So I’ve been thinking a lot about nicknames lately. After all, I’ve got a daughter arriving any day now (not nearly soon enough for my wife!), and I’m sure she will inevitably end up with a nickname. I’m just one of those people who doesn’t use names. I dunno… Is it just me, or do you never use a person’s name unless you’re describing them to someone else, or trying to get their attention?
Any way, I’ve had a couple nicknames myself over the years… My dad called me “Monster” when I was a kid. When I got a little older and my mom realized how much like my dad I was, she called me Junior for a while. By the way, my name is Kevin Bryant Dooley, which, last name aside, is nothing like my dad’s Allen Delano Dooley. Junior came from the fact that my ornery father was sometimes lovingly (though with slight annoyance) referred to by my mom as “A**hole”. NOTE: This was all done in fun, after all, Dooley men take pride in their ability to live up to that particular name. One day my dad and I were in rare form and after a particularly witty and blistering comment by me, my mom pointed out just how much I was like my father, and that people might as well call me a**hole, junior… Junior stuck for a few years, especially whilst I entered the extremely ornery years called “adolescence”. During high school athletics I was referred to as “Doogie” or “Doogie Howzer” once it got out that I had skipped 7th grade. And finally in college due to the complete disaster that is Marriot collegiate catering, I got the nickname, “Captain” due to the fact that I ate one particular type of cereal at nearly every meal.
But, I dish out as much as I receive. I seldom refer to my beautiful bride as Ann… more than likely I call her “honey”, “sweetie”, or my personal favorite, “Pretty Lady”. This is, of course, derived from much the same complete bewilderment of a portly, goofy guy who somehow ended up with a beautiful woman as seen in “Knocked Up” when Seth Rogen’s character drunkenly said, “Whoa, you’re prettier than I am.” Most of my friends have nicknames (ummm… this may only exist in my head, but trust me… whether I call you by one or not, I’ve probably given you one). For instance, through his own actions, my buddy Frank now goes by (in my head at least) either Frodo, Merry, or Pip (Samwise being way too long of a name, and Sam not being hobbit-esque enough). Just to make sure we’re clear… I have called Frank this to his face, which is why I shared his particular nicknames. I also give nicknames to people I don’t know. I mean, how else do you describe people you’ve never met before when you’re out people watching? Sure you could say, “Hey, see that gangly, awkward teenager over there?”… or you could say, “Take a look at Ichabod.” You could say, “Did you see that guy of medium height that looks kinda like a biker and has a big beard,” or you could much more easily say, “What’s ZZ Top doing over there?”
So, back to Lilybeth Erin… I’m sure I’ll end up calling her something other than Lilybeth, Lily, etc. Anyone want to place bets as to what it will be?
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