Sunday, November 28, 2010

when is a nickname not a nickname?

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
toby cat is also called toby tuber, mr t goober and my lord goober.
molly is miss molly moth, good golly miss molly and miss m moth, spinster of this parish (not one i use to call her in from the backyard).
lily is lilyacaei (i can say it but not spell it), miss lily, ceiling cat and the first mrs rochester (because she lives in the roof)
that's all - you can reassume normal activities now :)


Michael said...

Ceiling cat can has whiskas? k thx bye

Stomper Girl said...

You know, both my children have one-syllable names and in fine Aussie tradition their nicknames are actually longer thanks to the addition of "ie" at the end. which actually I love now, although I wasn't impressed when people first started doing it.

Ceiling cat is lovely, don't think I've met her before en blogge.

sweetypie said...

oh my god you are just like us and we add alicious to names too. so the dog, tiggy is tigalicious and the cat, nobby is nobb alilicious your not in our famly till you have a nickname.

Suse said...

Our old girl Meg was known as Meggie Moo, while the Burmese cat Cooper was usually known as CooperCat or SuperDooperCooperCat.

The dog came to us already named and his name is so odd to us (for a dog) that we don't do anything to it apart from add Boy to the end. Sailor Boy.