Toad (she used to catch them as a kid)
Emily – Lula
Rose – Posy (I don’t know if we ever call he Rose)
Adam – Abba
Nicholas – Buzz (as in Lightyear)
Jared – Pup
Dennis – Uncle Boom Boom
Kim – HP (Harry Potter)
My aunts Debbie, Donna and mum Diana call themselves Mary, Alice and Jane. Not sure why.
I have collected my odd nicknames from my friends including: Ronald, Batman, Munchkin, Fecks (this one started as Freckles), and Lizzy (my name is Jade…?)
on January 3rd, 2011 at 4:37 pm
I am Brooke but my mom always calls me Petey or Pete! I think maybe it came from Sweet Pea and morphed in to Petey…My brother Brent is Bubba. And hes going on 25 years old lol! Even some of his friends call him that. When I was pregant with my son My hubs comments on my Buddha belly so we sometimes call our son Buddha but it has now morphed in to Booboo or just Boo….Our daughters long lanky arms and legs dubbed her “Twiggy” 🙂
on January 3rd, 2011 at 5:07 pm
Hopefully they’re not reading this, but my boyfriend’s family has inventive nicknames as well. His sister (Lindsay) was donned “Petunia” long ago by their father and over the years it grew from Missy Petunia to Petunia or Missy to Pinz. Their mother’s name is Mary, but their father lovingly refers to her as “Z” because she snored in her sleep long ago.
on January 3rd, 2011 at 6:08 pm
When my little brother was small he would make up whole new names for anything he couldn’t pronounce. For example, Christopher who lived next door was renamed “Joe”… He couldn’t pronounce my name, Alice, so instead he called me “Duggie”. Somehow this stuck and I regularly find myself answering to “Dugg”, “Dugglas”, “Duck” etc without batting an eyelid.
on January 3rd, 2011 at 7:00 pm
I’m Rosy Posy, Rosy Pose, Rosy Pie, and Rosa Dosa. My sister is almost always Luli or (coincidentally) Lule. Our family also has quite a history of strange nicknames. 🙂
British American Said
on January 3rd, 2011 at 7:30 pm
My husband likes to nickname like this – we’ve had to explain to several people why he calls his Mom “Mophead”. (It’s not because of her hair, it just went along from Pops & Mops and evolved into Mophead.)
When we were dating, my name: Jennie evolved into Jememennie, Jemizzlewhap, Jemizzle, Jizzle, Jizz, J-stain. He even wanted to give our daughter the middle name Jememennie (it’s pronounced “Je-mem-en-ee”). He suggested it again for baby #3, but I’d hate to have to explain that to people and have our daughter have to explain it. (I did suggest Jemima as a legitimate middle name.)
Our Rose has been named Rosenrose or Rosenstain. (Along the lines of Rosencrantz from ‘Hamlet’.) She’s been objecting to “Rosenstain” lately though.
Henry became “Henry Spenry”, then “Spenry” then “Spens” when he was a baby – which made it sound like his full-name was Spenser. He’s just “Hens” these days. For awhile his sister thought his middle name was actually “Spenry” and she’d introduce him as “Henry Spenry” to people.
Should be interesting to see whatever baby #3’s name morphs into.
I know an Elijah who is also known as “Ya Ya” because that’s how his older sister pronounced “Elijah” when they were little.
on January 3rd, 2011 at 7:58 pm
Oh boy… My family is huge on nicknames.
As a baby, I was given the nickname Pumpkin Head, turned to just Pumpkin. I also have Special Girl, Sweet Pea, Rachie Roodle, Rachiedoodle, Rach Face, Rach (everyone calls me this), Ray, Rachie, Scabby Jr. (among my dad’s friends, his softball nickname is Captain Scabby so I became Scabby Jr.), Raquel, Rochelle, and En Garde (a play on my last name).
My brother Jacob has always gone by Jake, and he has a lot of nicknames. He was given Special Boy and Boo or Boo-Boo since he was a baby. Also, Jacobim Mugatu, Jacobim, Jacques, Jake the Snake, Jakey-Boo, Jakey, Yakoff Smirnoff (this came about after I talked in a Russian accent for a week), Brown Bear, Jacoby, Jacob Michael Jingle Heimer Schmitt, and Jake-o.
Our pets also have a lot of nicknames, so I might as well list those too.
Miss Trixie: Trix, TT-La, T-Rex, Tree Frog, Meow Meow, Meowsers, Meowsers Meowsers the Fun-Loving Cat, Moo Moo, Moo Moo Kitty, Kitty, and Pretty Kitty.
Jackson: Action Jackson, Jacks, Jack, Jackie, Jackie Chan, Jack-a-Socks, Jack-a-Sockie, Socks, Sockie, Sockiemoto (like Quasimoto), Jack Attack, and Jackie-Son.
Plus nicknames we give our parents. Like my Dad is D, D-Dog, Double D, Corn, Dizzad, Papa Roach, Daddy-o, Dave, Captain Scabby (to his sports friends). And my mom is M, M-Dog, Momizzle, Mother, Mother Dearest, etc.
We’re a family full of nicknames.
I’m glad to know other people give lots of nicknames too.
on January 3rd, 2011 at 8:05 pm
I completely relate to the younger sibling nickname evolution Joanne describes! My two younger brothers are named Timothy and Mark. Mark is the youngest and went by “Baby”, which turned to “Beebee”, which became “B”.
By association, Timmy became “T”. For most of their elementary years we called them T & B almost exclusively.
Once they got to middle school their friends picked up on it and suddenly they both had a host of other nicknames: Toodle & Boodle, Tootus & Bootus, Topher & Bopher, etc. Mark is now a senior in HS, but even his facebook account is registered under one of his more common nicknames rather than his actual given name.
on January 4th, 2011 at 12:56 am
My baby hasn’t even made his appearance in the world yet and already has a nickname. We have, as of yet, been unable to decide on an actual given name for him. So, when I kept dreaming that I was pregnant with a shark, we started calling him Sharky.
That has since evolved into Sharkbaby, Sharkman, and Sharkleton.
on January 4th, 2011 at 2:43 am
I call my dad Dude and he calls me Dudle. My mom has always called me Peanutbutter. My parents used to call my sister Breezy-bruiser-cruiser because she alwasy would run around and get hurt, Breezy stuck and that’s what she went by in high school (her name is Breanna).
on January 4th, 2011 at 1:56 pm
Wow, it seems like nicknames are huge in some families. My family is NOT into nicknames at all, except “established” name shortenings like Will for William. I would feel really uncomfortable if someone decided to give me a “silly” nickname that I ended up carrying around to school, work, etc., but maybe that’s just because I haven’t grown up with that. Most of the people here seem to give and take the nicknames with affection.
on January 6th, 2011 at 8:07 am
This is a great post – I don’t usually comment but it made me laugh to see how many other families have ridiculous nicknames. My mother calls us the weirdest things and has gotten us so used to it that we don’t even notice, which is funny when you think that she picked out our names in the first place. I’m Way and my sisters are Toash or Toashus and the Mig or Miggus or Miggie Lou. We occasionally call each other by these names, but otherwise it’s only my mom, not even my dad who uses them. Who knows how she came up with them!
on January 7th, 2011 at 11:02 am
My mum’s family is the nickname giving family. Of a family of four none of her siblings go by their actual name.
William – is billy-boy, brother bill, billy, baby bill (his in his 60’s now)
Edward – Ted, Teddy, Brother Ted, Brother Jude or just plain Jude.
Jennifer – Jen, Ifer or Skeersy
Marie – Rae (she got off easy)
So when my older brother came along my mum wanted to give him a name that couldn’t be shortened – Chad. He is now known in the family as Bud, no idea where it came from, apparently I just started calling him that at the age of 3.
I on the other hand ended up with more nicknames then all the rest
Bridget apparently equals – bridge, bridgie, biddy, biddy-girl, bid, b-girl, bumps, bridget emma, em, emmy-girl, fridge, fridgie, fridgie-poo and for some reason when I am in trouble Emma Pearl Bridget Mary Josephine. Which I note is actually my nan’s name.
on January 7th, 2011 at 8:15 pm
My best friend’s aunt is named Jennifer, but she goes by “Poohz”–short for “Poohzer”–because she liked Winnie the Pooh so much when she was little!
on January 12th, 2011 at 3:11 am
We have a Scarlett who occasionally gets called “Miss Scarlett” but more often “Gigi”.
It started when her older brother couldnt pronounce “Scarlett” when she was first born, he would say “Skiggit” which then became “Skigigi” “Gigit” and now “Gigi”…it’s stuck and now she’ll always be Little Gigi to me 🙂
on January 16th, 2011 at 11:47 pm
As a Natalie, there aren’t all that many nicknames for me. But well, my family squeezed as many as possible out.
I’m… Nat, Natty, the Natmeister, Nae Nae, Peanut, Chick Pea, Garbanzo Bean, and occasionally (when they’re feeling mean) Goober.
Joy of joys, these nickname things.
on January 29th, 2011 at 8:32 am
For whatever reason I never ended up with any nicknames. However my brother, Shaun is more often called Fred, Ted or Teddy. My husband is bugalugs – but only to my family. His family doesn’t have any nicknames.
on February 16th, 2011 at 5:04 pm
Growing up I was very embarrassed by my nickname. All the grandchildren had them. I was called exclusively by my nickname so when I entered school the teacher had to pull my mother aside and request that they call me by my given name at home since I had no idea WHAT my given name was and didn’t answer to it.
My full nickname is Tookie Look. Shortened to Tookie. when I got married I was worried that no one would come bc no one knew my given name.
now, i proudly own it. my grandfather called all the girl grandchildren ‘ma’, or ‘mami’. you knew who he was talking to by the inflection he used, lol!
on March 5th, 2011 at 3:20 pm
I was very rigid about my name when I was little. I got really angry if somebody called me Rosie instead of Rose. But I’ve kind of gotten over it. A lot of my family call me Posie and my grandma liked to call me Flower, which was nice. A friend of my dad’s always used to call me Petunia, which I hated with a passion. I got so, so mad every time he called me that. I’ve come to like my nicknames now.
We call my oldest brother (Farrell) Fuffow (fuff-oh). Not sure where that came from. My grandpa is Pumpah, ’cause Farrell couldn’t say Papa when he was little.
on March 8th, 2011 at 10:58 pm
I used to call my lil bro everything from Gorgonzola to Gopher, but now he is called Bubbles, Doodles, or Dude.I beleive those all came from my dad deciding that Felix was a Bud when he was an infant. That one didn’t stick, though.
For the longest time, my bro and I called eachother Walter and Winifred, usually just shortened to Walt and Win. I just decided one day that I was going to be Winifred, and for the next year or so, that was that.
Unfortunately, I hate my real name, which is pretty much absolutely nickname-proof, and now that my family knows that I don’t like it, they are not taking to nns so readily.
on March 13th, 2011 at 3:14 am
My nickname with my siblings is The Sultan or just Sultan.
When my big sister learned cursive whenever she wrote Danae it looked like Dance. At that very same time, my dad was really into Dire Straits and started listening to them for months on end. While listening to The Sultans of Swing, it reminded my dad of dancing, which reminded him of me.
My only brother Jasper is still to this day called Andy. My big sister again, was addicted to Family Ties repeats. When she saw the birth episode, she wanted to name her brother Andy, and when my parents picked Jasper she refused to call him that and so Andy it was and has been.
on March 25th, 2011 at 10:03 pm
I am a master at nicknames. I call my younger sisters Mermaid and Delicious (out of Marissa and Alisha respectively). Sometimes Mermaid is shortened to Merm. I still call my best friend, Lisa, Brown, which is her maiden name, but I also call her Chicken a lot, because she eats a lot of chicken 😉 My mother is Momalair. There are many more as well, those are just my favorites.
My Aunt, my mother’s youngest sister, has given each of the cousins and her own young daughter all unique nicknames. I am Beaner (out of Hollyann-a-banana, I think). My sister Marissa is Rissy-poo-poo-head. Stefanie is Stefi Noodle Brain. Lena is Lena-beena. Natalie is Chunky Pudding.
It’s fun 🙂
My sister has always like the name Sawyer if she ever has a son. I told her I would call him Soy Sauce.
on April 5th, 2011 at 2:21 pm
I’m the eldest of 4 girls. My name is Jasmine. My sisters are Brandon, Bobbi and Sarah.
Brandon is Panda or Lanna (Branna-Lanna-Ding-Dong)
Bobbi is Bojo or Boje
Sarah is variations of Sars (as in the disease) and Pete
She calls me Germs.
Sars turned into Peter Sarsgard (the actor)
Peter Sarsgard turns into Peterborough or just Pete
Peterborough became “Peterborough Cambridgeshire England United Kingdom” … just to be annoying.
on April 5th, 2011 at 2:37 pm
That’s funny, Jasmine, and I have to remark that you and your sisters have names that sound like they were chosen by four completely different sets of parents: Feminine and flowery, modern and masculine, tomboyish, and classic!
on April 22nd, 2011 at 4:22 am
I have had sooooooo many nicknames over the years it’s quite hard to keep up! My mum calls me Snodge a lot, because of my obsession with the word snoz (my mum’s own creation, another word for nose) when I was little. She became Snozzle, my dad became Snoop (no idea!), and the natural nickname for me seemed to be Snodge.
Jubjub is another one my mum is fond of. No idea where this comes from. Probably something I said when I was little.
My friends hardly ever call me by me real name. Ama is a favourite with them, which is understandable (my real name is Amy). They also love Martina, as this is a combo of my first and last name, and also my username on my computer.
Other ones that various friends and relatives have for me are Amelie, Amalia, Amalia Pamalia, Pamalia, Pudding, Martini, Amy Bear (and therefore Bear on its own), and Mon Ami)
Oh, and I call my friend Lizzie Lizzemond and Captian Lowrie, my friend Lucy Jonesy or Jessie, and my friend Chloe Jiminy Cricket.
on May 23rd, 2011 at 1:00 am
This is so fun. I love reading all of these! I love how some people have a different name depending on who they are speaking to! I think it’s so special that different family members and close friends have special names for each other.
First, I should state that my name is Cailin. Say it phonetically and you should be set. My twin brother is Alex and our older brother is Zachary. My father is a silly man who has stuck many silly names upon me as his only little girl. The rest of my family (including extended) is just plain nuts! My mom’s sister is like a second mother to all of us and is very goofy…
My dad has called me many things, but two of which he is particularly fond of; Princess Kay of the Milky Way or Caicaimabooboo. Go figure. I sign cards, emails and presents to him as Caicaimabooboo just cause I know he gets a kick out of it. My brothers usually just call me by my given name, but they have been known to shorten it to KK when feeling lazy. My mom uses KK more than anyone else. The girls I used to babysit called me KK and my longest childhood friend still loves using it. My mom has also been known to refer to me as Cake, when shortening KK even further. My friends never really nicknamed me, except for one who always gave me goofy things like Moo Cow(because of Milky way or something) and Luna Zola from the time we used a celebrity baby name generator and I got Luna Zola and she got Boo Pixie.
We call my twin Ali, sometimes Alibabwa (Ali Ababwa). We’ve also been known to call him Lexi. He’s never really objected to either of these “girly” nicknames. My Auntie likes calling him Albex because in preschool he insisted there was a B in his name and would get angry if you didn’t write it in. He is my Twinkie.
Zachary is obviously a Zach. He was the least willing to go along with nicknames and such. He went by Zee for a while but that’s been rejected. To irritate, it’s easiest to call him Zatch (pronounce ch instead of k).
My cousin (15yrso when we were born) called Alex and Me George and Georgina. No clue why. She’s a Jennifer and within the past year I’ve adopted (from my Aunt, her mother) calling her Da (the) Fer. We called my other cousin, Patrick, Patches. He hated that one.
In my immediate family we talk babytalk/Lolspeak to each other and I’m sure it’s super annoying to outsiders. We have many names to replace Mommy and Daddy. My mom also calls me the Little Momma when she talks to my dog (sigh) and I often refer to her as Big Momma. She used to be Da Momma because of “Not Da Momma!” from that dinosaur show. And Da Papa is what we use almost exclusively for my Dad. We nickname my dog too. His full name is Marty Doogie Howser McFly who is nicknamed as Young Master Martin, Martinski, Doogie, Mr. McFly… yeah, it’s kinda a strange, some might say sick, habit. OH well.
And now you’re wondering about Linnie, aren’t ya? Well, that’s completely of my own creation. That’s my online persona. My family doesn’t know this is what I go by online so it’s nice to have that bit of anonymity. I feel different when I sign things as Linnie than I do when I sign as anything else. Does anyone else feel like a slightly different embodiment of themselves depending on the name they are being called?
on June 29th, 2011 at 11:04 am
I call my sister Chiquita. Short for Juanita Chiquita Bonita Bandita. Her real name is Earl. Just kidding–it’s Jeanette. I thought it sounded prettier in Spanish than French and then ran with it. My husband used to call her “Ye olde Nedster.”
on June 30th, 2011 at 5:39 am
I know a pair of twins: Greta nn Gertha (she hates it) and Julian nn Julie Ann.
on July 3rd, 2011 at 10:56 am
My sons are called Squeaky and Peeky. We didn’t try for rhyming nicknames, it just happened! My older son got his nickname early on because he was a squeaky baby. The instant my younger son was born he opened his eyes and peeked at me, not to mention that later on he was very shy and would hide behind things and peek out. I’ve gotten pretty good at not calling them that in public, with practice. But it does make me wonder what we’re going to nickname the new baby that’s coming in December…. Leaky? Sneaky? 😉
on August 5th, 2011 at 11:12 am
My nickname at home is “Bean.” I went from “Michelle” to “Shelly” to “Shellybean” to “Bean,” which I have to admit, I adore. I also recognize “Shell-be-do” as an acceptable nickname, which came from my neighbors, I think. When my youngest sister was born she exclusively referred to me as “Big Burt,” her way of saying “Big Bird.” I’m *so* glad that nickname didn’t stick.
My middle sister was born when I was less than two years old. Her name was “Laura,” which I pronounced “Wowa,” then “Wowie,” and finally, “Oe.” She loves Oe so much that she went by it almost exclusively in High School. Now that she’s in College, I think she’s trying to shed it. I hope not, because “Oe” is pretty adorable, in my opinion 🙂
on October 16th, 2011 at 9:37 pm
My sister is Danielle. When she was a baby momma would bounce her up and down saying “How are you doing, doing, doing doing.” That morphed into Dewey and she’s been Dewey ever since. She’ll also answer to Scooter or Pooh.
on October 26th, 2011 at 5:58 pm
My names is Angel… But my boyfriends niece has called me “Gigu” and still does.
Her name is Isabella (Bella), and she gets soo many nicknames such as stinkerella, smellerella, bellabee.
on October 8th, 2012 at 11:05 pm
I had a friend back in high school named Courtney Luck. We called her Lucky, Duck, Ducky, and Lucky Ducky, among others. The last one really stuck with her and I think over half the school called her Lucky Ducky by graduation.
on February 19th, 2013 at 10:27 pm
I’m Jennette. My maternal grandparents called me Nette and in retaliation of this my paternal grandparents called me Kermit. My best friend’s dad called me Bob because he couldn’t remember my first name for the longest time. My sister Ashley became Boo Boo because of a trip through Yellowstone while my mother was pregnant. Whitney was Minnie. So far my son Gabriel is Gabe and The Dude. He’ll come to either.
on August 26th, 2013 at 1:09 am
We’re a huge nicknaming family!
We almost neve hear our full names on my moms side. Here’s some examples:
Jackson: Buddy, Bud, Jackie Chan (JC), pumpkin head (special grandma nn)
Cassidy: Cass, Cassie, Cassiboo, Boo, Sweet Pea (her special grandma nn [all the cousins have one] sometimes nn SP)
Xandraya: Alix (mn), zany (xany?), Red (redhead), and grandma nn Rockstar
Joseph: Joey (almost always), Joe, Baller (basketball player), and grandma nn Honey Bunny
Katie: Kate, Baby Katie, Kate Skate Figure 8, (or anything else her uncles can think of that rhymes when they get bored of this one), Katie Bug, and grandma nn Princess
Nathan: Nate, Natey, Natester, Mario, and grandma nn Bugs/Bugaboo
Mckenzie: Kenzie, Kenz, Kenny. (Oldest cousin, grandma wasn’t doing special nn’s yet)
Me (Julia): Jules, Ju Ju Bean (my dad only), Beano Mosquito (Ju Ju Bean, > Bean >Beano > Beano Mosquito), Gooles (from Jules. When they get bored its anything that rhymes: cooles, fooles, looles, etc.), Jul Jul ( nana only) and grandma nn Angel.
Wendy: Weezy (no she doesn’t wheeze. It’s a long story.)
Jaimie: James, Jai Jai
So yeah! LOTS of nn’s on my my moms side! My dads side just uses shortens versions of full names (Jules, etc) or, weirdly, fn+mn even when we aren’t in trouble! Sorry for the long post!
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