I’ve been called a lot of different names in my lifetime, sometimes by people sincerely trying to get my name right; other times not so much. Like a dog, I focus on the intonation, not the actual words. “Sweetheart” can sound really hostile, and “Hey, Buttbrain” can warm my heart.
Not that anybody’s ever called me Buttbrain. This week.
Some people seem to accumulate nicknames more easily than others, but I suspect there are a couple of factors that influence the process. The truly cool nicknames usually get applied to people who’ve either done something truly cool, or truly dumb. Besides that (dubious) qualification, it seems to me the quality of one’s nickname says more about the creativity of one’s friends than anything else.
I wasn’t overly popular in school.
Wait, gotta run. Minions of the Society for the Eradication of Ridiculous Understatement are breaking down my door to drag me away…
Okay, I’m back. Phew. Lucky I learned those ninja skills while the cool kids were attending all their cool parties.
I didn’t do anything particularly dumb in school, and I missed “truly cool” by an embarrassingly wide margin. My nickname in school was “Fender Bender”, which sounds kinda cool now, but in fact had nothing to do with my driving skills and everything to do with the fact that those are the first two words in alphabetical order that rhyme with “Henders”.
Those who knew me in university might consider “Fender Bender” appropriate, but that wasn’t related to my driving, either. Suffice it to say that you don’t want to narrowly miss running over me in a crosswalk. I get irate when I’m scared shitless.
Later, I acquired some more predictable nicknames: “Di”, and, while Charles and Diana were an item, “Lady Di”, which caused considerable amusement to those who knew me well. Ain’t no ladies here.
Oh, and I was briefly nicknamed “Garbage Gut”, “Mongo”, and “Anklebiter” in university, but those were just passing phases.
My all-time favourite nickname was “Dave”. Back when I was a geek… Oh, never mind.
Back when I was being paid to be a geek, the vendors apparently decided a mere woman couldn’t possibly deal with the intricacies of building computers and networks, so they christened me “Dave”. For the last several years I held that job, most of my outside correspondence arrived addressed to “Dave Henders”.
I didn’t really mind. I figured Dave was probably a pretty cool guy. In fact, I developed a fondness for Dave, so I named a character in my fourth book after him.
The rest of my handles were either insults or endearments, none of them particularly interesting or creative. Though Hubby does call me Gorgeous on occasion, which is just one of the many reasons why I love him.
So, to quote the old chestnut: Call me anything you like; just don’t call me late for dinner.
Or you can call me Dave. That works, too.
What are (were) your nicknames?