What’s in a {nick}name?



I’ve been thinking about nicknames lately. Anybody else do that? Just ponder nicknames? What they are? How they’ve come about?



My husband gives out lots of nicknames. To people, to animals, sometimes to objects (this is where I practice the art of mind reading when he asks where said object is located).

Over the years I have been given many nicknames… Sweet Pea, June Bug, and most recently Sweet Love.

Other times, the nicknames are less cute: take “Wookiee” for instance. I suspect this one came from the fact that my mother has always called me “Amy Woo Woo”. However, I was not enamored by being called Wookiee by my husband. It did not evoke feelings of love from me. It took pointing out that this was a giant, hairy creature (even if they are cute) to curb that nickname.

And also, not responding when called it.

But his nicknames always come from a place of love and add to the charm that is him.


Naming Children.

When I chose the names of my children, I wanted to be sure that people couldn’t change up their given names. One of their names can technically be shortened, but I didn’t realize it at the time. That name belongs to the child that I claim named himself.


I’ve been pondering nicknames for some time because I leave my children anonymous in this space. The oldest has not chosen to remain completely anonymous, but when I started this blog, he was pursuing YouTube edits and Instagram growth, and now that he isn’t pursuing those things I find myself less active in putting his name out there.

While I don’t really have an issue with “the girlie”, calling my boys “the oldest” and “the middle son” leaves me with a distaste in my mouth.

Mostly it bothers me for my middle child. The second son. Only 17 1/2 months younger than his brother and 26 months older than his sister. This sometimes no man’s land of discovering your role. I doubt he’ll ever read my words, but just in case he should ever look back at this blog and read his mother’s words, I want him to have an identity. Not just the nebulous “middle son” as his title.


Our teenagers have nicknames given over the years.

Most of them are used here and there and are plays on their name. However, that really wouldn’t work in this space.

My middle son has nicknames based on his first name and also ones based on his middle name, which is a name that his father loved so much that it had to be included in the Smith line.


Blog Nicknames.

At 6’5″, and with a size 15/16 shoe, the oldest is often called Bigfoot by his friends.

But I have a different name in mind. A name his father has called him consistently over his 17 years:

Big Mr.

And along with that, the nickname that has been consistently used for our next child:

Mr. D.


The girlie is often called “squirrel” by her dad.

I have no idea why.

But in fairness to the fact that she isn’t a hairy creature (even if they are cute), I will continue along with my previous theme and she will be:

Miss Sunshine.


Identity is an important facet of human beings. It helps us mark our place in this giant world. While plenty of people are happy living their lives behind the scenes, quietly going about their business, they still have a name.

A name that was most likely chosen by someone who knew them. Someone who looked down upon their face and then said:

“Your name is….”

Big Mr… Mr. D… Miss Sunshine…

Even a {nick}name offers a glimpse into identity.

Do you have a nickname?

A preferred name?

Did you keep your chosen name or trade it for another?

What does a name mean to you?


Do not say 'it is morning' and dismiss it with a name of yesterday. See if for the first time as a newborn child who has no name - rabindranath tagore
Let your light shine!









16 thoughts on “What’s in a {nick}name?

  1. My given name is Nichol but I was called Nikki growing up. In highschool I went back to Nichol and now…back to Nikki. 😉 <3 A lot of my family and friends call me Nik too.
    I get what you're saying about picking names that can't be shortened. When picking out our sons name I was very clear about that. If there could be a nickname I wanted to love it as much as his full name. I do. <3
    One of my most favorite boy names is always shortened to something I'm not a huge fan of soooo even though I love it, I knew my boy couldn't have it. 🙂

    I think your blog nicknames are great for your kids. <3

    1. Thanks Nikki.
      And I totally agree about wanting to love any shortened name as much as the given name. After you’ve put so much thought into naming your child, you don’t really want somebody to decide they know better. lol

  2. Great topic. We also chose names not to be easily shortened. Not a single one of them goes by any abbreviated version and my son will quickly, flat-out tell you he’s not a shortened version, he is a full name version. Like if his name were Ezekiel, he wouldn’t let you call him Zeke, that sorta thing.
    On the other hand, almost no one calls any of us by our given names. We all have pet names, and our pets have people names.
    Yes ma’am, it does matter.
    In high school a group of girls in my choir class called me Turtleneck. I never figured out if it was meant to be just cause I wore turtlenecks all the time, or if it was derogatory. I see one of them now, as she’s the mother of one of Sassy’s friends, and I wonder if she tells the others, “Sunshine is friends with Turtleneck’s daughter.” lol

    1. I like plenty of shortened names, I just didn’t want somebody else choosing what my kid would be called. It’s great that your son lets them know that he is not the shortened version.
      I don’t think anyone called me any nicknames regularly, but I remember a girl (in my choir class) deciding she didn’t like me in middle school and calling me “chicken legs”. It was most definitely meant derogatorily, and upset me at the time, but the laugh is on her as my legs are one of my favorite parts. lol.

  3. When I was a girl I was called Debbie, but by the time I was a teenager I hated it and insisted on being called my given name Deborah. People often assume I’m called Debbie and call me that, but I don’t answer to it, and let people know, “My friends call me Deborah”. 🙂

    I use code names on the internet when talking about my family. He-Man, Big Baby Boy, Baby Girl, #1 Grandson, and Diva Dog. Only my daughter has an online presence but I still keep calling her by the code name.

    I named my son so he wouldn’t have his name shortened, but was given a nickname in school. He was called Johnny Bravo through college, and Double Duse in High School because of his jersey number #22.
    Baby Girl got the nickname we call from her Dad. He picked her name because I picked our sons, but I gave her the grown-up full name as her given name in case she grew up and hated the shortened version of the name. She doesn’t. She loves her shortened name. She got the nickname Downtown when working at our local grocery store during the summer’s while she was in college. The old timers that are still working there still call her Downtown. 🙂

    I like the nicknames you’ve chosen for your children, but I do like “girlie”. Can I just say Mr. D’s hair is GORGEOUS!
    I thought my son was big at 6’2″ with a size 13-14 shoe size. But. Wow! Your Big Mr. must tower over you. 🙂
    My maternal Uncle was 6’5″ that’s tall!

    1. I think that a great way to let people know the name that you prefer to be called. 🙂 My father and brother go by shortened versions of their name, but that is their preference which I think is fine. It’s when others decide for you that I would find it to be annoying.

      I do like “girlie” and debated sticking with it, but I thought she might want the same consistency as her brothers. There is meaning behind the choice and she is familiar with why I chose it. I will still probably use girlie on my IG posts…just because 🙂

      I love Mr. D’s hair too and wish it were mine. When he was little and we’d visit my grandmother all the ladies in her complex would coo over him and say they wish they could take him to their hairdresser and have them match it.

      I do feel short next to my boys! Big Mr. is technically slightly over 6’5″ and with shoes it probably pushes him to 6’6″. Mr. D is around 6’1″ and it’s possible that they aren’t finished growing!

  4. I love your piece on nick names. I don’ t have one. My name is Wanda and there really isn’t much to be done with it. When I was young, my one Aunt called me Pumpkin, but she is the only one who has ever used anything but my given name. I did use nick names for my kids. And I still use them. They don’t seem to mind. They have always said if I was using their nick names they knew they were not in trouble. 🙂

    1. Thank you! 🙂
      My Aunt’s name is Wanda as well. Yes, there isn’t much to change about that. Same with Amy! Our kids don’t seem to mind their nicknames either. First and middle names together…that’s how they know there’s trouble. lol.

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