(I'm not sure how this quote relates to this post, but it intrigued me and seemed relevant. This is Elias Canetti, by the way. If you're curious, here's some info on him. I didn't actually read it, but you're more than welcome too.)
I was leaving a comment on the Facebook page of a former acquaintance this evening, and I addressed her, not by her real name, Laura, but by a fantastical nickname I used to call her, Laura Bora Baker Bean. I'm not sure where this came from or how it evolved, but it made me think about (and not for the first time) how often I call people by names other than the ones they commonly go by.
For example, my sisters aren't Patty, Krista, Shelley and Brianne. They are Miss Patricia, Krissy Sue, Shelley and Weezie, or when she was under the age of five, Cutie. (You may have noticed that Shelley remains Shelley. I'm not sure why this is).
There could be some sort of psychological or defense mechanism explanation behind this. Like, by giving others nicknames it helps me to maintain distance and removes me from the personal nature of our relationships (hey, that wasn't half bad. I just pulled that out of my you-know-what).
Some nicknames were given to acquaintances by other acquaintances and therefore my use of them doesn't count for this discussion. For example, Hadme (Hadly), Glenjamin (Glen), Randoll (Randi), Joweiner (Jolene) and Ju'tin (Justin).
Sometimes I just refuse to use peoples nicknames and insist on calling them by their given name. For example, Katrina (Kate), Benjamin (Ben), Gregory (Greg), Joshua (Josh), Lucas (Luke), Patrick (Pat), Nicole (Nikki), Melissa (Missy) and Daniel (Dan).
There are other times when I prefer to just change the pronunciation of the name, or the way the syllables are stressed. For example (for the full effect, you have to give a proper amount of pause at the -), Andrea becomes On-drea, Amanda becomes A-mon-da, Allison becomes Al-lee-son, Katie becomes Kay-tee and Brandi becomes Bran-die.
Sometimes I like to add syllables. For example, Shannon becomes Shanannon, Tara becomes Tarara and Sara becomes Sarara.
And then there are the ones that are the result of some bizarre play-off of their given name. For example, Terra T (Terra), Topher (Christopher or Chris), Bessy Bess Bess (Bess), Cessy Lee (Celeste), D (Dustin), Benny Bugger (Benjamin or Ben), Owen B'dowen (Owen), Chadio (Chad), Amarie (Amy), Whitler (Whitney), Leroy (Larry), Charlie Barley (Charles or Charlie), and of course, Laura Bora Baker Bean (Laura).
I'd like to think that there's no harm in my weird nickname assignments (or lack there-of). I hope no one is ever offended by them. I'm still not sure why I do it. Maybe because it's impossible to assign a nickname to my name? Although, I did have a roommate who used to call me Ape-ball and a coworker who called me Avril. Maybe it's my form of payback for all the bad jokes I've had to endure as a result of my name?
I don't know what the logic behind it is, but what about you? Have you ever given or been given a nickname before? Can you explain why?
UPDATE: Upon further reflection, this could, quite possibly be, a very annoying habit. Some of these "nicknames" are just ridiculously obnoxious. How is it I still have friends. Now that I think about it, none of my current friends have nicknames. Interesting. This could explain a lot...