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Monday, January 24, 2011

Nicknames

I am not a nickname person.  Perhaps it's because I have no real nicknames myself (Sarah is pretty hard to shorten), but if you tell me your name, I will always call you that exact name.  If your name is Jessica, I will call you...Jessica.  Never Jess.  Never Jessinator.  If you're a Michael who introduces himself as Mike, you'll never hear me call you Michael or Mikey.

It's the same with my students' names.  It really seems weird to me to shorten Christopher to Chris or to Angela to Angie, which is why when kids come up with new nicknames for their classmates, I can never get on board.

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One year I had a girl named Belle and--as you may have guessed--I always called her Belle.  Our morning greeting would come around, however, and Tyiesha would insist on calling her Bella.  "Where is this extra 'a' coming from?" I would wonder.  "It's belllllll.  No 'a' " I pointed out to Tyiesha on multiple occasions, but she insisted on her own twist.  Drew was also prone to his own version of nicknames, preferring to call Langston, "Langs."  One year, another one of the third grade teachers was named Mr. Duncan.  Well, at least that's what I called him.  Briana called him Mr. Dumpkin.  We had many lessons, she and I, on how his name was different than pumpkin.

It was a losing battle to convince any of them of the actual name.

Besides the name shortening or lengthening or tweaking, there's also the substituting of an entirely different one.  When encountering a classmate's mother, father, or sibling whose name is unknown, third graders tend to simply generate their own based on what they do know.  Robert frequently asks to set up sleepovers with Donardo at dismissal.  "Hi Donardo's Mom" he'll begin.

On Friday, I got to see an extension of this naming philosophy.  Robert and I were walking in the hall, when we ran into Christopher's younger brother.  "Hi Christopher Two!" Robert called out.

Do your or your students have any unusual nicknames?

2 comments:

MrsKP said...

We use all kinds of nicknames in my class... I give out some and my co-teacher gives out some. We have:

Precious (boy)
Sweetie (boy)
Texas Ranger
Door Girl
Chicken Girl
Ricky Recarlos
Drummer Boy... and a whole bunch more. Most of the kids start calling each other by the nicknames we give them, but sometimes they'll come up with their own!

Sparkling said...

Umm, excuse me, but I recently taught Pricess. I have Phantasia in the room next door. And so many other names it's absurd. Nicknames would seem "normal" compared to some of ours. Oh, a girl named Charlie. And of course, she was kind of a hottie in middle school, so I can only imagine what she did to taunt those boys in high school. A girl named Charlie has to be hot or it's just a waste.

I did recently have something strange happen. I, like you, am VERY careful with names, and don't use a shortened version unless the kids tell me to. And I dont' very often mix up names. However, recently I:

called a boy by his sister's name and didn't consciously know they were related

can't stop calling a boy whose last name is Bill... Bill as a first name

heard a boy say his name was kind of like Dan because it's BrenDAN and now I can only think his name is Dan

Sometimes I will hear kids call each other things and know that teachers aren't "allowed" to call them that. But when I do use the term, usually in jest, it sends them into HOWLS.

I always wanted a nickname but never really had one. So sad.