My family has this thing about nicknames. We use them. A lot.

We have nicknames for food – from the Chinese food we order in for supper, referring to the different dishes as “Slab of Lab,” “Poodles with Noodles,” “Chunks of Skunk,” and other such appealing names, to the “Stray Cat Stroganoff” that mom used to make WAY too often and the “Deer Turds” that she makes once in a while for dessert.

We have nicknames for animals. Well, maybe they shouldn’t be called nicknames… “Hamburg” wasn’t the goat’s nickname – it was it’s only name. Same with the cows – “Skunk 1,” Skunk 2,” and “Woolly Brains” were their only names. But I guess “Muttley” and “THAT DOG” were actual nicknames for the dogs.

And, of course, people get nicknames.

When we have Jehovah’s Witnesses come down our driveway, they’re not referred to as “Jehovah’s Witnesses,” it’s “the J dubs.”

Political conversations can always get a little bit heated. Our family is no different, and we went through a period of time when the term “Commie Pinko” was used often in conversations about government/politicians. When 6-year old David picked up on the term, and started using it quite frequently, mom put her foot down, told him that “Commie Pinko” was not a nice thing to say, and she didn’t want to hear him calling people “Commie Pinkos” any more. A few nights later at the supper table, the family was having another lively, heated discussion about politics. During a lull in the conversation, David decided to put in his two cents worth about the subject.

“Know what I call them?” he piped up, referring to whatever group of politicians or government we had been talking about: “Well, there’s one thing I want to call them but I’m not allowed to say it, so I call them something else instead. Know what I call them? I call them ‘Hommie Hinkos.’”

(Right, David. Like none of us know where that came from…). It stuck, though. “Hommie Hinko” just rolls off the tongue so much easier than “Commie Pinko.”

And, of course, family members get nicknames. Well, some of them do. All family members have had at least one weird or insulting nickname at some point in time. It’s just that some names stick better than others. My older brothers are still called “Mr. Lonely” and “El Geeko,” but another brother’s nickname of “The Mexican” just petered out after a few weeks. So much of the family is normally referred to by their actual name, because we have yet to find a nickname that sticks.

I, unfortunately, am not one of those people.

If you steal any one of my brother’s cell phones, and try to find my number, you will not find it listed under “Sis,” or “The Broad,” or even “Short, fat and ugly.” You will most certainly not find it under my real name. What you will find it under is “THINGISWINGIS.” Yup. That’s my nickname. Don’t know just how it got started, but, boy has it stuck, dammit! They’ve even got mom calling me “Thingiswingis.”

Dad has a nickname – but only when he’s not around. No one has the guts – or maybe it’s: no one is stupid enough – to call him “Boss Man” to his face. It’s used mainly for inquiries about him. As in: “Where’s Boss Man?” or: “Boss Man leave already?”

David has had so many nicknames it isn’t even funny…

Two that have stuck are “Grubby” and “Calvin.” Where “Grubby” came from should be easy enough to figure out – just keep in mind that he’s a little kid – a little BOY, to be more specific.

And as for “Calvin,” that’s from the comic strip “Calvin and Hobbes.” David is just like “Calvin” from “Calvin and Hobbes.” And I don’t mean just in looks.

And now for the family member who get the prize for the – uh, is it “worst,” or “best”? – nickname.

I’m thinking of poor “Booger.” Yes, you read that right. “Booger.”

The interesting thing is how he got the nickname. And it’s not by any one of the possible ways that you’re thinking about right now. I mean, really?? That’s just disgusting.

Luke is the poor – uh, bugger, yeah, that’s right, bugger who has to live with the nickname. And here is the story of how it got started:

Apparently, a friend of ours knows someone named Lucas Macooter. As a joke, he called our Luke “Lucas Macooter.” Well, it had a nice ring to it, and it sort of stuck.

But dad can’t leave anything alone, and very soon “Lucas Macooter” became “Mucus Lacooter.” That’s a little bit long for a nickname, though. So, naturally, it got shortened to “Mucus.” The next logical step? That’s right – “Booger.”

No, people, I am not making this up. Are you kidding? You can’t make stuff like this up!!

And, now that I think about it, maybe “Thingiswingis” isn’t that horrible a nickname after all…


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