Tag Archives: terms of endearment

Lessons From Nicknames

A friend of mine recently told me about the time her younger daughter accidentally cracked her head open on the doorknob at the top of a staircase. Of course this incident occurred the same weekend her daughter had a nasty sinus infection and was horking up greenish-brown lugies, thus earning her the nickname Snorky McStaplehead.

The name didn’t stick.

I’ve had many nicknames during the course of my life: I’ve answered to Ren, Renz, Renna, Nay, Nay-Nay, Née, She-Nay-Nay, Hools, Hoolie, Razz, RAS, RazzJ, RASJ, Teach. Each name is connected to the person that I am/was during a specific place and time. The memories attached to the names are inescapable — but not all were terms of endearment.

One summer, when I was 14-years old and enjoying my time at overnight camp, a few of the boys started calling me Kelloggs. I had no idea why. Finally, one of the guys fessed up.

“Because you’re flaky,” he said unapologetically and without a trace of irony.

He thinks I’m stupid, I thought to myself. I’m not stupid.

In college, I worked my butt off. Graduated cum laude. Learned a secret handshake and got a gold key when I was initiated into Phi Beta Kappa.

No one ever called me Kelloggs again.

Tell me a nickname you’ve picked up during your life? Who gave it to you? Do you like it? And what’s the story behind name?