I was walking down the hallway at work yesterday, when Reggie, the spiffily-dressed planner in my department saw me & said “J-To-The-B, wassup?”
J-To-The-B is Reggie’s nickname for me.
Which got me thinking. I have had a ton of nicknames throughout my life. Some people only have a couple, or maybe just one. Some poor souls never get one. Fortunately, I am not one of those people. If you are, drop me an email and I’ll give you one.
We like nicknames. It personalizes someone, makes them feel closer. I’m sure Reggie thinks ‘J-To-The-B’ gives us a secret little kinship. And he’s right. It does. But that’s because I like J-To-The B. It sounds cool, kinda hip. As I mentioned, I have had a lot of nicknames through the years. Some good, others, well…
My brother called me Nimrod.
My sister called me Ricky Retardo.
My dad called me Bud.
My new planner calls me Sir.
When I was a kid I wore a train engineer cap, and I got the nickname Chooch, as in Choo-Choo Charlie.
My ex-wife called me Jurr.
My yoga instructor calls me Writing Yogi
My son calls me Padre.
Guys on my high school golf team called me Hack Hack Plunk.
In middle school I was called Eddie Munster.
Some nicknames are contradictory, like calling a 350-pound guy ‘Tiny’. Others make no sense whatever, like, say, Weegie Thompson. I have no idea what a Weegie is. It’s not a Wedgie, as that’s something entirely different.
But nicknames are like jargon. It’s ‘Mystery Language’ that we embrace since it serves as a form of bonding, of familiarity. It’s a good thing.
Except that Ricky Retardo thing. Ugh.