Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Jr. Lollipops-A Study of Nicknames

George Costanza wanted to be called T-Bone, Sean Combs was Puff Daddy, then P. Diddy, and is currently Diddy (at least at the time this fine piece of journalism when to print),  Mobsters all have them  (Jr. Lollipops, my personal favorite), even the most recent Midwest snow storm had two-Snowpocalypse and Snowmegeddon. Oh, the nickname! I don't know a lot about much, but I do know that men love nicknames. They love to give them, they love to get them, and when they don't get the one they want they love to make one up for themselves. Below are some of my favorites.

-ator, -er, dawg (pronounced dog)
These suffixes seem to be the most common and are usually added to your real name. For example, Your name is Roman who probably gets to work on time and eats 3 servings of fruit a day, with the addition of "-ator", suddenly you are The Romanator who drives fast and laughs at rules. Another example, your last name is Cruz, now with the addition of  "-er" to your name, you are now Cruzer a much fast, more athletic version of your former self. And last but not least "dawg",  for example, your friend Josh is now J-Dawg, your friend with the last name Livingston is now Liv-Dawg (at least that is what he claims). A few things these have in common: 1) they all use your existing name and 2) they are often times accompanied with a backwards baseball hat and/or a shirt with no sleeves.

Examples of Nicknames Given
B. Rock and Liv-Doctor: These are nicknames that Brock claims he has had over the years. Now, I have actually heard other people call him these names so I suspect he is telling the truth.  However, just for sport, I accuse him of making these up for himself, because as much as men love nicknames, they equally hate being accused of making up a nickname that was given to them.
Hammer: This nick name is given to a lot of people, mostly in the context of not being able to remember their actual name. My favorite use of this nickname was years ago when I worked with a guy who looked like a pilgrim. If you closed your eyes you could see him with the buckle shoes, knickers and a tall hat. At a company picnic where touch football was played, he got clotheslined and he came up fighting.....from that point on Brock always referred to him as Hammer. It sure beat being called, "Mayflower".

Self Given Nicknames
El Guapo: This is one of my favorites, I worked with someone who was making out the schedule for the day and gave everyone a nickname, himself included. For one day, he was El Guapo and El Guapo he was, he walked taller and prouder because for that day he was known as the "Handsome One".
The Ambassador of Booze and Schmooze: This is an interesting one, as this isn't necessarily a nickname given but rather a title given. This is a former co-worker of mine who had this title place on the back of his business card. No word yet if, as Ambassador, he is awarded diplomatic immunity in his host country. I love the concept of this because without royalty in the US, suddenly I am the "Duchess of Wit and Sexiness".

Nicknames Given Secretly
These are nicknames that are given without the nicknamee ever knowing.
DavidD33: I once worked with someone who left very long, slow paced, all be it informative, voice mails on the company voicemail. One day when I was complaining commenting how long the voice mails were, a friend and co-worker of mine said, "just 33 him". This meant to speed up the voicemail just hit "33" on the phone. From that point on he (the one leaving the voice mails) was referred to as DavidD33.

The Enigma
In college we lived next to a serial nickname giver. What was unique about this guy was that he would give nicknames to girls the same way you would to guys, picking out something unique about their appearance and creating a nickname. These nicknames usually only stuck around for a semester and often times he would be the only one that would use the nickname. Here are two example:
Sammy: This was the nickname given to my sister because she had this great head of blond curly hair and subsequently, so did the new lead singer for Van Halen, Sammy Hagar.
Pippy: Now I wish my look and appearance warranted nicknames like Gisele or Angelina, but in truth I look more like Pippy Longstockings and that is what he called me. Thank God, I grew up and became the Duchess of Wit and Sexiness!

**No actual research was done in the this study and no names or nicknames were changed to protect the innocent.

1 comment:

  1. I love that your badass "drives fast and laughs at rules".

    Also, I still have the Ambassador's business card.