Metatalktail Hour: Better than Sour Meat! July 30, 2022 6:22 AM   Subscribe

My favorite thing from social media this week was the Redditor whose boyfriend has pet-named her "Tony Pizza." Now I need to know the most embarrassing or off the wall pet names or nicknames that you've been called, or that you've used for a loved one.

Or just tell us what's on your mind, what's up with you, how your day is going. (But NPP&TY).
posted by taz (staff) to MetaFilter-Related at 6:22 AM (129 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

My brother went through a phase of referring to my sister and myself as Gus Malzahn and Monte Kiffin respectively. To the best of my knowledge, there was no rhyme or reason to this beyond my brother watches a lot of sports and thought their names are funny.

I am picking up a foster dog tomorrow. The plan is to adopt him, but for reasons he needs to be a foster til mid-August. I don't think his current name suits him. I have some ideas, but there may be a "help name my dog" ask in the near future. Dog tax coming soon...
posted by the primroses were over at 7:13 AM on July 30 [6 favorites]


I've somehow not picked up nicknames. People have tried, but none of them really "stuck". The closest thing I've got to a nickname these days is something bestowed on me by the leader of the photo club I belong to - he calls me "Miss Detail" because I'll often take zoomed-in closeups of things to highlight the patterns I see on them.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:59 AM on July 30


I have been called, variously, "blueberry" and "moosie", for reasons that are shrouded in the mists of time.

I finally released the first real "I'm proud of this" dashboard for my new role at work. Now just waiting for feedback/comments/acceptance/praise.
posted by Gorgik at 8:03 AM on July 30 [2 favorites]


Since we started dating, I have referred to my husband as Wubbie. My family loves this and calls him that when they refer to him to me, but not to his face. They also love that autocorrect tries to make it either "Hubby" or "Chubby."

One time we were talking in a convenience store and I must have called him Wubbie, and he was standing in front of a display, and another patron said, "Excuse me, Wubbie," to get him to move.

When we moved to our current town, he requested that we let the nickname die, and I have attempted to comply, but it slips out sometimes.
posted by BrashTech at 8:32 AM on July 30 [13 favorites]


My username is simply the nickname applied by a certain wasted Kiwi once. I feel I did way better that "Jules-stools", "Call-a-Paula" or "Paran-Karen".

Stools is still called Stools to his face at this point.
posted by pompomtom at 8:32 AM on July 30 [1 favorite]


(I wish I still had that much hair)
posted by pompomtom at 8:33 AM on July 30


Oh, I've probably told this story once but it's too good.

My cousin and her husband met in college and had a tight-knit crowd of friends - one of whom, I learned, was called "Pants". I asked to hear the story behind that, and it's actually really sweet. It was from one night when they were all college freshmen and were sitting around having one of those goofy get-to-know-you conversations - and the topic was "what's your middle name". One girl was really reluctant to say what her name was, because she was embarrassed by it; she was being gently egged on by the others. And finally "Pants" said that "there's no way it could be more embarrassing than mine," and claimed that "Pants" was his middle name. Of course everyone called bullshit - but he doubled down, saying no, it really was "Pants". He even pulled out his drivers' license to show people - it had "P" for a middle initial, and he insisted that the P was for "Pants". They argued about that for a good 15 minutes or so - which got everyone to forget about the girl who'd been embarrassed - before someone finally said "okay, dude, that's it, whether you ever tell us different we're all going to call you 'Pants' from now on." "Okay, that's fine," said "Pants", and that name stuck.

Apparently years later Pants finally told them that "okay, for the record my middle name isn't really 'Pants'," and everyone else said "dude, we knew that all along."
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:06 AM on July 30 [13 favorites]


I am a Melissa and the one nickname I will not tolerate is, "Missy". I will cut you dead and refuse to respond if you try to use that as a nickname for me. I will answer to the many variations of "Mel" that folks bestow: Mel, Mel-bell, Melby, etc., also "Lissa" is OK, my nephews call me "Auntie Lissa" and that is fine. As my last name also starts with M, I've been dubbed "M&M" by some and that is OK as well. When I was a child, my immediate family nickname was Wissa because my brother, who is two years older, called me "My Wissa" for a year or two when I was a baby and it stuck--that is not for use outside family though.
posted by agatha_magatha at 9:27 AM on July 30 [5 favorites]


Sweet cheeks Blatcher.

I will not be taking any questions.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:40 AM on July 30 [23 favorites]


I don't think I've ever had a pet name or a nice nickname. A funny one, okay:

I was a middle-school wannabe metalhead in the late 80's. My friends decided that we would have nicknames based on our favorite band, as middle-schoolers are wont to do. Karen got to be Axl. Amber got to be Slash. Ruthie got to be Duff. Lauren got to be Izzy. I got "I guess you have to be Steve." Luckily the whole G'n'R nickname thing only lasted a hot minute, but it was indicative of where I stood in the hierarchy of my friend group: I guess you have to be Steve. That will be the title of my middle school memoir.
posted by Gray Duck at 10:11 AM on July 30 [17 favorites]


My longest-running nickname was used for so long by so many that to type it here might amount to a self-doxing. But I am embarrassed to say I share it with an especially poorly-regarded US Senator.
posted by eirias at 10:15 AM on July 30 [4 favorites]


so my spouse has this friend named Clint. and we were, some years ago, spending a lot of time talking fandom about the comics Clint Barton, and also discussing this friend Clint who is a real human person.

so I got into the habit of referring to "comics Clint" and "human Clint" when I wanted to be clear about which one we were talking about.

anyway he came to visit and I forgot and referred to him as "human Clint" and when he boggled I had to explain that I thought of him as "human Clint" by reflex at this point. fortunately he thought it was hilarious, which is good because it's been five years and gone by this point, and still in our household he remains Human Clint.
posted by sciatrix at 10:20 AM on July 30 [11 favorites]


In the years in and around 2007, Barton Springs Pool (natural spring fed pool) was badly infested by huge mats of algae. I rigged up a scooping net and single handedly removed several tons of algae. This led to the nickname of Queen Algaea. Even many years after I stopped scooping, people still called me Queen Algaea. Then the Covid came and I didn't swim there for more than 2 years. When I resumed this year, almost everytime I swam, someone would call out Queen Algaea. I guess I'm stuck with it.
posted by a humble nudibranch at 11:21 AM on July 30 [17 favorites]


My neighbour is a large dude, built like a wrestler. We share the same first name. Our wives have taken to calling us 'Big Bob' and 'Little Bob'. Thing is, I'm a normal-sized person, dammit.
posted by pipeski at 12:35 PM on July 30 [8 favorites]


My ex nicknamed our two dogs Stinky Lou and Stinky Pete. Much later, after both Stinky Lou and Stinky Pete had died and I'd adopted a new dog whose name was already Pete, we never did manage to find a Stinky Name for him. (Don't worry, he had plenty of other nicknames.)

Regular Ordinary Non-Stinky Pete died last month. Despite his lack of stinky nickname, he was a good little stinker!
posted by moonmilk at 12:54 PM on July 30 [7 favorites]


It only lasted for one job, but for a while I was Dr. Biscuit. We were having a hell of a time trying to get a laboratory method to work - failure after epic failure, the whole thing was looking hopeless, when one day I was standing at the copy machine and my colleague breezed by and casually announced "By the way, it worked". I was so astonished I yelped "Well, butter my butt and call me a biscuit!" I should have known better, since we had an open office and everybody heard it. I slumped over the copier, head buried in my arms, burning red in the face. After the howling died down, one of the lab techs chirped "Okay, Biscuit!" I raised my head from my arms, gave her the stink-eye, and growled "That's DOCTOR Biscuit to you".
posted by Quietgal at 12:54 PM on July 30 [20 favorites]


I never had a nick-name that stuck, but neither did most people in my generation it seems. My parent's friends all have nicknames, so I actually don't know the proper names for half of them. Being Norwegian, though, they wouldn't make much sense to share here. But I'm enjoying reading all your nicknames, though.
posted by Harald74 at 1:05 PM on July 30 [3 favorites]


And in non-name-related stuff, I've spent a few hours today on my least favourite DIY activity ever, cement rendering a garden wall I've made. I usually mix the stuff either too thin or too thick, causing it to fall off the wall, and I'm really struggling to make the corners look presentable. The wall has a part where I'm planning to put a wood fired pizza oven when finances allow, with all kinds of nooks and crannies and related challenges. My 14 yo managed to enter the garden as I sent the face float flying in frustration. He wisely chose not to comment...

(This English-language post brought to you by Wikipedia and Google - I hardly know these terms in my native Norwegian!)
posted by Harald74 at 1:12 PM on July 30 [18 favorites]


My best friends and I, in high school, spent an inordinate amount of time hanging out at the IHOP in Seattle’s University District. We gave ourselves nicknames off the paper check the waiter brings that has all the possible menu items heavily abbreviated on it, based on the first letter of our names. The only ones I remember now are Short S for myself (Short Stack of pancakes) and Anna, who became Ad Mush (Additional Mushrooms). Still think of this whenever I see an IHOP.
posted by skycrashesdown at 1:16 PM on July 30 [7 favorites]


A former boss noticed a few variations of my given name in use around the office, and asked if I had a preference.
I said, "Not really. I go by initial, legal Name, nickname 1, nickname 2... Spike..."
I was kidding, but suddenly there was one person in all the world delightedly calling me Spike, and I leaned in.
posted by Iris Gambol at 1:22 PM on July 30 [8 favorites]


For reasons beyond understanding, my father nicknamed my younger brother "Booger." This was sometimes softened/made more inexplicable by extending it to "Booger Bear." The name was in pretty common use by my dad, me, and my older brother until once at K-Mart, someone asked him, "What's your name, little guy?" and he answered, "Booger Bear [Last name]." Mom put a hard ban on it after that.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 1:37 PM on July 30 [4 favorites]


A friend of mine told this story about his college days: One of his circle of friends was named Richard, and when asked what he preferred to be called he said "Doesn't matter, Dick or Richard." So that's what they called him - Dickorrichard!
posted by Greg_Ace at 1:47 PM on July 30 [1 favorite]


One of my high school friends had spiky hair so she was, naturally, called Spike. I was (and am!) much shorter than she and so was nicknamed Squirt.

My nickname for my daughter, Sophia, is Pickle. Idk why.
posted by cooker girl at 2:15 PM on July 30 [3 favorites]


Aside from nicknames, I'm distracted by one of the replies to the nickname tweet:

My sister keeps photoshopping her cat's face onto bees.
posted by penguin pie at 2:34 PM on July 30 [7 favorites]


Back when I ran the Irish node of an EU quango, the Madrid office was run by José-Maria with assistance from José-Ramon. They were widely known as Hose-A and Hose-B.
posted by BobTheScientist at 2:34 PM on July 30 [8 favorites]


Once upon a time, I went by Debbie. My boyfriend (at the time) and some of his friends took delight in calling me Little Debbie, as in Little Debbie Snack Cakes. That got shortened to Snackers. I was Snackers for about 8 years in a very specific subset of friends.
posted by dbmcd at 2:35 PM on July 30 [7 favorites]


My first and last initials are both "R" and the guide on a Pop Japan Travel tour about ten years ago to my utter delight dubbed me "Double R Bomb." I really need to figure out a way to get people to call me that more often.
More recently, a co-worker started calling me "Kiddo." Which struck me as utterly ridiculous as I'm in my fifties, but he's a senior citizen who came out of retirement to help us during staff shortages. So I just call him "Pops" and we're even.
posted by The Ardship of Cambry at 5:31 PM on July 30 [12 favorites]


called a roommate "slugboy" behind his back for most a semester, then, coming home from a party with a bunch of people in on the surreptitious sobriquet, he rolled in a pile of leaves then complained he was covered in slugs, whereupon a wag (not self) in the crowd remarked that he might be called a slug boy: slugboy. after that it was not behind his back.

my family call me by a diminutive of my given name. i introduce myself as and answer to the given name undiminished. on occasion people, thinking to be polite i guess, ask me if i have a preference, and i reply that i introduced myself by my undiminished name and will judge the speaker of my name whichever they choose; people who ask are often taken aback. i generally try to be pretty careful with others' names.

my social media time has been consumed by dipping my toe into social media beef. i was watching streaming truck convoyers on yt for a while, as maybe previously mentioned. i have continued watching a local successor-in-interest, now organized as a sole-proprietership, and occasionally tweeting about what i see. lately, this group has squatted on the national mall (without their trucks), staged civil disobedience on highways, suffered some arrests, obtained a permit, failed to articulate coherent grievances, scheduled some court dates, done little more than sit among flags on _not_their_permitted_site_ doing nothing and suffered some counterprotests. i've been talking to myself, and my two twitter subscribers, hi mom, about them since they barely scraped national news back in the spring. (there is a daily beast reporter who reports on something like what i observe, from time to time).

only recently have i become aware--through the streaming fakejournalist/fakepatriot participants themselves--of others out there organizing opposition. of course there are plenty of the normal dc opponents, local activists, random persons walking by, joggers & cyclists. but there also seem to be factions and factions of other parties formerly associated with some other (or the same) convoy endeavors, or free speech movements, or something, who, with a loose coalition of others probably never affiliated with any convoy activity, fighting social-media beef and real-life antagonistic activism right on that stalking/assault line. overall, it is a lot more people passionate about freedom running to the police trying to get other people arrested than i am accustomed to seeing.

it is fascinating and absurd and toxic and maybe the most gripping "reality" tv on this season. just the nomenclature, alone, merits an ethnographic study. not by me though -- in too deep: i actually logged in to yt against practice and principal in order to better watch the many views of any given set of events.

oh also, 28 months (?) into the pandemic, little lurk and mother, currently visiting grandparents abroad, both have covid. probably i should renew my passport post haste.
posted by 20 year lurk at 5:35 PM on July 30 [3 favorites]


When my step father got mad, his polish would arise with "Dupka" in which I'd inquire if he was speaking Bulgarian referencing the freshly dug well.
posted by clavdivs at 5:39 PM on July 30 [2 favorites]


I was called the avenger in college intramural floor hockey games.
posted by sciencegeek at 6:08 PM on July 30 [2 favorites]


Papi Chulo. Long story why. It was started by 3 friends and the golf cart drink girl on the 8th hole. Now my gf calls me that too. I had to look it up what it meant. I think I should be proud although the literal translation is not what I want to be called.

My kids decided in their late teens that calling me Pops was better than calling me Dad. So there is that too.

My friends often refer to each other with F in front of their initials as in FJG or F*ing Johnny Gunn.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 6:32 PM on July 30 [5 favorites]


I was called Superdrew for a long time. My name is Andy (or Andrew or Drew, I don't really give a shit), and about 20 years ago I was going to Cancun with a group of friends. One of those friends happened to be a swimsuit designer at the time and so made me an American flag speedo, cape and eyemask as a joke. I wore it everywhere the entire trip (the tourists hated it but the local people seemed to find it hilarious), and from then on I was Superdrew. I moved away not long after that and don't keep in contact much, but still when I do rarely return to the area, people still call me by that name.
posted by Literaryhero at 7:04 PM on July 30 [5 favorites]


An old girlfriend a long time ago called me the Energizer Bunny to her friends and it stuck for a while. A sort of friend called me Spam bitch once, and some of my friends would not let it go. I found out I was "weird chris" to a group of people I barely knew, though we had a friend in common. Most importantly, since the pandemic, I'm Capt. Curbside.
posted by vrakatar at 7:47 PM on July 30 [5 favorites]


I don't know why, but I really like Capt. Curbside.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 9:02 PM on July 30 [3 favorites]


My brother just reminded me that his son named their cat, George Herbert Walker Bush D. Cat. The vet tech asked him what they should call him and he said with a straight face, "Steve. "

That son is now, literally, a rocket scientist working for SpaceX.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 9:14 PM on July 30 [9 favorites]


For a while in high school I was Masha Moll, or just plain Moll (Afrikaans for mole).
I played hockey for a brief time, in high school. Field, not ice, we don't have ice hockey over here. It's the only team sport I've ever participated in, and I loved it.

It was a revelation to be in a context where you were allowed to be aggressive. That felt good. I also liked the fact that I played left wing, the same as my mother did when she was at school.

I was definitely more enthusiastic than skilled, and had the habit of focusing so much on the ball that I'd forget where my body is, and after hitting the ball, would end up falling over my stick.

Someone pointed out that I spent more time plowing through the dirt than running over it , and thus "Masha Moll" or just plain Moll.

Much later, some of my students used to call me Masharooney, which I loved, but I have no idea why.
posted by Zumbador at 9:31 PM on July 30 [9 favorites]


I share a last name with a politically notable figure from the 2016-2020 period (no, not that guy, one of the minor shitgibbons). To the best of my knowledge there's zero actual relation there, but for a while I was introducing myself as "[First] [Lastname], no relation to [jackass]."

At almost every job I've had, I've been known as "Hey [lastname]," or occasionally "Hey [common noun that is almost identical to lastname in a funny way]." Current job uses [firstname], and I'm really quite alright with that. I actually thought about identifying myself as [middlename] or [F]. [M]. (I publish as [First] [M]. [Lastname] because there are a number of notable people with my first and last name, but I didn't really go with it, and it's too late for my current gig. Maybe next job. )

Fun story: The other online handle I use is a mis-hearing of my last name from someone at my first job, which sounds cooler than my real last name, to my ear. There is currently a guy managing a team I collaborate with, that has that name as his first name. It was real confusing the first time someone said "Go talk to [Handle]," meaning that person. I did such a double-take, heh!
posted by Alterscape at 9:36 PM on July 30 [1 favorite]


My very first internet name was smoo. This was because it was a nickname my sister gave me, and we were still speaking back then. It went Linda, Lindy-Loo, Smoo. I quite liked it until I was informed that it was one of those stupid words the really bad lad mags of the early 90's used for vagina or something so I turned to Douglas Adams for comfort.
posted by h00py at 1:32 AM on July 31 [1 favorite]


Hrm, same first name as my maternal grandfather so granny used the first-middle most of the time, gramps mostly just called me Junior. High school was Einstein (natch), still remember that senior year post football game episode of running around with a couple of graduated ex-teammate girls and getting so shitfaced that I barfed in the car, then in the 7-11 parking lot and Rufus (aka Fat Albert) and his crew are all "hey hey hey, check it out, Einstein's puking his guts out." Such a wild night, girls basically dumped me in my front lawn to crawl my way home. A not-quite-girl-friend in university once upon a time looked at me and said "you're such a zengargoyle" that it stuck within my head as just a perfect thing, but not really a nickname per-se. My ex-wife-not-wife called me Hubby and I called her Wifey-poo. My homeless street name was Jester (JSTR). My real fist name is monosyllabic and not prone to nickname foolery.
posted by zengargoyle at 5:45 AM on July 31 [4 favorites]


When I was in my single digits, I felt that my initials being “JET” was underappreciated and tried to make it happen as a nickname. “Speed” also gained no traction.

My father, nearly anytime I entered the room, would singsong: “Juan Edmundo Hernandez (¡ay caramba!)” several times, as though a chorus to some country western classic. “Johneronimo” was another. The first originated when I weened myself as a baby by climbing onto the table and eating a bunch of spicy enchiladas before anyone noticed. The second involved a toddler-era habit of launching myself off the couch and landing on my head, apparently for enjoyment.

I still like spicy food, but do try to respect the old dome a bit these days.
posted by thoroughburro at 5:59 AM on July 31 [4 favorites]


My sister and I, for reasons too illogical to explain, refer to each other as Boops/Boop/Boopster/The Boop etc. Written to each other, we sign as Boop Sr (me) and Boop Jr (her). We are in our 40s.

We call my dad Buttermint, though not to his face. This started about 20 years ago when he told a (completely fabricated) tale of swimming in the South Seas with a precocious tuna named Buttermint.

Dad calls everyone (children, pets, spouses, etc) either Bud, Budster, or Sports Fans (always plural).

I call most of my friends (individually) bastards (plural), but if I really love you I call you fuckface or shitcastle. They typically respond in kind.
posted by thivaia at 6:26 AM on July 31 [2 favorites]


Oh I forgot another one. As I mentioned, my name is Andy, and a few years ago a guy named Terence was hired into the office. We had known each other for like two days but were goofing off about couple names like Andence (you know like bennifer or brangelina or something), when I had an epiphany and shouted Terdy! Needless to say no one at work has called either of us anything but Terdy since then.
posted by Literaryhero at 7:47 AM on July 31 [7 favorites]


My friend used to work in a lab that kept hiring guys named Matt. They were using various initials and last names to tell them apart and everyone was fine with that. Then one day a friend of hers was visiting, met the new Matt, and said “Another Matt?!? Wouldn’t you rather be Max Power?” and that Matt said yes, Max Power was a better name. The friend group still calls him that, always the full name, despite there being no Matt’s in the friend group to confuse him with.

Also I didn’t know this back story for years and since I was introduced to him as Max Power I thought that was his actual name, it wasn’t until a wedding place setting that someone mentioned how weird it was seeing his real name written out that I was told all this.
posted by lepus at 7:53 AM on July 31 [4 favorites]


You all have reminded me...in 7th grade I went to a new school, where kids started calling me "Peabody" as in "Peabody and Sherman '. For reasons I never understood apart from kids being kids this turned into "pee in your booty", which lasted until I left the school a year later.
posted by Gorgik at 8:19 AM on July 31 [1 favorite]


My friend used to work in a lab that kept hiring guys named Matt

That reminds me of something I hadn't thought of for quite a while. The summer before my senior year of high school, I worked as a dishwasher in a restaurant that had something like 5 or 6 other Greg's working there - not always all on the same shift, but nicknames were still necessary to avoid confusion. Mine was Grog (the caveman character from the old B.C. comic strip), which I was pretty happy with. That never caught on anywhere else though.

There was one other nickname from my school years that was so mean and hurtful that I'm not repeating it here. Kids can be real shits sometimes.
posted by Greg_Ace at 10:00 AM on July 31 [5 favorites]


I have only very briefly had a nickname. Even online, I mostly just sign up for websites and MMOs and such as jacquilynne, as you can see here.

But for a very short time, in Brazil, I had a nickname. Because, at the time, I was still a Jacqui and no one in Brazil could pronounce Jacqui -- to them it looked like it should be said like 'jeck'. And my teachers introduced me to my classes as Jeck and I became Jeck, which was pretty annoying and not really a nickname. Then suddenly a band called Skank came out with a song called Jackie Tequila, and I could tell people my name was Jacqui, like in Jackie Tequila and they were like 'ohhhhh'.

And from then on, instead of Jeck, I was Jacqui Tequila.
posted by jacquilynne at 10:07 AM on July 31 [7 favorites]


I had various crazy childhood pet names applied by my wacky parents which I will not repeat. The one I will admit to in public is "[first name] pots pie" ... sometimes shortened to Potsie. My mother called Mr. gudrun Lovey - sincerely, not ironically, since he was very close to my parents. It was really sweet.

Mr. gudrun and I have a tendency sometimes to call each other the same nickname, so, for example, we both sometimes call each other Nick, as in nickname. Another one we both use for each other is Little Bear, based on the book series. Mr. gudrun had those as a kid, and the first book in the series resurfaced when we were going through his mother's things after she died, which put it on our radar. Being mindful about spouting embarrassing nicknames in public, we usually shorten it and just use the initials "LB".
posted by gudrun at 11:07 AM on July 31 [2 favorites]


Once when we were dating, my eventually-to-be-ex husband called me Twatsy. Not just called me that... I mean CALLED me that. He was waiting for me in the car outside the courthouse in the middle of town, and when he saw me come out he shouted it at me several times to get my attention so I'd see where he was parked. To say we had words over this is putting it mildly.
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 11:12 AM on July 31 [4 favorites]


According to the S/O I am either What now? or Not again!
posted by Splunge at 1:16 PM on July 31 [1 favorite]


I read this to my wife as we were about to start this new coop story game As Dusk Falls. You give your little profile a name so I went to name hers Tony Pizza. I could only fit "Tony Piz", and I thought I had killed my wife, I've never seen her laugh and laugh and laugh that maniacally. I did not change it back so she spent the night as Tony Piz.

She said my nicknames are Sweetie Pie or Stinky Man.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 1:37 PM on July 31 [2 favorites]


I won't say what the name is here, but I'm about to change my last name, post divorce, to my childhood nickname. It makes a surprisingly strong last name, goes great with my first name, and this way all of my names will be mine and mine alone. I've been trying on names for four years now and nothing ever felt right until I hit on this. I like the name itself and it makes me feel loved. I'm super excited and am actually filling out the forms today!
posted by HotToddy at 4:11 PM on July 31 [32 favorites]


Early on in my first real relationship my partner overheard my mother use a diminuitive of my first name but misheard it as "parakeet" instead. So I was parakeet for the next several years. (I'm pretty boring and usually just call people "love" or by their actual name.)

Sadly the only legitimate nickname I've acquired that more than one person ever used was "bucket cider." I was the only person willing to drink the pruno made with frozen apple juice, wine yeast, and a five gallon plastic bucket. I'm credited under that name in a documentary film.

In unrelated news, I just signed a lease on a new apartment. It's not perfect, but it's walking distance to work and as close to the lake as you can get. I'm looking forward to the move.
posted by eotvos at 5:14 PM on July 31 [8 favorites]


Nicknaming to avoid multiple-people-with-same-name confusion:

I was one of two people in my college friend circle with the same first name. (I'll use "Cindy" for this story.) We usually didn't have any trouble keeping things straight; sometimes one or the other of us became "the other Cindy" if other people were speaking to or about us both.

Then came senior year, and a VERY specific and unusual set of circumstances. The other Cindy was throwing a dinner party in her apartment for us all before we all went home for winter break; however, it was scheduled the day after the dorms were shutting down for the winter. So I crashed on Cindy's couch overnight. The following morning, the other Cindy went out to get food for the party while I sat at home; the phone rang, and I answered. It was our friend Ian, who was also coming to the dinner party and was himself crashing with his then-girlfriend at HER apartment.

Ian and I had a conversation about the dinner plans - what time to show up, what food would be there - and he then conveyed that information to his girlfriend. And I overheard that conversation:

"So Cindy says that the other Cindy will be starting to cook in an hour."

"Wait, why is the other Cindy doing the cooking, I though this was at Cindy's?"

"It is. I'm talking to the OTHER Cindy."

"But what's the other Cindy doing there?"

"Cindy's staying with the other Cindy. She just answered the phone."

"But...Cindy has her own apartment."

"No, this is the OTHER Cindy who's staying in CINDY'S apartment."

"So....wait, who are you talking to again?"

At this point I interrupted - "Ian, do yourself a favor and give me a nickname."

There was the tiniest of pauses, and then Ian said "Okay." Then started again with his girlfriend: "So, Butch is staying with Cindy and Butch says that Cindy's going to start cooking in an hour...."
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:41 PM on July 31 [5 favorites]


In college, due to the excitement of a herniated disc and the way I hobbled around, my best friend took to calling me Torgo.

In Japan, silly love nicknames aren’t really a big thing, but I’ve got a long list of names I call Mrs. Ghidorah, and they change from time to time. Obviously honey bear is a standard, but why not bunny hair? Trying to explain “my little pumpkin” involved direct translation (Boku no chisai kabocha) which is long and silly, so it’s been shortened to BoNoCha, which has been my pet name for her ever since.
posted by Ghidorah at 6:31 PM on July 31 [7 favorites]


My senior year of high school a Burger King opened on the USAF base in England where I went to high school. I got a job and my manager was Mr. Beck - same last name as me. I joked that we’d stood arm-in-arm overlooking the salad bar and he said to me, “one day this will all be yours.”
posted by bendy at 7:11 PM on July 31 [2 favorites]


My kid sister, Jessica was named Jebbica by a very young friend who couldn’t pronounce her name. I still think of her as Jebby though she mostly goes by Jess now.
posted by bendy at 7:15 PM on July 31 [2 favorites]


I joked that we’d stood arm-in-arm overlooking the salad bar and he said to me, “one day this will all be yours.”

What, the curtains??
posted by Greg_Ace at 8:07 PM on July 31 [1 favorite]


Not off the wall at all, but as a Canadian of British and German heritage, it's been interesting for me to see how seemingly every single couple in Mexico calls each other "my love" in regular conversation. It's usually "Oh crap, my love, we're out of eggs" or something along those lines, but it's still kind of sweet.
posted by ssg at 8:27 PM on July 31 [3 favorites]


Of course, the reproachful "my love" used for emphasis is quite popular too.
posted by ssg at 8:31 PM on July 31 [1 favorite]


My ex-wife started calling me Beak because when I slept, I pursed my lips like a bird’s beak. That turned into Beaky, and then Meeky, and then Meepy, and then Meepief, with an eff instead of an ess at the end, and then just Meep—a consistent progression over 15 years for a pet name.

Now she calls me by my legal first name, which only gym teachers and people who don’t know me have ever used, and certainly not the nickname that I’ve gone by for the last thirty years. If it makes her feel better about our divorce, it’s fine.

Odd coincidence: my last landlady named her cat Meep, completely independently and without knowing my ex’s history of increasingly-babyish pet names.
posted by infinitewindow at 9:26 PM on July 31 [5 favorites]


Our children decided to go right from Mommy and Daddy to Mother and Father once they got to their pre-teens. Entirely their choice. So now we're the family who you walk by and hear "Sister, ask Father to give this to Mother" and think WHAT IS UP WITH THAT?
posted by true at 10:19 PM on July 31 [9 favorites]


I have a close fiend, like a sister of choice. We will be fiends for as long as there is time left to be. My only real nickname is grandma, and my grandson's friends all call me that, as they don't even know the name I go by.
posted by Oyéah at 10:39 PM on July 31


I was involved, peripherally, with a women's football club. Now, nicknames are endemic in footy indeed all kinds of sporting clubs; you can't choose your own of course, and being given one is an important rite of acceptance, so there's great attention paid to them, and the right one has to suit. Something that you do, something about you, or just an abbreviation of your name. Anyone named 'Smith' becomes Smitty. Tony Lockett inherited 'Plugger' from his father. Sarah 'Tex' Perkins for the singer. Buddha. Spesh. Blocker. The Brick With Eyes. That kind of thing.

Some of the club were out drinking (which, you won't be shocked to hear, is also something football players do) and wound up chatting at random to an elderly, morning-drinking pub local, who, because he had so few teeth, gloried in his own pub nickname 'chompy'. Fantastic, the players said, that's too good a nickname not to use for someone eventually, and delightedly stored it away until next season for the new players to come to pre-season training. The 'Nickname Someone Chompy' project got put on the senior players to-do list along with ordering new water bottles and socks.

Now you can't just give the nickname 'chompy' to just anyone, particularly young football players who all tend to have all their own teeth, and don't (usually) bite people; they had to try it out on new players, and it landed on one particular woman who was particularly easy-going and had just the right absurd and laid-back sense of humour—for no other reason than because she was the one who was happy enough when she had to explain, whenever someone asked 'so what's with "chompy"', that actually, it's kind of a long story...

(At least, this is how I've heard the story. It might be totally different, simpler, or more elaborate. Football nicknames are like that).
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 10:57 PM on July 31 [3 favorites]


My favourite nickname at the moment is Mummy- we have a new littlest feet in our house, baby arrived nearly two weeks ago and I've been soaking up the newborn snuggles.

manzana - mrfeet was learning Spanish and excitedly told me "tu es manzana!" - he had wanted to say mujer, as in "you are a woman" but used manzana/apple instead. He's the only one who gets to call me that, though.
posted by freethefeet at 4:58 AM on August 1 [15 favorites]


ahhhhh congratulations, freethefeet!
posted by eirias at 5:30 AM on August 1 [1 favorite]


I don't really get nicknamed much. Although I have interesting initials (KGB). A lot of people just call me by my initials, including a couple of my uncles.

I was part of a pretty good same-name nicknaming for some co-workers at an old job. One person was named Lisa, and then a little after I started, we hired another Lisa. Everybody started calling them "new Lisa" and "old Lisa", and I originally objected to calling old Lisa "old Lisa", because it made her sound old like elderly. And then I said it, I realized "elderly Lisa" sounded a lot cooler. (She was like 24 at the time.) It got shortened to Elderly. New Lisa got assigned an email address of her full first name and last initial. It was supposed to be pronounced "lisa-d", but someone (me) instead pronounced it "lie-sad", and that got shortened to Sad. So instead of new Lisa and old Lisa, we had Sad and Elderly. Great for Facebook memories.

At the same job, we had another person who wrote her initials on everything, but didn't have the clearest handwriting. Instead of SO, we started calling her Fifty.

I have a fraternity brother with whom I'm still close who was introduced to me twenty-some years ago as "Chunk Dogg". Now that we're both in our 40s and he's got a kid in high school, I've been making an effort to refer to him by his given name, but if I told my wife that "Chris sent me this", she would say "who?", so I have to say "you know, Chunk Dogg". The nickname was also helpful because his wife is named Christina, and she goes by Chris as well.
posted by kevinbelt at 8:57 AM on August 1 [6 favorites]


I have a close friend, like a sister of choice. We will be fiends for as long as there is time left to be.

You've just reminded me of my own such friend, who was a friend since we were both 12. When we were 14 she and I and another friend tried writing a round-robin book together - we took turns adding chapters - about three girls who were thinly-disguised doppelgangers of all of us. My friend and I still occasionally call each other by our character names.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:12 AM on August 1


Congrats on the new tiny feet, freethefeet! ❤️👣
posted by Sparky Buttons at 11:26 AM on August 1 [5 favorites]


Best response to the Tony Pizza problem: Joking aside, I hope the advice was to say “yeh, I’m Tony Pizza to go”.

As for the nickname. Oh, boy. My last name used to be Wasko (rhymes with Roscoe, which is why this whole thing happened in the first place). I grew up in the late 70s/early 80s in a family that decidedly did NOT watch "The Dukes of Hazzard," but managed to go to a grade school full of people who did.

I don't know which one of those fools came up with "Wasko P. Coltrane," but of course somebody did (with a staccato pronunciation that was apparently the way the character Roscoe P. Coltrane pronounced his own name when irate). Problem was, as I said, neither I nor my parents had EVER watched "The Dukes of Hazzard" so I had absolutely no frame of reference for this name. And if there's something worse than being called a stupid nickname, it's being called a stupid nickname that you don't understand, and really can't explain to your parents. So we were all mystified by "Wasko-Pico-Train" and stayed mystified for several years until I guess the Dukes went off the air and the world moved on.

I never did like my last name very much, though. I got rid of it when I got married.
posted by dlugoczaj at 11:55 AM on August 1 [3 favorites]


i've never really had a nickname that stuck, and that continues to be the case. However, periodically my partner will answer a question of mine or make an observation in the voice of Butt-Head, and in doing so he will refer to me as Beavis.

e.g.,
Me: aw fuck they're making me travel for work this week
Partner: well, Beavis, that's going to suck
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 12:54 PM on August 1 [3 favorites]


dlugoczaj, my friend with a last name of Wolchko has a verrry similar story.
posted by infinitewindow at 12:56 PM on August 1 [1 favorite]


Sadly no cool nickname for me, but in 2nd year physics a new person showed up called John, and since we already had one I just started calling him Other John, then just OJ. And for 2 years people called him that solely.
posted by Marticus at 3:37 PM on August 1 [1 favorite]


I never really seemed to attract nicknames, not being particularly popular growing up. When that magical moment happened and the mythical MetaFilter sign-up page materialised on my screen (MeFi young-uns may not understand), I realised I had no idea what to call myself. I just typed in my initials, as I had been doing in signing off informal emails at work and here I am. At my previous couple of jobs, most people called me 'dg' because of that. I'm OK with it, but if you call me by my actual name, don't shorten it or I won't answer. I'm David. I'm not Dave or (shudder) Dave-o. I always call people by the name they introduce themselves as and expect the same in return. Yes, I realise this is a forlorn hope and after a while, if someone really doesn't get it, I just respond to whatever they call me. But I judge them for it. Every. Single. Time.
posted by dg at 4:56 PM on August 1 [5 favorites]


The Davester! Davemeister! Daverama! Signin' emails!
posted by Greg_Ace at 6:34 PM on August 1 [7 favorites]


[continuing] ...Emperor Durg! Il Doge! Nice Scraf! Dodgycoin!

(The question is 'what's your name and how do you say it?', dg, and I think it's an act of respect to use the name some supplies. Maybe there's a second layer where you get to say 'you're one of use with this extra name'... but let's start with respect.)
posted by k3ninho at 1:39 AM on August 2 [2 favorites]


I have the diminuitive form of Ken, because a longstanding maxim from my early days online is "a little knowledge (ken) is a dangerous thing."
posted by k3ninho at 1:53 AM on August 2 [3 favorites]


my childhood nickname was Moose, because when a family friend saw a baby photo of me he said "what a moose". I was a nice big fat pink Irish baby.

well I hated that nickname as a kid. it made me feel really self-conscious about being a tall girl. it was not until into adulthood, seeing a photo of a baby moose, that I came to feel better about it.

I was a very skinny gangly child, with long skinny legs and knobby knees. baby moose are super cute, with long skinny legs and knobby knees!
posted by supermedusa at 8:40 AM on August 2 [6 favorites]


Years and years ago in the hostel I worked in, I spotted a note on the bulletin board in German. It was between, I gather, two partners and began, “Hallo, Schnuffelmaus!” One need not be fluent to grasp this as, “Hello, Snuffle-mouse!”

I have since appropriated this term (in the original German, of course)!and deployed it periodically.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 9:11 AM on August 2 [2 favorites]


if you call me by my actual name, don't shorten it or I won't answer. I'm David. I'm not Dave or (shudder) Dave-o.

Right there with ya. My parents both have names that have no shortened form. They wanted a name for me that was likewise, and many early possibilities were discarded. They liked “Patrick,” but didn’t like “Pat.” They liked “David,” but didn’t care for “Dave.” They liked “William,” but did not like “Will” or “Bill,” liked “Michael” but didn’t like “Mike,” liked “Richard” but didn’t like “Rich” or “Rick,” and so forth.

I ended up with a first name that cannot be shortened, but one I was never crazy about growing up. My middle name is one of the above, and is what I usually go by. To honour their wishes to some degree, I go by the full one, not the shortened version.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 9:20 AM on August 2 [3 favorites]


What is "sour meat"?

Genuine question.

I understand 'sweatmeats"

I understand 'sweet meat'

But if something is better than 'sour meat' then surely sour meat has to have been a thing to compare to?

Can you buy sour meat? (I'm not asking why, just if it's a thing) (Here in the UK we have our fair share of .. odd foods .. but sour meat? Nope, well not that I know. happy to be educated!)

I assume there is some cultural history here?
posted by I shot a fox in Skyrim and it made me sad at 9:23 AM on August 2


My mother's mother would play with my oldest brother (who was the first grandchild) on the floor of her kitchen with Matchbox cars. She'd make a "dnnn dnnnn DNNNN" sound when she moved the cars, and my brother and every other grandchild forever called her Din Din. She was a baker by trade so the nieces and nephews called her Aunt Cookie.
posted by ersatzkat at 9:29 AM on August 2 [5 favorites]


it was indicative of where I stood in the hierarchy of my friend group: I guess you have to be Steve.

Could be worse. I was Ringo.
posted by biogeo at 9:50 AM on August 2 [4 favorites]


it was indicative of where I stood in the hierarchy of my friend group: I guess you have to be Steve.


A quarter century or so ago my social circle included a guy named Paul and a subsequent addition to the group was also named Paul. There was a board game or something both were going to be present for and I made a reference to Paul at one point. Someone asked me which Paul I meant, and I clarified “New Guy Paul.”

Decades later none of us has seen the OG Paul in years but the subsequent addition still rejoices in the appellation New Guy Paul.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 10:01 AM on August 2 [2 favorites]


My parents both have names that have no shortened form. They wanted a name for me that was likewise

This has been one of the great aggravations of the past couple years for me. My wife and I both have non-shortenable names, and our daughter does too. So when our son was born, we wanted a non-shortenable name for him. As it turns out, naming a boy is hard, especially when both families are Irish Catholic and have 28029 cousins each. We eventually decided on a name that has a shortenable form, Andrew, but we agreed that we'd call him "Andrew". As soon as we announced the name, my mother-in-law said "oh, we should call him Drew", and all her kids, including, despite our prior conversation, my wife, started calling him that. They said it in public, including at daycare, where teachers then started calling him Drew. I have spent literally three years telling everyone who will listen that his name is actually Andrew. If he wants to go by another name later, that's fine. But until he's old enough to request that, his name is Andrew and we will call him Andrew. I do grant an exception for my father-in-law, though, because he calls him "Andy" as a means of annoying his ex-wife.
posted by kevinbelt at 10:07 AM on August 2 [2 favorites]


If he wants to go by another name later, that's fine. But until he's old enough to request that, his name is Andrew and we will call him Andrew.

Our kid's first name is not shortenable but their middle name is in about four different ways. Part of my logic when I suggested the middle name was is they didn't like their first name they would have multiple options to choose from.

I never realized some people would get upset if you shortened their name until just a few years ago. However, I always called them whatever they initially introduced themselves as.
posted by a non mouse, a cow herd at 11:01 AM on August 2 [2 favorites]


Patercallipygos goes by "Dick". He's also pretty informal. So when he was assistant coach of my brothers' Little League team, he told all the kids that they could call him "Dick" instead of "Mr. [Last name]". But one year there was one kid who you could tell had been raised by very proper parents, and who kept calling him "Mr. [Last name]" because that's what you're supposed to do with your elders. And after a week or so of Dad continuing to tell him "it's okay, you can call me 'Dick" whenever this kid said "Mr. [Last name]", finally the poor kid came up with a compromise.

And started calling him "Mr. Dick".

The first time he said that, Dad and all the other coaches nearly strained something trying not to laugh. And from that day to this, Dad has been "Mr. Dick" to all and sundry; they occasionally called my mother "Mrs. Dick" and a couple times I was dubbed "Young Miss Dick". Dad was also presented with a sweatshirt with "Mr. Dick" as the monogram embroidered on it and he still has it.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:19 PM on August 2 [6 favorites]

But if something is better than 'sour meat' then surely sour meat has to have been a thing to compare to?
Interesting. I've had meat that is sour because it's been brined or mixed with vinegared stuff. But, it was always pretty good. I wonder if "sour" here means "spoiled" in this case? e.g., rancid? (or amargo in Spanish?)

I am now tempted to make jerky coated coated with citric acid crystals just to see what it's like. And one with pop-rocks while I'm at it.
posted by eotvos at 12:22 PM on August 2


The Late Mr. Nerd called me "Poodlefish"
posted by luckynerd at 12:59 PM on August 2 [8 favorites]


When i first met my ex he was called Baby instead of his name by his very large family and friends. His three older sisters who are considerably older than him had had to take him everywhere with them and basically raised him, so that is what they called him.
I hated them calling a thirtyfive year old Baby (calling someone Baby in German implies the person is babylike), so i tried to get them to change it without much success, on the contrary they thought me cold and weird for not using it, until one day i blurted out to one of his older sisters that i found it a turn off to call a Person i have Sex with Baby. At first she was shocked and then laughed and then called her sisters and they stopped calling him that when i was with him, and stopped insisting i should call him that.
posted by 15L06 at 1:16 PM on August 2 [7 favorites]


My missus has the nickname of “Pete”. It has no relation to her actual name. But, it’s a name I hold in reserve for only the most important moments.

Oddly, I have never had a nickname. However, I have, more often than not, been referred to by my last name. It’s always kind of irked me. Dunno why people opted for that. My first name is a bog-ordinary name.
posted by Thorzdad at 2:59 PM on August 2 [2 favorites]


We eventually decided on a name that has a shortenable form, Andrew, but we agreed that we'd call him "Andrew". As soon as we announced the name, my mother-in-law said "oh, we should call him Drew", and all her kids, including, despite our prior conversation, my wife, started calling him that. They said it in public, including at daycare, where teachers then started calling him Drew. I have spent literally three years telling everyone who will listen that his name is actually Andrew.

Heh, my little sister is named Kathryn, and the plan was to nickname her Katy. Katy with a "y." Kathryn's preschool teacher taught her to spell it "Katie." Katie turns 36 today and my mom is still kind of mad about this.

I'm going to skip the naming Ask, because he's so obviously a Cyrus, but here's the promised dog tax. He's settling in really well!
posted by the primroses were over at 5:00 PM on August 2 [10 favorites]


I don't really get nicknamed much. Although I have interesting initials (KGB).
posted by kevinbelt

(I had to do a doubletake, as MY oldest son has the exact same initials and the same first name as your username!)

As a child, my mother nicknamed me "Snip" and "Precious". Precious pretty much dropped off by the time I became a surly teenager, but Snip survived for years.
My family also used to call me by First Name/Middle Name as one word (my mother hated the nickname Annie, and would write my first and middle names as one, even on my lunchbags). This extended all through school. To this day, you can tell lifelong friends and family members because they still use the full name.

My ex-husband called me "Marie", for whatever reason. I only knew something was wrong when he used my first name.

In the middle of high school I chose the nickname my mother hated as I feel it fits me best, lol, so Annie I became!
posted by annieb at 5:42 PM on August 2 [4 favorites]


My parents' nicknames for one another came from misaddressed mail. My mother, Stephanie, got butchered to, "Steaghaboo" on one envelope, and my father, Derrick, to, "Dicky Grable" on another. It has been 40 years since these letters were sent and we still cannot picture how such profound deviations from some relatively easy names to spell came about.

Incidentally, MY nickname for my father is courtesy of an iOS autocorrect fail that turned Daddy into "Dadsy". We like it very much.

Dadsy if you are on MeFi please don't look at my posts thank you
posted by The Adventure Begins at 7:10 PM on August 2 [9 favorites]


Cyrus looks like he's planning some shenanigans!
posted by Zumbador at 8:28 PM on August 2 [1 favorite]


Oh I have a third one! I am one of four sons (the second, to be precise), and I think my mom really always wanted a daughter. Because of this, she called me Annabelle (I'm Andy) until I was a teenager. Of course this was back before cell phones, so friends would call my house and my mom would answer and she'd yell out "Annabelle! Your friend is on the phone!" At the time I was horribly embarrassed, and my friends were always asking me about it, but now that I have my own kids it seems harmless.
posted by Literaryhero at 11:46 PM on August 2 [2 favorites]


I only really had nicknames in uni, but we had quite a few going there. One friend still refers to me as Lordship, and he's Mr Flay. The backstory of that one is that most of our friend group lived on the same floor of halls in our first year, and he lived on a different one, so he just kind of...never went home, and mostly slept in my room, giving rise to the running joke that he slept across my doorway like Mr Flay does in the Gormenghast books. We also had a thing for a while of all using Chinese familial names for each other (Gege, Didi, Meimei- we had several Chinese international students in the group) which led to the honestly still hilarious to me Dai Tew Didi (diddy dum diddy do).
My family were never very nicknamey, but once my mum's and sister's EHIC cards showed up with weird computer errors. My mum was Liisa Yililililil (Lisa Yildiz) and my sister, gloriously, was Ribena Grax (Rebecca Gray). I still call her Ribena occasionally.
posted by BlueNorther at 4:33 AM on August 3 [1 favorite]


My name is Candace. The most common typo regarding my name is Candance (we won't even get into misspellings). I have received mail addressed to Candance as long as I have been getting mail. My BFF exclusively calls me Candance.

My friend's son misspoke my name as Candyass when he was about 3, so that's what she calls me.
posted by cooker girl at 6:40 AM on August 3 [4 favorites]


The Davester! Davemeister! Daverama! Signin' emails!

I have never been able to watch these sketches and have a lifelong aversion to Rob Schneider because of them. Oversensitive to people f-ing with other peoples' names, I suppose.
posted by dlugoczaj at 7:34 AM on August 3 [1 favorite]

. . . like Mr Flay does in the Gormenghast books.
I was imagining something much darker. Cheers!
posted by eotvos at 9:15 AM on August 3 [1 favorite]


My dad used to call me Kelly Ann Frying Pan.
My bestie since college calls me Smell.
A fellow Mefite gave me the nickname Crabster. During the time I was living in New York State I had a vanity plate with Crabster on it. When I moved back to CT, I found that vanity plates were too expensive. Crabster = my zodiac sign (Cancer). At least, I THINK that was what he was referring to when he called me that...
A few of my old friends from college called me Red.
posted by sundrop at 10:16 AM on August 3 [1 favorite]


I have never been able to watch these sketches and have a lifelong aversion to Rob Schneider because of them.

Fair enough, and my apologies for rubbing the salt in. That skit's premise was such a pop-culture Thing among everyone my age (i.e. teens and twenties at the time) that even the folks like me who didn't watch SNL were familiar with it.

Also, your aversion to Rob Schneider is quite wise and fitting.
posted by Greg_Ace at 10:28 AM on August 3 [1 favorite]


One thing that I have hated all of my life, being called Richie. It seems so... I guess demeaning? I always ask people not to call me that. Most comply. Some seem to refuse or do it maliciously. It just grates upon my nerves.

And don't get me started on Dick. :)
posted by Splunge at 12:43 PM on August 3 [1 favorite]


I've been pretty nickname-free all my life. There are a couple of common diminutives of my name, but even though it was a very popular name for girls my age, and there were never fewer than two of us in any class, I was always the one who got addressed by the proper name.

When the sister and I were really little Dad would sometimes call us "Sherman and Peabody," but we grew out of it pretty quickly. In high school, since my sister and I had rhyming names, some of the kids called us "The [Lastsyllables]." (i.e. if our names had been Cindy and Mindy, they would have called us "The Indys.")

Very few of the men in my family go by their proper names. No idea why. My grandparents met because Grandma's brother was friends with Grandpa, them having initially hit it off partly because they were both called Pete. Pretty soon they were such good buddies that people started calling them "Pete and Re-Pete." Their actual given names were Franklin and William.

Every cat I've had has had multiple nicknames, way too many to even begin listing here.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 8:38 PM on August 3 [3 favorites]


A quarter century or so ago my social circle included a guy named Paul and a subsequent addition to the group was also named Paul. There was a board game or something both were going to be present for and I made a reference to Paul at one point. Someone asked me which Paul I meant, and I clarified “New Guy Paul.”

I was once in an early-music vocal ensemble where our bass section consisted of two bearded men named Ian. I proposed calling them "Ian Smallbeard" and "Ian Greatbeard," but it didn't catch on.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 8:43 PM on August 3 [1 favorite]


I keep thinking of new ones. I had a classmate in Grade 4 named after Peninnah from the Book of Samuel. The teacher asked if she could call her Penny, but she didn't care for that. I can remember thinking, "Please don't ask to call her Ninny." They compromised on Ninna and it stuck. (It was at Ninna's birthday party that I first saw someone cut pizza with scissors.)
posted by The Underpants Monster at 8:49 PM on August 3 [2 favorites]


I've just remembered that one of my great aunts was universally known in the family as Sister, which led to the kind of fantastic phenomenon of my mom having an Aunt Sister.
posted by BlueNorther at 1:56 AM on August 4 [3 favorites]


saw someone cut pizza with scissors

what the actual fuck
posted by MiraK at 5:05 AM on August 4 [3 favorites]


Must not have had a Pizza ScytheTM.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 6:54 AM on August 4 [1 favorite]


Two stories:

Many of my friends know me by a pseudonym I chose in college for an "underground" newspaper, which I then used as my name in my email client in the 90s. I guess I was ahead of the curve trying to protect my identity online or something.

Applied for a job, forgot to change to my real name, and the owner asked if they could call me by the nickname because they'd already had a "Joe" at the company and it'd be too confusing to have another one. Yeah. At that point the starting rate was 2x what I was making at the time so they could've called me just about anything. Sure.

That stuck for years and years, though I tend to go by my username here now more than my given name or the old nickname. Sadly someone else on MeFi has my nickname.

Other story: Our resident teen calls one of their friends "Human Sam" because we already had a cat named Sam and he came first, lest there be any confusion when referring to the person or the cat. (I'm proud to say that our child acknowledges the supremacy of the cat.) I believe they are more widely known at school as "Human Sam" now. Human Sam is not entirely happy with this, but them's the breaks.
posted by jzb at 12:38 PM on August 4 [2 favorites]


My sister in law has an uncle that is a priest and is known as "Uncle Father".
posted by a humble nudibranch at 1:16 PM on August 4 [4 favorites]


The underpants monster: saw someone cut pizza with scissors

MiraK: what the actual fuck

(I guess you don't think it's a great idea?!?)
We have thin oven-cook pizza round here and kichen scissors provide an effective way to subdivide a pizza once cooked. I don't pretend anyone Italian will condone this and I'm okay with that. Pizza a portofoglio and pizza fritto speak for themselves in Napoli.
posted by k3ninho at 2:05 PM on August 4 [2 favorites]


Since we started dating, I have referred to my husband as Wubbie. My family loves this and calls him that when they refer to him to me, but not to his face. They also love that autocorrect tries to make it either "Hubby" or "Chubby."

My wife calls me "Cubby," which comes from "cute boy," which I find very cute and charming.

My most treasured nickname is from my daughter: Mr. Daddy.
posted by kirkaracha at 4:28 PM on August 4 [3 favorites]


Hey, I keep frozen Sweet Italian sausage in my freezer. I thaw a single serving in the microwave, and last night, I cut the rare sausage into slices with my kitchen scissors. It was great, over the pan, not all over the cutting board. Yup, kitchen scissors for the win, spatchcocking too!

My mom named me after her, but added a "Y" in the middle name. They tried going with both names but I just appropriated the short middle name. Unless you want to drop to a single first letter, there is no nick for for this. There were raindrops this evening. ♡
posted by Oyéah at 9:02 PM on August 4 [2 favorites]


I use scissors for pizza. It is the best way. Much more effective than a cutting wheel or knife. Try it. (Also, I am Italian, although that has nothing to do with my choice of pizza cutting implements.) One of the best kitchen items you can own, for pizza and a million other jobs, is Joyce Chen Unlimited Kitchen Scissors.
posted by HotToddy at 9:45 PM on August 4 [2 favorites]


which led to the kind of fantastic phenomenon of my mom having an Aunt Sister.

That’s the same way I got my Aunt Sissy.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 9:51 PM on August 4 [1 favorite]


My dad was born at home and was not expected to live (readers; he did survive.) Therefore, he wasn't given a name and was simply called Sonny. The name stuck and his entire extended family and acquaintances alway called him Sonny even though he was finally given a formal birth certificate name.

After he moved away from home, he was able to use his given name, Granville, which friends then shortened to Granny.

My dad was Granny.
posted by mightshould at 2:53 AM on August 5 [12 favorites]


We also had an Aunt Sis, my father's sister Marilyn, who sadly died before I was born. My (half) brothers fondly remember her.
posted by cooker girl at 6:14 AM on August 5 [4 favorites]


How to go from Sonny to Granny in one simple move.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 6:34 AM on August 5 [2 favorites]


>>> what the actual fuck

> (I guess you don't think it's a great idea?!?)


No, no, I mean maybe? but no. I'm just trying to process this! Can't decide if this is genius or if I will end up with cheese burns on my scissor-holding hand. I suppose I could hold my scissor hand high up and lift the pizza up by the part I'm cutting but that seems really wrong...
posted by MiraK at 8:57 AM on August 5


My great-aunt Ophelia (who I sadly never met) was Aunt Sis to my father.
posted by biogeo at 9:00 AM on August 5 [2 favorites]


the first time I saw scissors used on food was at dim sum, which is apparently very common. after a second of thinking it was really weird I could see the amazing utility of scissors for food division.
posted by supermedusa at 10:09 AM on August 5


MiraK: Can't decide if this is genius or if I will end up with cheese burns on my scissor-holding hand.

We rarely have pie-type or deep-dish pizza, so please don't burn yourself if you've got pizza where the cheese must flow.
posted by k3ninho at 10:39 AM on August 5 [1 favorite]


My dad was Granny.

Isn't that the plot of All You Zombies?
posted by Gorgik at 12:57 PM on August 5 [1 favorite]


I regularly exhort my cat to “huh huh come to Butthead” when I’m going to do something she dislikes, like wipe her eye boogers. I have nicknamed myself Butthead.

Said cat has many nicknames, including Monkey and (mockingly) Pobrecita.
posted by momus_window at 3:29 PM on August 5


I come from a long line of only girls - I have 3 brothers, so did my mom, her mom had 4, her mom had 5, etc. Each of us girls is forever called Sissy by our brothers.
posted by ersatzkat at 3:55 PM on August 5 [2 favorites]


All this talk of Sonny Grannies and Aunt Sissies is making me think of that episode of Red Dwarf where Rimmer gets a long-delayed and poorly-spelled message from his mother, telling him, “I regret to inform you that your father is dad.”
posted by The Underpants Monster at 8:14 PM on August 5 [4 favorites]


My Aunt Sissy was actually my mother’s twin. Their names were Sandy and Sally, but everybody called them Sissy and Sally.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 8:16 PM on August 5


We call my partner Birdie because we have parrots, and many years ago, when we first had birds, he would walk into the room and say, "Hi, birdie!" and one of the parrots—a chatty African Grey—-would answer, "Hi, birdie!" So we all started saying "Hi, birdie!" whenever my partner appeared, and then just took to calling him Birdie.

The African grey's name is Gracie, and she likes to have her head preened by humans. We call this "scritchy head." You hold out your thumbs and forefinger, and says, "Scritchy head?" and if she's in the mood, she lowers her head and props her beak against something for stability so you can give her a good scalp massage and also take care of her pin feathers.

At some point, she made a portmanteau of the two, saying "Gritchy! Gritchy!" so now we call her that.

She also independently dubbed tea "water like treat" when one of our teenagers was really into trying different kinds of tea. So now we say that all the time when we are having a non-water beverage.
posted by Well I never at 11:55 AM on August 7 [3 favorites]


Aunt sis is new to me. But, my great grandmother was "grandma." 'cause that's what other people called her. So I had two grandmas.
posted by eotvos at 9:48 AM on August 10 [1 favorite]


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