Sunday, January 3, 2010


Terry, with Duck, Chicken and Goose

* * *

Southerners have a penchant for nicknames. Much more than anywhere else in the country, I think. When I was growing up in Carlisle County, Kentucky, it seems everybody and his brother had a one. Classmate James Earl was "Fuzzy," Roy Wayne was "Kayo," Glyn was "Mousey," James was "Peanut," Edward was "Bubba," Luke was "Lab." And would you believe "Catfish" had a son nicknamed "Minnow?"

I became obsessed with the subject, so I started a list. But the list kept getting longer. Then I suddenly remembered I once had a nickname. Terry called me "Goose." Pitty Pat was "Duck," and Mary Ellen was "Chicken." (By the time the above photo was taken, he had quit calling us those fowl names, thank goodness!)
I have a confession to make. I've nicknamed a few people through the years. But I didn't think about that until I was well into the list. I guess we Southerners just can't help ourselves!
I decided to do a post on the subject. But after the post was up, I kept thinking of more, so I took it down, added more, and submitted it to a literary magazine.

Nicknames is on the website of Muscadine Lines: A Southern Journal. I hope you enjoy reading it much as I enjoyed writing it.


Sahara said...

I did enjoy reading your story! And it is so true, every one of us in our family have nicknames!

Rhonda Hartis Smith said...

You are soooo right, my nicknames were Rhonda Bean and Black Eyed Suzie and of course "Help me Rhonda". . .

Patience-please said...

A fun read! Congrats!
(Italian Americans do well with nicknames, too. Bill grew up with Googy, Shoot-a-Dime, and Bananas. His dad, whose name was Spartico, was called Duke. AMAZINGLY, this was the shortened version of the original: the Duke of Paducah. Small world, huh?)

Brenda said...

Thanks, Sahara! No doubt you are a southerner!

Cute nicknames, Rhonda! (And who could resist "help me, Rhonda!")

Patience, Bill's nicknames are hilarious!

Anonymous said...

Hurray for nicknames! Back in Louisiana my friends would call me oz or yoz, but my Persian friends would always call me P - in farsi the word for onion is piaz. Whenever I'm around Persians I always get it - Niaz Piaz. P is so much cooler...

All words and pictures © 2008 Brenda G. Wooley