For personal reasons, I'm not much of a Mel Gibson fan. Its got nothing to do with that Jesus movie or the one about the Aztecs. Its those dang Mad Max movies he made. He didn't even look like a Max. A longhair he-man hero named Max? NOT LIKELY! Maybe his smart sidekick or his pet dingo, yeah. By using the name Mad Max, he has labeled all us Maxes as being mad. Whenever anyone refers to me as Mad Max, I say "No, that's happy Max!" Doesn't work. Before Gibson came around, Maxes were thought of as dependable, hard working and fun-loving brains. Smart and honest. Warm and loving. After all, Max is the most common name for dogs. You know, the friendliest, most loyal species of animals. Not anymore. There's a reason no Saint Max has been proclaimed lately. Can't be both holy and mad.
As I've said before, I don't have a viable nickname. My family members have the normal ones. James is Jim (Not Jimmy!), Gene is Gene and Gerald is Jerry. Linda doesn't have a nickname either. An intelligent one for Linda would be LIN. You know, Linda without the duh! My brother-in-law, Jim, can easily be called James to remove confusion between him and my brother Jim. No one would ever think of calling my brother James.
Some nicknames rescue a kid from a dweeby name. Frances becomes Frank, Melvin is Mel and Alfred and Albert is Al. Delbert is Del or Bert and Maynard is Nards (Shane will get this one!). Some names have no help. Names like Marian (Mary?), Nelson (Nellie?), Abner (Ab?), Percy (Perk?) or Fuzbukt (Fuzzie?). To get a nickname for these guys, see the next paragraph. They alone won't be stigmatized. After all, when you start with Mortimer, ANYTHING is an improvement!
I have around 50 first cousins and as far as I can determine, not one of them has ever had one of those cutesy nicknames that some guys give their sons because they hate children and want to ruin their lives. These are nicknames like Chip or Chipper, Bud (I've got an Uncle Bud but he fits the stereotype!), Junior, Pal, Toots, Punk, Skip, Skipper or Skippy. You may as well tattoo "Hit Me!" on their foreheads.
Even though they aren't nicknames, one thing really gets me. That's when people name a child a kid's name never realizing that the kid will grow up. About 10 years ago I worked on a train with 2 guys. The engineer was 61 and named Bobby and the Conductor was 62 and named Billy. For strike 2, the conductor's middle name was Clinton. No kidding. My niece Cathy had 2 classmates in school who were twins and their first names were Lemonjello and Orangejello. We still have the program with their names on it somewhere at home. Bet they don't turn into Nobel Prize winners!
One way to receive a nickname is to have an unfortunate or embarrassing event in your life. Have a car wreck, you're crash. Have a fat girlfriend, you're Jack Sprat, or fall in the lake and you're Bob. I work with a guy, known by his initials, J.J., who had a problem. He was on a train and was sorta tired. When he yawned, his jaw locked and had to go to the hospital with his mouth wide open! After that, he has been known as Lockjaw. (I call him L.J. instead of J.J.) We had another guy who used to have eyebrow and nose rings with a tongue stud. He's known as tacklebox. One guy got into an arguement with a working girl in front of the hotel in Chicago. Word is he shorted her on her fee. He is quite a bonehead. He ended up slapping her and ended up earning himself the nickname of Chief. Chief? Yeah, he's an Indian now and the Chief of the Slap-a-Ho tribe. One guy is known as Buffy because he has buffalo breath. One guy is an American Indian whose relative is a chief in the Miami tribe. He's known a Chief Short Lance.
I hate it when someone goes by his initials. Jenny wanted to name Shane-o Andrew Joseph and call him A.J. I liked the name. Call him Andy or Drew, but not A.J. I work on the railroad where everyone is referred to by their initials and if you are unfortunate enough to have initials like B.J. or D.M.F. or O.J. you learn to hate initials. I may change my mind about it, though. Ask me in 6 years.
Another lazy nickname that some people are given is a shortening of their last names. Names like Smitty, Jonesy or Teets. Not too fond of that either.
Descriptive nicknames can be cruel. Names like fats, shorty, tubby, tank, slats, lumpy, Dumbo, pokey, bull, one-eye and beanpole. Even worse is using nicknames that are opposite of reality, like shorty for a tall guy, tiny for a fat one or Einstein for an idiot.
Actually, I must admit that one guy at work has a nickname for me (He's the one who came up with Tacklebox). He calls me professor because I'm smart. Compared to him, professor would be a good nickname for my cat.
Forever and a day.....
6 years ago