My wonderful mother-in-law, Julia Blair, gave extravagant nicknames to her children. Ben’s is: Benjerbomboom. His siblings (or maybe it was the neighborhood kids) gave him another one: Ben-Benji-Bare-Bottom-Burp-Baby-Blair. All of his siblings have terrific nicknames. A sampling: Jenettikins, Blopsy, Caroliney-Deeny-Diny, Margretchie, and Deedle-Doos. (Just by reading those names aloud, you can probably guess that my mother-in-law was a wonderful singer. And you’d be right.)
My name is Gabrielle but I grew up with the nickname Gabby. Since I talk a lot, it’s always been a good fit. (Hah!)
We were telling our kids about their aunts’ and uncles’ nicknames, and realized that at our house, we’ve hardly used nicknames at all. Ralph is occasionally Ralphie. Maude is once-in-awhile Mimi. Olive is Olive. Oscar is Oscar (with an experimental Osc here and there). Betty is always Betty. And Flora June is Flora when speaking French, and June when speaking English. I love the idea of nicknames and was kind of surprised to realize we didn’t commonly use them.
Also, nicknames and alternate names always make me think of Dostoevsky. I swear, he uses like 10 different names for each character he introduces.
What are your thoughts on nicknames? Do you have one? Do your kids? Do you know anyone that was given a nickname as an adult and it stuck?
P.S. — The names that got away.