I don’t know why but while I was wandering around the park at lunchtime I suddenly started thinking about nicknames. When I was at school I had one of those nicknames you get given after a single joke or conversation with friends and then can never get rid of. Thanks to one of my closest friends (you know who you are) I spent six years of my life being called ‘Haggis’. There is nothing good about being named after a sheep stomach stuffed with offal and I hated it. I made sure I lost this nickname when I went to university but now I can see the funny side. To quote Morrissey ‘I can laugh about it now but at the time it was terrible’.
As an adult I haven’t had a regular nickname and although my twitter alter ego is ‘hitmanharris’ no one actually calls me this. It is based on an old joke and is meant to be a bit tongue in cheek but it probably makes me seem needlessly macho to anyone that doesn’t know me. This twitter name has led to a couple of my friends calling me ‘Bomber Harris’ as they rightly mock my username. I should probably change it but I’ve used it for so long that I kind of like it. Occasionally I get called ‘Walter’ after a character in my favourite film, The Big Lebowski, or abbreviations of my name like ‘H’, ‘AH’ or even ‘Ach’ but nothing that sticks.
When I originally wrote this post I completely forgot about another nickname I have. I am Godfather to my sister’s beautiful boys, Jack and Ben. Shortly before Jack was born I fractured my skull playing rugby and was still recovering from the injuries when he made his entry into the world. Even though I didn’t have a bandaged head I started signing my cards to Jack as ‘Uncle Bump’ for a joke and as a result this is what he calls me now along with his little brother. I’m sure there will come a point when he decides it is too childish for him but until then I will never tire of my special nick name and the bond between us.
My newest nickname is my favourite – I’m Daddy so that’s what you call me. Even though George is a long way off being able to say this name it doesn’t stop me using it all the time I am around him. Even when he has gone to bed I don’t stop referring to myself in the third person – ‘Daddy is having a coffee now’. It won’t be long before I forget where I am and use it at work (Daddy can put that in a spread sheet) or in a restaurant (Daddy would like steak and chips). It’s a small price to pay.
What was your nickname at school? Would you like one now? Are you responsible for someone else’s awful nickname? Comments in the usual place.