Monday, April 21, 2008

Lets Stalk Stryne

As pregnant mum's to be and mother's of the newborn, we agonise over the choice of a name for our little bundles of joy. I particularly went for names that had the least opportunity for alteration - alas, twas not to be. In the great tradition of changing things for the sake of it, Australians, like many others are compulsed to award a nickname. Finding pseudonyms for people I know on the blog isn't hard, most of them are in fact their nicknames. In my family alone we have: Poider, Stressany, Hanule, JimmyD, Red, Baino, Abe, Nell, Doo Doo, Twoneth and Maddie, only Joel seems to have escaped an alternate moniker. My best friend is Thommo and others BikerGirl, Overall, Kaz and TheParra. Then there's Bumper, Crispy, Toddles and Westy, Cheeky, Benchwarmer, Mattie, Crofty, Doona and more . . in fact not a single friend of mine is addressed by their proper name with the exception of some of the younger girls. Shame really . . but pressure's off younglings, when you become parents, you needn't worry about the spelling of Aleisha, Alicia, Alysha or Aleesha . . .she'll get Ally, Leish or named after some characteristic. If she has red hair, she'll be a Bluey, blonde she'll be Snowy . . big ears a Wingnut . . and your little Sean or Shaun will be Shorty if he's tall, Stretch if he's short.

The Rules

  • Any word with three syllables or more is far to risky if you have to pronounce under the influence or in a hurry - it must therefore be shortened
  • Maximum irony or sarcasm must be employed at all times
  • The endings "o" "y" and "a" are preferred above all others, but are not exclusive.
  • The words thus formed must be frequently used in conjunction with swear words found offensive in most English speaking cultures

Now you've got the rules, let's see about the application. Here is couple of non-exhaustive lists of words or concepts and their Australian equivalents.

Proper Names

  • David Stephen, John, Benjamin become Davo ("dave-o"), Stevo, Johnno, Benno etc. Note that "Johnny" is a term of utter contempt and never used except as such.
  • Darren, Warren, Lauren become Dazza, Wazza, Lozza etc. The "a" ending sound is always drawn out for dramatic effect. Wazzaaaaa! This may seem like a contradiction of the "shorter" rule - until you think about the ease of drunken or exhuberant pronounciation
  • Peter, Robert, Kimberly are always Pete, Bob, Kim etc.
  • Surnames are fair game, Thompson becomes Thommo, Smith becomes Smithy, Simpson becomes Simmo and very unfairly for it was my maiden name, Dunn becomes "Dunny"
  • Mac anything always becomes Macca
  • Then there are the out there nicknames which describe a particular character trait and not always flattering: Parra, Barra, Chopper, Blocker, Plugga, Licka, Roo or Fridge - the list is endless!
So you've got it. Although we're not over giving you a disparaging nickname attribuable to a habit, peculiarity or racial mix.
Sawyer seems to have the knack:

No matter how carefully your parents chose your name, it will be changed . . in fact it's almost an honour to have your name perverted in such a way. Lesson over - any questions?


Thriftcriminal said...

Well, despite many attepts on my name none have stuck (BTW, there is an unterminated google chat directed at you that reveals it, and it ain't tardis, what would that shorten to, Tardy?).

Thriftcriminal said...

Sorry, Skype chat.

Baino said...

Arrrrgggghhhhh . . . now you've got me in a spin! What Skype chat? Tardy is as Tardy does . . as long as it isn't Barbara - From the Greek barbaros meaning foreign or strange, traveler from a foreign land -

Gulliver? Perhaps. I'll lose bloody sleep over this one.

Ryan said...

I think I've escaped this... in fact I think all of our friend group has? except for the fringelet maybe...

Brianf said...

About seven or eight years ago at a meeting of our rifle team folks were pointing out that all of our names had been shortened with the exception of myself and Sean. We have Mikey, Chucky, Denny, Bobby, Billy G., Tommy, Freddy, Dickey, Ricky and so on. They were all making up silly names for Sean and myself. I came up with Seanetta, which stuck and I got hung with Fitzy.

Kate said...

You know, I've never had a nickname. Really, never. Aside from taking my given name, Katherine, and shortening it right away, my parents never called me anything but Kate. Friends and family, too. A few attempts were made, by myself, because the idea of a nickname was appealing, but nothing ever stuck.

Ah, well.

Brian said...

Steiner Recliner had to be my personal favourite of all the nicknames I've had.

ian said...

No-one ever managed to shorten Ian - though I got Jan (a la Eastern Europe) at school

Baino said...

Thrifty: Thanks . .your secret is safe with me! And apart from a bush rat nibbling my rafters at 2:30am, I slept soundly with my new-found knowledge *snickers*

Ryan: Shows what you know. . .I've pinned the binge drinking usual suspects as Abe, Lemmers, Smelly, Supergeek, and Snowjob! You work out which is which. Add Nicknames to your Facebook!

Brianf: I'm amazed you haven't had a barage of the "ginger-" prefixes! Here you'd be bluey, boofhead, Septic and of course defo Fitzy. Although if you played NRL may well get Plugger or Tank. Adding a "Y" is more acceptable for surnames here, adding to a first name is considered a bit girly unless it's done by your mother or girlf.

Kate: You're a classic version of the 'shortening' of first names. My best friend named her daughter Katherine with a 'K' rather than a 'C' because she knew she'd be called Kate. Then we all called her "Poss". Go figure.

BrianD: A statement on your origins and your lifestyle, not bad but too much of a mouthful I'll have to work on something. "Pwner" perhaps although Damage works a treat.

Ah C'mon Ian . . seriously? You're Rev or Polly! No Brainer!

My nickname is NOT Baino by the way . . that honour goes to ClareBear! And the best I've ever heard, "Giblets".

Quickroute said...

I've got one of those weird Irish names = 'Enda' which people prefer to make longer rather than shorter e.g. Endatheworld etc!

Baino said...

Quicky: To right! We'd have a ball with that one . . say it in an Aussie accent "Endawhatsupyourarse", "Endadays", "Endawhereyoufrom?", "Endanotherone" the possibilities are Endaless! Although with the total lack of Australian giveashit, you'd probbaly be called Mick, Paddy or Hiself.

Melissa said...

My nickname in college was Dog Butt. It got so I didn't answer when my teachers used my given name and one of my classmates would have to yell, "Hey, Dog Butt!" to get my attention. This name stemmed from a friend rubbing the back of my head after I had it cut short. He said, "You feel like my dog's butt!" I told him to get his hand out of my hair.

Baino said...

Aw Melissa! That's awful. I'd have told him more than to get his hands out of my hair! You'd be Mel, Melly, Smelly Melly or something of that ilk! My friend Melissa is 'Min' ... not sure where that came from?

Kath Lockett said...

You're so right Baino. Even the AFL commentators have to add 'ie' or 'y' to the end of blokes' names that, in non-AFL life, would most definitely NOT handle it.

For me it was surnames. Read was my maiden name, so I was known as 'Chopper, and it changed to Lockett when I got married to Love Chunks and then I got called 'Plugger' !!

Nick said...

I never had any nicknames at all. Now I feel deprived and neglected *sobs quietly*

Baino said...

Kath you're a cack! Blocker and Plugger (actually I wondered if you were related when I first found you - six degrees and all that!)

Nick: You're alreay a shortened version I'm assuming you were called Nicholas. How about Metro, Vegie, Buddha or Nicko.