Friday, June 27, 2008


I have always loved nicknames.

I have created so many of them over the years and for a minute or so this morning I was thinking of the nicknames I have come up with.

Flossie, Tay, Rylee-pot-pie, Loolie, Lawbees, Lawbs, L-Train, Siggy, Sigmund, Deh-ya, Big T, T, Lanny, Hy-bee, Lantelle, Twiggy, and on and on and on. Those listed were just family. They all have one. So do many of my friends (e.g. Raggedy Danny).

It's funny how they can stick. The origins can often be interesting. My experience has been that they often morph over time into one that becomes permanent. Sometimes they are widely known, other times they remain just between two people (and I am not thinking of Honey, Love, or Pookee--that last one makes me want to puke-ee). Sometimes they are a straight copycat of a nickname from someone else that seems to also apply to the person you know. The nicknames I have developed usually morph from some single action, random thought, or close tie to something or someone--and then develops from there.

When I was little a friend of mine called me James. It came because my first name was spelled the same as Sean Connery, who had previous to that time, played the role of James Bond.

My Brother Sigmund, got that nickname from a character in the movie "What About Bob" who was small and skinny like my brother (at the time). This character was named Sigmund, after Sigmund Freud. I started calling my brother Sigmund from that point on and it just stuck.

My Sister, Lawbs, got her nickname over time when I went from calling Sharla, Shawbies, then Lawbies, then (because I'm efficient and wanted to save time by eliminating a syllable) became Lawbs. Later, when I thought of what a great rapper she would make, I changed it to L-Train. From Sharla, to L-Train. Go figure.

What baffles me is how so many people, who don't know each other and have never interacted, call me the same thing.

Seany (pronounced Shawn--eee).
The longer they hold out the "eee" the more annoying it becomes.

My dad was the first one.
Several random people (friends) throughout school and work at the Bountiful Rec Center also came up with the same nickname. In fact, at every place I have worked, in every department, on every team, it has emerged at some point. What I don't understand is why? I can understand Dan becoming Danny, Jess becoming Jessie, Bob becoming Bobby, but why, so often, does Sean become Sean-eee? I have only known one Shawnee in my entire life. A girl.

I heard it at work about two months ago when the VP that I report up through turned the time over to me for a presentation--during an Executive Team meeting. "Now let's hear from Sean-eeeeeee" (extra ee's added by me to emphasize the annoyance). Are you kidding me? In the Executive Team meeting? Why? Seriously. Why? Why pick that time and place to discover that nickname? He's never called me that before.

But alas. There's a version that's worse. Waaaaaaay worse. And 9 times out of 10 it emerges not long after the first "Sean-eee" makes an appearance. And I am probably stupid for posting it on my blog (fortunately nobody reads it). But it surfaced again yesterday. Like a brick to the head.
Someone called me "Sean-eee-Boy".
Great. Cats outta the bag.



Sometimes if you just embrace the nickname, it goes away. Sometimes though, people forget your real name.

One other random thought about names. Since Jess and I have been married, I think she has called me by my real name about four times. She has called me about every other name in the book. ("the Book" added just to hear Jess say, "Seriously?" in her semi-serious tone). It actually feels weird whenever she does remember my real name. Like I am about to be grounded or something.


simply kris said...

REFUSED to call Jack "Jacky" so he's Sprat. Luke got stabbed with Luke Spookum (play on Duke Nukem Sp?) He's now just Spooky. Kate went ahead and added the "y" for Katey.
I call my sig other "Wil" and me? Never been branded with a nickname. Does Kris work?

Steve and Jenny Moore said...

That's funny...Steve says the same thing that I rarely call him by his name!!
I can just hear Jess saying "Seriously?"!!! Love it!!
Steve also has a thing for nicknames and they all seem to stick!

su-tang 3000 said...

Sean E. Boyyy,

Some folks do read your blog and will make sure this nickname sticks at insurance.