What’s in a name?  Well according to Ecclesiastes 7:1 a good name is “…better than fine perfume, and the day of death better than the day of birth.”.  The Preacher; who was possibly King Solomon, may have been a little emo.

So what’s in a nickname?  Is it better than a low to mid-range musk, like say a “Jovan”, a “Drakkar Noir” or maybe even a “Sex Panther”?  I don’t really know and that’s kind of a stupid question to begin with.

It's made with bits of real panther...so you know it's good.

Regardless of whether or not your nickname stings the nostrils, how did you get it?  If you even have one that is.

I’ve had a few different nicknames over the years, mostly given to me by my little brother and consisting of phrases like Jerk Face, Doody Head and Fart Sniffer.  None of which are true, by the way except for maybe Jerk Face, but HE STARTED IT!!!

I got my first “adult” nickname during my first and only year of college.  Back in the mid 90s, I used to wear a long, black trench coat everywhere and thought it was the coolest thing ever.  What can I say?  I was a big Highlander fan.  No.  Seriously…I was.  Anyway, while at college, along with the trench coat, I wore almost exclusively black clothes (Because black is slimming.  Shut up.), a backwards baseball cap, I grew out my hair and started cultivating my first beard.

THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE!...and that might actually be one too many now that I think about it.

Growing a Van Dyke was my big rebellion after graduating from a small, private Christian school where facial hair was considered a big no no, because apparently Jesus hates beards.  Who knew?

Ummm...yeah...about that...

Take my unfortunate wardrobe choices and add to it the fact that I wasn’t much of a talker back then and it wasn’t long before several of my friends on campus started referring to me as Silent Bob.  Of course growing up in a somewhat sheltered environment where watching R rated movies was akin to punching a baby seal in the face, I had no idea who they were talking about until finally somebody took pity on me and loaned me their “Clerks” VHS tape.  Yeah, I may or may not have been mortified.

At least Christian pop star Rebecca St. James thought I was cool, but how could she not whilst wearing that sweet, sweet shirt?

Despite my embarrassment, I still wore that trench coat off and on for years afterward until it completely fell apart around 2004 or so.  I did however avoid wearing it with backwards baseball caps and tried to incorporate a little more color into my clothing ensembles.

Coming Tomorrow Part 2:  The “G Fresh” Years


Do any of you have any nicknames? 

How did you get it/them?


18 thoughts on “#NickNameAtNoonish

  1. I have a few nicknames. I also have a name that lots of people get wrong the first time when I introduce myself. Hi, I’m Burrill. No, not Earl. Burrill, with a B. Kind of like Burl Ives, but spelled differently. Who’s Burl Ives? Yes, I guess you’re younger than 65, so you don’t know who Burl Ives is. Well, you do know because you’ve heard Holly Jolly Christmas, but you don’t know you know. Anyway…here, let me show you my business card so you can see my name. Yes, Burrill. Yes, it is a cool name, thank you.

    And because my name has a spelling that’s unfamiliar to the vast majority of everything, it can be fun in Starbucks when they want to write my name on the cup. Usually I’ll just give them my last name. Yeah, it gets some weird looks — your name is STRONG? — but everybody knows how to spell Strong.

    Anyway. You asked about nicknames, right? So…nicknames.

    The nickname in longest usage is Budah. Don’t ask me to explain it. I can’t. One of my brothers gave it to me years ago, and all I know is that it’s been a nickname as long as I can remember. This can get interesting if it happens to come up in a church setting. Since it’s part of my personal email address, it gets even more interesting if people don’t know how Buddha is spelled. I almost need a disclaimer: BUDAH IS NOT AFFILIATED WITH BUDDHA OR HIS SUBSIDIARIES. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED. YOU MAY NOT RUB MY BELLY.

    One brother also calls me Gouda. I can’t really explain that one, either, but it’s delicious.

    The most common nickname used in my family now is Boo. That came from my first nephew: when he started talking, he couldn’t say Burrill, so he started calling me Boo. It stuck.

    As for my twitter name…well, I’m a big fan of Michigan sports. Somewhere along the way I acquired an old army helmet and a WWII trench coat (no, I don’t know why). I painted the helmet like a Michigan football helmet and started wearing it and the coat (when it’s cold enough) to games.

    One winter I was walking out of the arena after a basketball game when I heard a man behind me say, “Look, kids! It’s Sgt. Wolverine!” I still have no idea who the guy was, but I liked the name, so I started using it. I don’t get to many Michigan events anymore, but when I do, the helmet is still distinctive enough to get noticed — as demonstrated by this AP photo that showed up on the SportsCenter website and in the Wall Street Journal (on the website and in print!):

  2. I have acquired many nicknames over the years… most just variations of my first name. I also have the awesome/unfortunate last name that both intimidates people and if said fast enough sounds like Koala, so that was fun too.

  3. As I approach another all-nighter, I take a study break to peruse my google reader, and what do I find? A picture of you with Rebecca St. James. This night just got better.

    Nicknames? Kay-riz in high school. Broomgilda by my dad. No idea where that came from..but it is what it is.

  4. People that want to use a nickname mostly use the letter B (my name is Bas, so there’s really no shortening that). In high school, my nickname was ‘long coat’ because, believe it or not, I wore a long blue trench coat. Mine made me look like a stereotypical SS-officer though.

  5. You were totally Silent Bob! What makes that nickname story even better is that you weren’t aware of the reference. That just says so much. I wonder what Rebecca St. James thought about your look.

    I have about a trillion nicknames. My dad used to call me the Lean Green Jelly Bean due to mint green pajamas I had as a baby. This then progressed to Leighberwitz and Leighmeister. Friends called me Cosmo (obvious Seinfeld reference), Kramedog, Leg, Papaya, and just about anything that rhymes with Leigh. Whenever someone bestows a new nickname upon me, I feel loved.

  6. Jeffiner was a childhood nickname because I struggled with my name. As for other nicknames – they depend on the person – each person is permitted some creative licence. However, names including Jenny are not permitted. I get “Mom” a lot – primarily because I am the person even in graduate school who has all the mother accessories and more – you need bandaids? food? a hug? a gluestick, scarf etc I normally have an extra on me.

    • That’s funny. I actually work with a girl named Jenny who gets upset if someone calls her Jen or Jennifer by mistake. Apparently her full name is actually “Jenny” according to her birth certificate so that’s what she wants people to call her.

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