Sunday, December 28, 2008

Southern Nicknames

Today is one of those days when I just can't settle down and my mind is spinning and spinning and I don't know why. So, get ready for some nonsense.

In reading my hometown's newspaper (a weekly paper and they have to scrap to find enough news for that), it struck me that some of the nicknames people give children are somewhat funny or rather somewhat hilarious. Why parents and friends do this is beyond me sometimes.

Of course there are the regular name shorteners, Rebecca- Becky, William - Will or Bill, Johnny - John etc. Then there are the others! I had a friend whose name was "Pie." Where it came from I have no idea for her name was La Junta (lahunta), but I guess if my name was Lajunta in South Alabama where most often it was pronounced LaGunta, I would be Pie too. Then there was "Creature" whose name was Crescentia. However, we tried not to call her Creature to her face, just behind her back. Not nice, but who said kids are nice? There are also the real names which were a little odd - Fleetwood, Delano, Locklyn, Meek, Loui, Wood, Gage, White, Tripp, and Dathan to name a few.

My family also had some issues. My brother's intials were JAP so you know his nickname along with Beans. Our famly name is Polk and he became Pork and Beans or just Beans. Sam the youngest has such names as Sammy, Hammie (our granddaddy's name for him) or SOP for his initials. Mama's name was Tootsie and it was years before I found out her real name was Edwina. She really hated her real name for most people said Edweena which really rubbed her the wrong way.

In the south we always have the Bubbas, Sisters, and Brothers for nicknames and I knew one Toot and Bro, for they couldn't say Sister and Brother. There was one Baby Sister since her older sister was just plain Sister. Baby Brother was another for the same reason. Butch is another often used one and I am married to one, however I call him Roy. But, if I go to Selma and call him Roy, everyone thinks I am talking about his daddy, so I have to switch gears and call him Butch. I even have a lady friend whose nickname is Butch and many people do not know that "Miss Butch" is really Miss Barbara.

Now I have always felt left out for I don't have a nickname! I'm just plain Frances except to one person. There was an older gentleman in our hometown who called me Becky for he said with my pigtails, freckles and bare feet I looked like Becky in Tom Sawyer. This was also the man who could remove warts from you by rubbing the wart with his hands, giving you a new penney to stick in a crack in the wall and wait for 10 days. Now don't laugh for it worked on my warts and many other people with the same problem. Not sure what he had on his hands and maybe it was just magic. But Mr. Archie could sure get rid of those warts for you and he gave me a nickname! Needless to say Tom Sawyer was also my favorite book which I read many times.

Grandparents also have some interesting nicknames - MawMaw (mine). Pops, MeMaw, Neenie, Gandy, PawPaw and my sister-in-law is "Honey." Our daughter used to call my mama, GwaGwala but she had a little trouble saying anything until she was 'bout 4 and then she talked plain as day and hasn't hushed since then.

There are also some strange real name in our family. My grandmother and sisters were Texa Ray, Ella Mae and Ruby Lou which we would say, Texi Ray, Ella Mae and Ruby Too when they were all together. We had a greatgrandfather named, "Pink" and that was not a nickname. Thank goodness it stopped with him and was not handed down. There was Uncle Hubert, Uncle Red, Aunt Iledas and Grandmother Cordia. We had a terrible time when our daughter was born trying to find a pretty name in the family but Roy had an aunt named Rebecca and several of us used that one for it was the only acceptable one.

Now why did I say all of this, well a name is most important to each of us and when our parents give us a name which makes everyone laugh and you have to spend the entire year of kindergarten learning to spell it, it's just plain wrong. Wake up parents and give your chillren a plain name, Joe, Jane, John, Pat, etc. The shorter the better if you are a struggling speller.

Nuff said for today

The Georgia Peach

1 comment:

Becky said...

At least my brother understood what I was saying and could tell you what I wanted.

Love ya,

Becky