I read recently an article about nicknames (What’s in a nickname – BBC). It is interesting to think about how they come to be and who uses them. So I’m going to think about it here for a minute.
I never had a nickname growing up. My brother called me something when he was little before he could say my name, but that didn’t last long. I didn’t have a nickname in high school or college. But within a year of graduatingÂ college I had two.
The first one I actually gave myself. I joined an online community and needed a name to go by there. It ended up being the name I used in almost all places online. I wanted a name that would be unique and would fit my personality as well.
I love children’s literature. My children’s lit. class during my under grad. was one of my favorites. It was in that class that I was introduced to the Prydain Chronicles by Lloyd Alexander. The first book was required, but I devoured teh whole series and fell in love.
So I ended up picking the name of the female protagonist, Eilonwy. She is a fun character that I felt I could identify with and represented some things about me as well.
Since then it has been fun to watch what has happened with that name. There are some people who know me only by that name. Many people knew me first by that name and only learned my real name later. And now when I read those books it is kind of fun because I feel like I am almost reading about me, the character fits me almost too well sometimes.
In the chat room for that internet community the name was often shortened to just the first letter because it was easier to type.
I’ve also let one person modify that name differently, and I really like it when they do it. But it is not something I let anyone else do.42D
The other nickname I have was given to me. My first year teaching, the fifth graders started calling me Miss Giggles. It is a modification of my name, and since kids can come up with worse nicknames than that, I ran with that one.
The next year I introduced myself to my students that way and said they could call me that if they wanted. The kindergarten kids actually learned my name that year and didn’t just call me “teacher,” which was great. There were a few kids who tried saying “wiggles” or “skittles,” but that didn’t stick. I was Miss Giggles in that school. In fact, one year a family gave little pencil plaques to their students’ teachers that had our names on them. Mine said “Miss Giggles.”
And when I needed a domain name on the web, it worked here too.
So those are my “other” names. And I answer to them all as well.
What are your other names? How did you get them? Who uses them? What do you think of them? Tell me in the comments or write it on your blog and leave me a comment here so I know to go see what you said. (BBC responses to their article)
And today is my half birthday. So Happy Half Birthday to Me!!