the person to whom you give the nickname likes it, Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell.
In THIS POST that I wrote last week, I chatted about giving nicknames to people. Some of you pointed out in your comments, and they were wise comments, that we have to be careful about nick names (The High Guy who works at Target doesn't know that I think of him as The High Guy and he never will, nor will anyone else know except for all of you out there and Favorite Young Man, and FYM doesn't even know which person I'm talking about because he's never seen The High Guy).
Fundy Blue, a.k.a. Louise of Standing Into Danger (one of my favorite blogs, not that all the rest of you don't also write my favorite blogs), made the following comment:
Funny post, JJ! I admit to occasional mental, not-uttered, nicknames for certain people in my life. And I've been collecting various nicknames for our leader which is hilarious fun.
As a second and third grade teacher, I had to spend time dealing with conflicts and hurt feelings over nicknames. This age group has a heightened sensitivity of what is fair and what is not. The topic of fairness cropped up all the time. Young kids can be creatively cruel with nick names. So we would have class meetings every year, sometimes multiple times, over the issue of names and nicknames and the fairness of using them.
The worst brouhaha occurred when one of my white boys whispered to the black girl sitting next to him (during a spelling test) that she had lips swelled up like a pufferfish. So for several days she was "Pufferfish," and what a time I had dealing with the fallout and stamping out the use of that nickname!
Who would suspect that a science word I added to the spelling test for bonus points could lead to meetings with the principal, the social worker, the psychologist, and outraged parents on both sides of the racial divide, not to mention having to rearrange the seats in my classroom?
I would always share that I had multiple nicknames when I was a kid based on both Myrtle and Louise, as in variations of "Myrtle the turtle lost her girdle" and "Weasel" and that those and other nicknames I was plagued with really hurt. So there was a lot of emphasis on learning what name each child wished to use and learning its correct spelling.
I don't have a problem with nicknames now, and I [sic] always happy when I get a big hug from my brother and he whispers, "I love you so much, Weasel." LOL
Thank you for sharing this story with us, Louise. A nickname is never cool if it's shared publicly and it hurts the person who has been given the name. Many of us are already self-conscious enough.
When I was a medical assistant in a doctor's office, the other underlings and I had nicknames for each other. The second medical assistant was Neesie; the x-ray tech was Teeny; the receptionist was San-Pan; and I was June––for June on Leave It To Beaver because I was thought to be the kind of person who would vacuum my house while wearing a dress and high heels. June gradually morphed into Junebug, which is how I became Janie Junebug.
But we also had a second part-time receptionist. I nicknamed her Marge for the police chief in the movie Fargo. I think I called her Marge two or three times before she said, Please don't call me that.
That was the end of that nickname. Never used it again.
And that's the way it should be, unless a nickname is so unkind that it should never be uttered at all. In fact, I should have asked her if it was okay to give her that nickname. That's my policy from now on, unless I don't ever call the person by the nickname.
Infinities of love,