As a writer, one of the hardest things I have to do is to decide on the right names for my characters. It has to look right in print, sound right on the lips and feel right in my heart. It can take time to pick the best one, and often I find myself changing it as I start to get into the story. And then there is the decision on if I should give my characters a nickname…
Nicknames are often used as a sign of love between friends and family and often the only make sense to a select few that are part of that inner circle. The most common nicknames are shorting of your full name, or maybe a combination of your initial’s (JJ, DJ). Or maybe it’s an endearing name like Sweetie or Honey.
Whatever the name, once you have it; it’s yours for life. Have you every run across a grown man who tops 6′ and is called “Tiny”? Oh you many move away and start a new life, change your whole persona, and forget all about it. But the minute you go home, or meet someone from home-out comes that name and you are thrown back in time.
Since most of us receive our nick names from our loved ones, we embrace the feeling of belonging that it gives us, or at the least we “grin and bare it”. That name is a connection between people, special, even if it is just between two souls.
My nickname when I was little came from Grandpa. My grandfather was a quiet man, always with a pipe in hand and a smile on his face. His humor was simple and often took you by surprise because it was so often right on the mark. Except for this nickname-I just never quite got it! My mom actually had the name before me, I just became number 2.
And the name you ask? TERMITE. (I am Termite 2).
When I asked my Grandpa about it, he would just smile and say “A termite gets into everything.” That’s all there was to it, and it made sense to him. It’s been years since he died, and with his passing, my nickname became silent. It just never sounded the same coming from anyone else.
So, I ask you, is your nickname as special as mine?