Patti Soldavini

Nicknames

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 10/29/2011 at 1:30 pm

"Did you CALL?"

I love assigning nicknames to people and pets. They are usually so much more appropriate than their given names. When we name babies, their names become self-fulfilling prophecies; expectations and destinies to live up to. All before the child has taken a step or uttered a word. It makes me chuckle and shake my head when I hear the names that some celebrities give their children…all in the drive to impart a sense of “specialness” and “uniqueness” upon their offspring. They give them names like “Apple,” “Kal-El,” “Maddox,” “Fifi Trixibelle,” “Ocean,” “Tu,” “Zuma,” “Moxie Crimefighter,” and of course, “Prince Michael II,” and “Blanket.” And yes, “Pilot Inspektor.” It will likely take a whole lot of character and self-esteem to weather all the unwanted attention and bullying when they are in school. On the other hand, we tend to name our pets based on either how they look or how they behave. Which when you think about it makes more sense. Many years ago, Italian ancestors took on surnames that were based on, among other things, a distinguishing characteristic. For example, the surname Da Zoppa means “Son of the Cripple,” and Magnavacca means “Eat a cow.” This is probably the genesis from where latter day mafia nicknames originated, as in Sal “Big Pussy” Bonpensiero, and Bobby “Bacala” Baccalieri.” Originally, I thought about naming Olive, “Rocket” because she zoomed around the house at high speed and used all the furniture as launching pads, but it seemed too masculine and sounded dopey when I called it out. With this all being said, I have many nicknames for Olive, most based on some aspect of her behavior or her anatomy. For example, when she is barking too much, I refer to her as either “Noisebox,” or “French Horn.” When she’s just all tweaked up with pent up energy, I call her “Nuthatch,” “Nut Nut,” or “Crazy Pants.” And when she’s sticking her big proud barrel chest out at me, I remark, “Oh Hi, it’s you Chesty Larue.” Oh, it goes on and on. I’m careful though to use these names to refer to her and not to call her. Otherwise, she’d end up either psycho or just ignore me. “Right Olive?” “OLIVE?”

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  1. I have a number of nicknames, including “slobber monster” 🙂

  2. What about middle names like Pimento??
    Our secret names…..

  3. That is so cute! Olive is a true beauty. I’ll be laughing all day about that Chesty Larue and will use it if my Boston sticks her chest out. Thanks for the laugh 🙂

  4. We also tend to give our pet’s names that match our own nationalities. My dogs have been named McGwire and Baylee (after the Irish cream). In short, my family enjoyed steroids and liquor. What Irish family doesn’t?

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