when it's an ekename. one of my small delights is etymology and wandering around the dictionary and one of my favourite evolutions is nickname. it started off as 'ekename' in Middle English meaning other name and gradually 'an ekename' elided into 'a nickname'. isn't that cool?
one of my favourite goon show lines is eccles' joke on the subject
'i've got a nickname, you know'
'what is it?'
doesn't look so good written down but heard over the wireless in ecclesian tones it's hilarious.
i was musing on the theme of nicknames this morning as i thought of how many mutations of names i use for my nearest and dearest: the kids each have at least 3 or 4 nicknames as do the animals and everyone at some point gets called goober and has 'alicious' tacked onto some contraction of their name - billalicious for example.
billthedog is also known as b, billy, mr b and mr b kidney. this last evolves from other nicknames thusly: bill -> billythekid -> billythekidney -> mr b kidney