Saturday, December 16, 2006

Nick Names


I find it odd how rare it is that anyone has a nick name these days. Every member of my father’s family had a nick name. In fact I didn’t know what their real names were until I was a teen.

It may have been that families such as my father’s were first generation Americans and they needed an identity above being children of immigrants. It could also be that nick names are just a thing of the past. I wasn’t able to make sociological observations like that until after 1960 when the hay day of nick names had already passed.

I guess we still have nicknames of a sort, but they are self assigned and have little to do in our real lives. No one calls me Rust, especially since I don’t have red hair. Nor do they call me Guy. It is only here where that is done. It’s kind of like C. B. radio handles, self assigned, and descriptive of something, but not as real as a nick name that one has earned.

My favorite earned nickname belonged to an uncle. He was known as Uncle Goose. The story behind the name was that his mother had geese, and these geese would wander across the road to the brook that was a popular swimming hole for the local kids. The geese would shit over everything, so as a point of retaliation all the neighbor kids dubbed him and “Goose Shit.” By the time I born and met him his name was shortened to Goose. He probably lived for thirty or more years being called Goose Shit. Kids can be brutal.

8 Comments:

Blogger LeLo in NoPo said...

My partner has a nickname within her family and is known and called that primarily within the family. I don't think some of them know her real name. No one outside of the family calls her by that, including me. I think it's a cultural nod to the importance and priority of family. Fascinating.

8:40 AM  
Blogger Jaggy said...

My mother purposely named me my name so that it could not be shortened into a nickname. Her siblings all go by shortened versions of their names (Pamela=Pam, Richard=Rich, etc.), and she didn't want that for her kids. Except my name really isn't "Jaggy," fyi. That's a nickname I earned from some ornery friends in high school when I was watching "JAG" ten hours a day. :)

11:04 AM  
Anonymous Wende said...

Heh... My southern people just give nick names as real names. Heh...Ask any "bubba" what his real name is and he'll tell you...BUBBA!

12:34 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

I don't have one. It could be a curse, as in the case of my uncle.

My power just came back on after 48 hours. I have a lot of reading to do.

Jaggy, it was your post that got me thinking and inspired me to write this.

Lelo, sorry about your wind damage. I lost five or so trees, but other than that, no power, we made out pretty well.

CB have you gotten any of the emails I sent you?

Wende, tomorrows post...you are welcome to use it as a sermon ; )

3:04 PM  
Blogger Jaggy said...

*gasp!* :) I'm an inspiration to somebody... that's so cool! :) Thanks, Mr. Guy.

4:14 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Jaggy, I read you every day. Even if I don't comment very often, I'm still a devoted reader. Some day you inspire me, and some days I'd just like to take you out for ice cream and tell you everything will be OK.

9:23 PM  
Blogger CB said...

Although we have already confirmed that you have for the sake of others reading, YES, got the emails see you TUESDAY the day we find out how to "git er done" in regards to no LNG. Sorry, couldn't resist, however, you'll have to be open to all lines of resistance! By the way, although many think Rick is a nickname for Richard it is actually a bastardization of what his name was going to be named after Rico Petrocelli, however family pressure wouldn't allow my parents to do it.

11:16 AM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Ohhh, that "Git er Done" hillbilly shit makes my skin crawl.

I always wonder about Richards allowing themselves to be called Dick...

11:29 AM  

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