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Monday, November 19, 2001

Why I Like Nicknames

Where I come from, Eastern Kentucky, many people have a nickname. That's why I'm obsessed with figuring out if people have one, so I can use it in correspondence. There's Mary T. "Mars" Helmes, George A. "Rock" Rafeedie and Jeanine "Boobs" Morgillo (an old friend whose nickname was eventually shortened from the longer "Boobs and Knees") and so on.

Nicknames are especially prominent during political campaign time back home. When you go to the voting booth, you have to decide whether you want John "Peanuts" Smith or Jimmy "Squirrel" Walters to be your city council member.

"Peanuts" probably liked peanuts or had some kind of wacky run-in with them. And I imagine "Squirrel" hunted that animal or kind of looked like one.

Newspapers, being official about how they report names, would have articles on candidates positions, and some of them would read like, "William 'Weasel' Jones said today he would spend the county's money in a responsible way."

Other politicians had names that had a meaning known only to them and their friends and family, but the whole state at least knew the name. One guy in state legislative leadership had one of those.

I never developed a nickname that stuck. Any suggestions of one I should develop?

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