Ben’s family, kicking it old school.

By Gabrielle.

My wonderful mother-in-law, Julia Blair, gave extravagant nicknames to her children. Ben’s is: Benjerbomboom. His siblings (or maybe it was the neighborhood kids) gave him another one: Ben-Benji-Bare-Bottom-Burp-Baby-Blair. All of his siblings have terrific nicknames. A sampling: Jenettikins, Blopsy, Caroliney-Deeny-Diny, Margretchie, and Deedle-Doos. (Just by reading those names aloud, you can probably guess that my mother-in-law is a wonderful singer. And you’d be right.)

We were telling our kids about their aunts’ and uncles’ nicknames, and realized that at our house, we’ve hardly used nicknames at all. Ralph is occasionally Ralphie. Maude is once-in-awhile Mimi. Olive is Olive. Oscar is Oscar (with an experimental Osc here and there). Betty is always Betty. And June is June.

I love the idea of nicknames and was kind of surprised to realize we didn’t use them! I wonder if it’s too late…

What are your thoughts on nicknames? Do you have one? Do your kids? Do you know anyone that was given a nickname as an adult and it stuck?

P.S. — I grew up with the nickname Gabby. Since I talk a lot, it’s always been a good fit. : ) Also, nicknames and alternate names always make me think of Dostoevsky. I swear, he uses like 10 different names for each character he introduces!