Nicknames! Why? and How?

When I were a lass, my lovely Dad, for whatever reason, always called me Fanny Fanackapan….Fanny or Fan for short. Obviously it would have different connotations in this day and age, but I think it was a reference to me being a bit of a mare back then. My brother was originally Bladder Bonce, due to his lack of hair as a baby, and looking like a football bladder, becoming Slosh as he got older (goodness knows what that was about lol). Mum always called me LindeyLou or Lucely. Don’t think she had one for my brother. I called him Pilchard…again, who knows? He is commonly referred to as Sully these days by most people, a shortening of his surname.  He did call me Dinner when he was younger…his pronunciation of Linda as a toddler….but these days we’re grown-up and use our christian names 🙂

I didn’t have nicknames, or shortened names for my 3, we actually purposely gave them short, 4 letter names due to a difficult surname, and stuck to them, but 2 of them gained them in their youth from friends/work colleagues. My middle boy is known as Baggins by everyone, including his work colleagues……a reference to Bilbo Baggins I believe. And the youngest is Wingnut to many, due to slightly prominent ears. It does make it confusing sometimes, when I refer to them by name, and the person I’m talking to hasn’t a clue who I’m talking about, as they’ve always known them by their nickname….most peculiar!

BUT!!! I couldn’t help myself when it came to other children I’ve met, and the grandchildren. It just seemed to happen.

It all started with my cousins young daughter, which is what prompted this spiel, as it was her birthday yesterday. As a baby, whenever I held her, she would blow off constantly, and I used to complain that she was such a Fartybum…..and it stuck! She was 22 yesterday, but is still my little Fartybum, and she, in turn, refers to me as her Aunty Farty, bless her 🙂

The grandchildren just seemed to prompt funny names to pop into my head.

The eldest is, and always will be, my Sausage Fred-Face…..I have no idea why, but it is what I’ve always called him, although I get told off now…”I’m not a sausage Granny, I’m Alex”…so I have to think it now, not say it. His brother was originally Flump, as he was a podgy little chap, but has evolved into Johnny 5 due to his insatiable reading and thirst for knowledge (Short Circuit…input, input), and his sister is Twinkle! The first girl in the family for many a year, and such a Twinkly star she is, a tomboy who loves dressing up, and is now showing such promise in gymnastics..!

They are the children of my eldest, and then the youngest boy joined in. His boy was a very active baby, even before he was born, and became Squirmy long before he actually arrived. And he certainly lived up to it, he was a very squirmy, wriggly baby, and now, at 6 still has boundless energy from morning to night. His sister, when she arrived, had a slightly squished nose, and I immediately thought of Wonky Donkey, so called her Wonky for a while…..but then, after her first tantrum at the ripe old age of 6 months, she became, and has remained, Grotbags (The witch in the Pink Windmill). She has that butter wouldn’t melt face, but boy, she likes things her own way. She has been a Threenager since she was one, bless her, but is as cute as a button too, and can be very loving…when she wants something usually lol

Some of the children I worked with in an SEN school also prompted silly names due to their behaviour/demeanour, or a liking/dislike for something in particular. And they, on the whole, liked the silly names I gave them….if they didn’t, I stopped, obviously, but it would usually illicit a smile, a giggle, a hug, or a fabulous comeback. There was my banana girl (it rhymed with her name and she wouldn’t eat them at snack time), burping Gertie (that one’s obvious), tiny trouble, cheeky pops, honeybee, sweetiepie, ‘erbert, picklepot and various others. And I found that some loved a gentle tease. Children learning to walk with frames….I used to ‘tell them off’ for running in the corridor……ones that were unwilling to talk, used to tell them they were making too much noise, quiet please! Obviously I never came out with any of this until I had got to know the child, and gauged whether they would respond to such ‘joshing’ favourably, but it made for more fun and giggles, than tears and frustration during the day….I hope! And given some of the hurdles these gorgeous children had to get over every day, and always will, then a bit of light relief and fun is the least I could do for them…..a small departure from the seriousness of getting through each day!

I have to say, without wishing to sound big-headed, that there wasn’t one child that I couldn’t find some sort of rapport with in the 7 years I was there….maybe I was just lucky….but I truly enjoyed their company, and had nothing but admiration for them and their families, and how they coped with what life had flung at them! It broke my heart to leave them all, but sadly my own health got in the way of helping them through the struggles with theirs 😦

 

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