What’s in a Nickname?

Choosing a name for your child is a big job—one that often requires intense negotiation between partners and ultimately says something about what is important to your family. You’ll find that tradition, or conversely, bucking tradition, is important; that you prefer to roll with trends or fight against them; or that it’s all about compromise.

We learned that we’re nickname people.

What's in a nickname?

The discussion over our daughter’s name wasn’t too contentious. While I am a fan of more traditional names, my husband is not, but we found middle ground with somewhat gender neutral, but not too common names—names like Quinn, Everly, and Hadley. We settled on Waverly, a name I suggested based on the character in the book The Joy Luck Club.

The choice was made long before our daughter arrived. We checked it off the list and moved on to the next to-do item.

But the decision kept nagging at me. Something wasn’t quite right about Waverly—and yes, I was slightly bothered by the fact that there was a Disney channel show called Wizards of Waverly Place, but that wasn’t it.

It was that Waverly had no nickname. We could try to force something, but we knew she would end up being called Wave—let’s be honest—I’d end up calling her Wave. And I wasn’t OK with that. So three days before my due date, we went back to the drawing board.

We landed on Emery—nickname Emme—and we never looked back.

But the truth is, on any given day, I call my daughter by a half-dozen different nicknames. And they are pretty terrible.

It started out innocently enough. My daughter was not the easiest infant. And so, in my haze of postpartum angst, I started calling her Fuss… Butt. I called my daughter Fuss Butt—like in public, sometimes going so far as to actually introduce her as Fuss Butt.

I eventually dropped the Butt, but I still call her Fuss sometimes. I call her Sill Sill Fuss too (which is short for Silly Silly Fuss—a nickname within a nickname).

I also call her Sweet Pea and Butter. Sometimes I call her Bubba. And I usually call her Stink Pot or Stinky Stink when I am changing her diaper. Since she’s two now and of her own mind, she has started calling me Stinky back.

So I’m pretty much the worst, and I’ve created monster.

What nicknames do you call your kid?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *