Our Family Nicknames: A Useless Guide for the Beginner

Our Family Nicknames: A Useless Guide for the Beginner

Figure 1: Adrian &  Matilda 

First, there’s me. Carrie. Which is my full name – not Caroline or anything. My great-grandma from Norway was named Carrie. Or Kaia. Though everyone called her Karen. (Note: my mother is Karen; my cousin is Kaia. We covered the bases for you, Granny.)

You can’t nickname Carrie that much. My sister didn’t let that stop her. She just called me LYNN. Which is my gross middle name. Then my best friend from second grade Danielle started using it. Then it got upgraded accordingly:

Lynnie, Lynn Bomb, Lynn Stone (after Helen Hunt’s character in Girls Just Wanna Have Fun)

Then my brother-in-law Jeff adapted things:
Stone, Stone Age, Age of Wisdom

N.B. Don’t call me any of those things if we’re not related. It’s weird.

Then there’s my sister. Kristin. In our family, we called her Kristin. Not Kris. Not Krissy (though my grandma tried that and it always felt gross). She’s named after this character in a book, Kristin Lavransdatter.

Her husband (Jeff) always called her weird nicknames, though. (I think he was the one who really set our love for them aflame). He’d call her K-Dog and K-Mother and Princess and My Bride. Nobody really used those but him.

It was Matilda who christened my sister Pee Koo. Because Kristin would play Peek-A-Boo with her and somehow that game just came to equal my sister. So now she’s Pee Koo.

Figure 2: Kristin 

Then there’s my husband Adrian. Adrian’s a great name for teasing on the playground (A.D. The Fat Lady was one he suffered under.) But really, I couldn’t think of many nicknames. Until my nephew Sid was born and couldn’t pronounce his name. He called him “Uncle Anan” or “Anan ‘Rand.” My mother thought that was gross: “OH ICK THAT SOUNDS LIKE ANUS.” Anyway, that stuck until Sid’s brother Owen was born, and he christened Adrian with the name that’s stuck, in the same way that Matilda did it to my sister. They were all swimming in a pool and Owen was rambling around the pool deck in his swim diaper blabbering “YA YA YA YA YA” and so  Sid and Adrian incorporated him into their water game as a monster called The Ya-Ya. So Owen just called Adrian “Ya Ya” and now that’s his name.

Though sometimes I call him A-Bomb. Matilda has also referred to him as “Harry Larry.” And his brothers’ kids know him as “Uncle Alien.”

Then there’s Jeff, my sister’s husband. JEFFREY DAVID JOHNSON, most basic name on the planet, right? No, no, no – so much possibility there! My sister called him “Free” and “Freedom Fighter” and “JJ.” Because I was studying Spanish in those years, I called him “Heff” or “Heffrey.” Sometimes I use the (very grody) Jeffie.

Karen, my mother: Gramma Gramma, G.K. (for Grandma Karen)

Azad, my father: Papa (Owen couldn’t say Grandpa), Ozzie (I never think of him like that, but others use it)

(In my youth, I referred to my parents as The Greebles. I don’t remember why, but my mom wasn’t a fan.)

Figure 3: Owen and Sid

Owen Phineas = Owenstein, Owenheimersteiner, O-Bomb, O-Bama, Owie, Phil, Philip Rivers,

Matilda Anoush (name picked for it’s plethora of possibilities in nicknames) = Tilly, Matilly, Maude, Mechtelder (her German name), Matil, Mad -Tila (when she was a screamy baby), Tilda, Matildenstein, Tillaroo, To-Tilla.

(Sid and Owen also called her a ton of crap when she was a baby: Bob Diego, Honey Baked Ham, Roto-Tiller, Tiller of the Soil, The Town Crier)

Adrian and I mostly call her “Til.”

N.B. We never ever have called her Mattie. Don’t you start, either.

Sid, who is really Sidian Free: Siddie, Siddle, Sidenstein, Free, Squid, Squiddie, Hambone, Number One Son

Pablo, our dog: Pabbie, Pabenheimer, Mr. Brown, Charlie Winterbeard, Barney Muddypaws, Old Man, Old Man River, Harry Brownback (James Bond villain name)

Gonzo, my sister’s dog: Gonny, Gonram, Gonzaga, Sterling Snowden III, Stanley No Collar, Grayson Broadchest (James Bond villain name)

So. Make a Wikipedia page outta that shit, suckas.


  • Ela on Sep 29, 2012 Reply

    My dad started calling me “Gril”–an anagram of ‘girl’, doh–when I was six or seven. Thereafter, any Grill of any kind spotted around town was appended to my ‘name’– eye-level grill, grill and barbecue, sportsman’s grill, griddle and grill…

    Yeah I loved it. And yes, he still calls me ‘Gril’ except when he’s really on the pedestal. Didn’t catch on with anyone else…

  • 4 kids, 2 countries on Sep 27, 2012 Reply

    Kristin’s other important nickname is “#16”

  • julesey on Sep 27, 2012 Reply

    I seem to recall waaaaaayyy back when I first met you, laughing my ass off because you referred to one of the dogs (can’t remember which one) as Osama Bin Doggen.

  • Carrie on Sep 27, 2012 Reply

    Sorry. Doesn’t he call himself “JJ” though?

    Also I forgot how you call me Lynnda and Lynnda Lou. UGH

  • Peekoo on Sep 27, 2012 Reply

    I never, ever, ever, ever, ever called Jeff JJ. Not once, not ever. Take that outta there.

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