Nicknames and Other Monickers…


It seems we all have other names we respond to.

We have those legal, given names, but as time goes on, we get these extra sidebar terms or phrases that we learn to answer to.

Allow me to start with my nicknames.

My Dad often called me “Deke” which I learned was short for “Deacon” but I really don’t know why or how he settled on it.

I thought it might be connected to Donald “Deke” Slayton, one of the original Mercury astronauts who never flew due to a heart problem.

I also heard a lot of “Gooner” which I’m sure was a version of “Junior” although I techically wasn’t a junior because my Dad and I had different middle names. He was John Francis and I was John Eugene.

My Mom was born “Hazel” but most folks called her “Sigh”.

There’s at least one report from my Mom that she got the nickname “Sigh” because that’s what all the young guys did when they saw her

That seems somewhat self-serving.

I also learned it night be connected with an ornery kid she knew who made fun of her last name “Saylor” and also an old male relative named Si.

My wife was born “Geneva” but she answered to “Neavy”, “Neva” and “Neav”  with the last being the spelling she prefered.

Now, her oldest grandson, Logan, called her “Magi” (mog-ee).

We weren’t sure how he came came up with that until one day we heard him playing with a little, plastic Kermit the Frog toy,

He was calling it Magi and later ‘fessed up to flushing Magi down the toilet.

I guess Logan wanted to keep his vocabulary simple so he used the same word to identify his favorite toy and grandma.

He also had a word “Chevitz” which we never did translate.

I used to call Logan “Butt Nugget” and that stuck for awhile buy I’m not clear on how that came about although there was in incident involving an orderly BM that might have had something to do with it.There”s a

There’s a picture of daughter Nikki wearing some sunglasses and a plastic toy on her head so it’s easy to see where “Hollywood” came from.

She also used to be known as “Dickie Deann Shoper” (Nikki Deann Foster).

I used to hold her on my lap, put my face up to hers and gruffly say, “Who are you?”

She’d grit her teeth , stare right back and shout, “I’m Dickie Dean Shoper!”

I’d growl and ask, “Who are you?” and eventually she’d grab my collar, press her face to mind and growl even louder, “I’m Dickie Dean Shoper!”

On occasion when Neav would be holding her, I’d ask Nikkie, “Who are you?” and Neav would get the rough treatment. I don’t think Neav liked it as much as I did.

Younger daughter Stacey was “Chopper” which was the bulldog buddy of cartoon-character “Yacky Doodle” which is what Stacey sort of reminded me of. Even thought she was sort of misnamed.

Granddaughter Delaney had an Italian minicker of sorts when she was little.

She was “Delaney Poopalotta”.

Can’t imagine how that hapened!

Now she answers to “Laney” or “Laney-Bug” and her younger brother Keaton answers to “Keaters”, “Keater-Bugs” or just “Keats”.

Before he became a pretty good trumpet player, I had visions of Keaton John  Ruble playing football and the announcer would call, “Another touchdown catch by K-J Ruble!”

One of our Boxers, Bootz, was nicknamed “Pooter Mutt” and I had an annoying little song I used to sing about her. Just ask my daughters.

Growing up as a pre-schooler on Burns Street in Mansfield, OH, we had a neighbor, Harry Wilkerson. We knew him as “Wilkie” (obvious) but I used to call him “Zoozie” when I went begging for peanut butter crackers.

Our backyard neighbor kid growing up was Tim Hieatt and he had a fondness for our flowers, thus the nickname “Na-Na Pick”.

Now we had an uncle in the Huron, Ohio area who was nicknamed “Chubby” which was strange because he wasn’t chubby.

I roomed with a fellow from Pineville, Kentucky who’s nickname was “Neck” for obvious reasons and he called me “Bully” for a character comedian Jerry Clower had that “Neck” liked.

I knew a guy in the Air Force who was Jack Welker and he was nicknamed “Happy Jack”. I think it had something to do with an old Who song.

In Ohio, I worked with Phil Linne but everyone called him “Scoop”because he just looked like a news guy. “Scoop” actually sold radio  advertising. His wife, Tharen was always “T”.

Hall of Fame sportcaster and my radio sidekick Sam Simmermaker has called me “Buck” because I’m originally from the Buckeye State. It’s one of just a few nicknames Sam has bestowed upon someone that has stuck.

Sam will tell you about the “old days” in sports when everyone had a nickname but we think the “P-C” phase we find ourselves in has put a damper on that.

Years ago, LSU football coach Paul Dietzel had a nickname for his defensive unit that doesn’t pass the “P-C” test these days.

“Simpson’s” creator Matt Groening believes we are in a time when everyone likes to believe they’re offended by something.

Too bad cause I like nicknames.


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