Poll: Nicknames

Most people probably know what a nickname is. It’s a name that is normally descriptive, but which isn’t their given name or surname. For instance, President John Fitzgerald Kennedy was commonly known by his nickname of Jack. The retired basketball player, Ervin Johnson, was given the nickname “Magic” because of how he handled a basketball when he played. Jazz great, Louis Armstrong, was known by his nickname, Satchmo. There are many other examples of nicknames and a lot of people have them. Some people don’t.

One of my uncles was known to everyone as “Bud”, his nickname. His real name was Theron Sylvester Haley. On the other hand, my brother, Steve, had a nickname that was only used by family; Bugs (after Bugs Bunny). I have a nickname that only family and childhood friends call me by. I was given the name when I was brought home from the hospital as a premature baby. As the story was told, I was tiny because I was a premature baby and when my grandmother saw me for the first time, she exclaimed, “Why, he’s no bigger than a buzzard’s breath!”. My family still calls me Buzz, the contraction of ‘buzzard’s breath’, though I won’t answer to it when others call me by that name unless it is used by one of the few remaining childhood friends who knew me before I became 10-years-old.

Here’s a bit of trivia:

The word “nickname” was originally written as “eke name” or “ekename”. In its original use, ‘eke’ meant “in addition to” or “also”. Thus, an ekename was an additional name. The word was written as ‘an ekename’ and when spoken, this rather took on the form of ‘a nekename’. Later, this was written as simply nickname. 

At any rate, nicknames have been around for a long time; at least before the middle-ages.This poll is in regards to nicknames.

  • Do you have a nickname?

    • Yes, and it is the name I usually go by
    • Yes, but it is a private nickname only used by family or close friends.
    • I had a nickname in the past, but don’t presently use it.
    • Not that I’m aware of.
  • Do you have any close friends or family members who are known by a nickname?

    • Yes
    • No
    • Possibly, but I’m not sure
  • Have you ever given someone a nickname?

    • Yes
    • No
    • Not intentionally

What do you think?

6 points

Written by Rex Trulove

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  1. I’ve given everyone close a nickname – but not to shame or what, just that I feel closer to them when I call them by their nicknames (that is of course if they don’t mind).

    I however don’t have one other than my initial.

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