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Tuesday, March 17, 2015

On nicknames

Thirteen years ago a friend was expecting a baby boy, whom she and her husband had decided to name Tristan.

At a party in the parents' honor, another friend, who was famous for never remembering names properly, raised a glass to the as yet unborn child and toasted to Baby Triscuit.

After all present had recovered from the peals of laughter into which we dissolved, we decided that was a splendid nickname and, with the blessing of our expectant friends, thereafter referred to him as Triscuit in conversation.

Flash forward to the day my friend gave birth.

Me: Hey, _____________ (woman who could not remember the name in the first place)! Did you hear? She gave birth early this morning!

Her: He's here? Oh, I can't wait to see Biscuit!

I am always fascinated with nicknames whose origins are not immediately apparent. One of my father's first cousins bore the nickname Bump, for reasons I have never learned. The great uncle referred to as June was sussed out easily enough when I discovered he was a Junior.

But my favorite oddball nickname has to be Biscuit, which among family and friends has stuck with the lad quite firmly, though his teachers resolutely refuse to call him any such nonsense.
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