Saturday, August 16, 2008

Weekend Assignment #229: Nicknames

Let's see if we can do better in participation for this week's topic:

Weekend Assignment #229: Tell us about a nickname - yours, or someone else's. Did you come up with it, or was it bestowed by someone else? Is it still in use? And most of all, has it benefited the nicknamed person, or caused them grief, or both?

Extra Credit:
Have you ever tried for a nickname that just didn't take off?

I was certainly called names growing up, but I don't think they really qualified as nicknames. "Funk the Skunk is a Pile of Junk" is really more a tease than a name, and that's pretty much the tenor of what I got.

When I was a little older, I tried to get people to call me Casey, based on my first and middle names, Karen Christine. My seventh grade social studies teacher, Thomas Murphy Hennigan, called me K.C., with a little pause between the letters, and my best friend Joel tried to comply, mostly in eccentrically addressed envelopes. One was addressed to Casey Gen-Jen Funk, another to K.C.G.F. It's a wonder the letters even reached me! But that was as far as the name got: Mr H., JARu, and some beleaguered mailman.


This means you, too!

My sophomore year in college, I was very fond of the LP Occupation: Foole by George Carlin, and had acquaintances in local science fiction fandom. This was the era of very early Dungeons & Dragons, a speaking appearance by Harlan Ellison, and a bookstore-on-a-shoestring called Nebulus Books (sic). When Harlan came to town, I was thrilled that one of the Nebulus guys, Rene, introduced me to Harlan as Foole. It was quite possibly the first and last time anyone ever called me that. Ultimately I came to the conclusion that nicknames are bestowed, not self-assigned, and decided I liked the name Karen after all.

Was I any less foolish under my own name...?

Then at the Clarion Writer's Workshop, where I met John in 1977, it finally happened. Someone suggested that I ditch my shy, easily hurt persona as Karen, and become the Great White...um, well, the last word rhymes with "ditch." I could never remotely live up to (or down to) such a name, but I taped an index card with the nickname to my dorm room door. It seemed to help a little!

Your turn! Tell us the story of a nickname in your blog or journal, and don;t forget to link back here in the entry, and to leave a link to the entry in the comments below. That way we'll find each other! I'll be back late Thursday night with a roundup of names we've acquired - or failed to acquire - from friends and relatives, long after the ink dried on our birth certificates.

Karen

5 comments:

Florinda said...

Sorry I flaked on last weekend's assignment, but I enjoyed this one. Oh, and it looks like I'm the first to have it done!

Becky said...

Ouch...sensitive subject. I had a nickname for half my elementary school years and jr. high. My name is Rebecca but most of the kids called me "Rejecta". Nice. That one just stuck until I changed to a private high school 30 minutes away by public bus. In college the girls started calling me Becky. I'd been Rebecca for most of my life (no one EVER called me Becky in my family or circle of friends). I would correct my college buds but they ignored me. Becky morphed to Bicky and, oddly, Bickford. By the time I met my future husband, the "Becky" nickname had firmly stuck and I've been called that ever since (except when I am visiting my parents.)

barrettmanor said...

Nicknames? I suspect one or two people might have some for me, but they're unprintable in a family journal.

applebonkers said...

Two of three people call me "squish" based on my work e-mail address being skishler.

Mike said...

Did I beat the deadline? Sorry so late. I'm up now.