Wednesday, November 14, 2007

The Name Game

Do I have to 'splain everything?


My entire family has multiple nicknames. Some of them make no sense what so ever while others have a complete history and explanation. But, maybe this will help some of you nay sayers and then you can go tell my sister to stick it in her sticker!

Ellen Elizabeth- Elly Belly- Ells Bells- Bells- Bellers. She has also been called Ennie and Ennum and Ewan by her little brothers.
She answers to all of them. She likes all of them with a slight, eensy-weensy, dissatisfaction with Ennum, which her baby brother still says instead of Ellen.

Seth- Sethy- Seph- Sephers- Bubbers...all derived from his siblings many of his oldest friends continue to call him Sethy and he is just now becoming uncomfortable with all of it.

Isaac Jesse- Ike- Ika- Ika Jesse- Ika Jo Jesse- ....originated from his cousin Jack. He answers to all of them. His baby brother is the only other person besides me that calls him Ike on a regular basis.

Levi- Deeda By- Deets- Deeters...coined by our next door neighbor's 2yo daughter. Mostly we just call him "Giant Pain In The Butt" or "Constant Source Of Irritation" or "God Why?"

Clay- Claystor- Claystorian- Clay Boy- Moron..... I know that last one just sort of slips in every once in a while and yet he still answers to it. His mother hated, with an enormous passion, that I would address a letter to Claystor. Ooooh, she did not like me messing with his name. His name is so simple and yet people have a hard time deciphering it. He is often called Clint or Glenn or Clayton and then one time Gary?????

and then there's me.....

Rechelle, is to blame. She read a book in which the main character had a weird tick about reading words backwards, sdrawkcab. So my sister starts saying and reading everything backwards. If we were driving down the road and she saw a sign that said 'Goodland exit now', she would say aloud, "Dnaldoog tixe won". She became profoundly good at it and after awhile it was less fascinating and more irritating because we never knew tahw eht lleh ehs saw gniyas.

Then one day, she was done. Except for my name, April or Lirpa. She made it sound like a disease, Lurpa. The sad thing, I answer to it every stinkin' time and if people hear me called Lirpa, then they start calling me Lirpa. It followed me to college. When my sister showed up at my dorm and called me Lirpa in front of my roommates from that day on I was Lirpa. If my sister and I are in a store she'll call out, "Lirp, let's go!" or "Look at this lovely thing Lirps" or if she's in a sweet moody, "Lirpy, let's go get coffee." I see the looks people give me. They're stunned, why would anyone name their child Lirpa? Good gawd! My father will very occasionally refer to me as Lirpy. I don't think my mother has ever used Lirpa. I've never asked anyone to call me Lirpa.

But, in all this time, no matter how much I didn't like being called Lirpa, I never asked her to stop, because she never calls me Lirpa when she's mad, irritated, disappointed or bored with me. Lirpa is her code word for saying, "You're my little sister and I love you".

So, no, I will not and cannot stop calling Ellen, Bellers, because it's more than just a nickname, it's an expression of my love for her. It's a brand I've place on my sweet girl and she carries it quite delicately as if she were being called, "Daisy Rose Petal Blossom Petunia Cupcake Sugar Pie Dumpling Head". So, go STICK IT IN YOUR STICKER!


14 comments:

Vonda said...

Isn't it funny how nicknames start? I have multiple nicknames for all of my children and grandchildren. I don't know why because my mom never called me anything but Vonda or on occasion BarbaraLorettaVondaJohnDavidJayKristin. You know all seven of our names at once because the poor woman couldn't remember which kid she was screaming at.

I was called Saphire by an old man I worked with (don't know why), Little Momma by a Hawaiian girl when I was pregnant (this one stuck...my husband and kids still call me this), Vonders by lots of people including my father-in-law. But my favorite is Vonny, which my dad called me. He was the only one and I miss him.

Lynne's Somewhat Invented Life said...

My sisters called me Pooka and never told me what it meant but led me to believe it was B-A-D. I wrote a personal history story about it, trying to purge the pain. It's still there. The pain. The bells. The bells.

iloveupstate.com said...

OOOOHHHHH good argument. OK, you win. Sorry, Ellehcer!

I have a nickname, but I can't put it on here. Your Mother was horrified by my Fiance's poem on Rechelle's blog...his nickname for me would probably render her speechless.

~*~ Jennifer ~*~ said...

Funny!! I got called Joyful Jeffiner by a retarded lady once... my mother told my teenage friends... whom thought that was hilarious!!

So Jeffiner it was. Then shortened do Jeff. Silly -- I hated explaining it.

I prefer Jennifer -- but you know... if you insist, I'll let you call me Jeff -- but only if you are calling me for supper. HA HA HAAAA.. (Ok -- that was lame!)

KellyJean said...

My brothers are 4 and 8 years younger than I am. Brothers don't come up with nice nicknames. I am 5'11" (they are 6'5" and 6'10", but they didn't get that tall until I was gone). They liked to do this gross grunting thing right before they called me "Ingrid." Just thinking about it makes me want to punch something. The brother that is 4 years younger also called me "Leema Sierra." he seemed to think it meant fat lard in some other language. And that was when I was skinny! I called that brother Hitler.

Anonymous said...

When I was a kid (5-ish) my little brother (3-ish) couldn't say "Jennifer" so I ended up getting called "Jennyruff". Ya, I'm not totally over it, but I no longer feel the emotional pain. ;) Actually that was a lot tamer than what my Dad called me when i was a baby. My older sister (their 1st kid) got called "Poops a Lot" by Dad, therefore I was "Poops a Whole Lot". Nice, huh?

Clay said...

My older sister is named Shelley, so I, as a responsible, younger, take-ever-possbile-opportunity-to-be-annoying- brother used to call her Smelly. She loved it...I'm almost positive.

Using that same fiendishly clever logic, I have now decided that my loving sister-in-law Rechelle, will henceforth be known as Resmell.

Jenni said...

Oh, no arguments from me. I especially love "Ells Bells". There is no way I can list all the things I have called my children and there is absolutely no explanation for most of those names.

muddy mama said...

One of the sad things that can happen when you are given a nickname that you hate,is you become so used to hearing it, that you actually begin to answer to it.

So now, whenever my brother (who is the only one who calls me this, thankyouverymuch) says "Hi Weiner." I respond with "Hi there...Hey!" Dork-face. Sigh.

Even worse is the fact that he sometimes shortens Weiner to Wein - like it's my real name shortened to a nickname.

Angie said...

Loved this post. My sister didn't read these backwards - she spoke in gibberish and drove us all nuts.

Her nickname for me was Ninny....couldn't say Angie. Later she added my middle name Kaye. To this day I am Ninny Kaye. I can't say I love it but thankfully she's the only person in the world that calls me that!

Lori Shaffer said...

Everyone calls me "Lori", except my brother-in-law who stole my favorite sister from me. He calls me one of three names, but never "Lori" - Lewis, Luey or most commonly and digustingly, Loogie...ya know, like "hock-a-loogie"!

Come to think of it, his whole family calls me those now..."Aunt Loogie" - I've heard that many times. Gross as it may be, I consider it a term of endearment. Hey, at least he doesn't lick me anymore...

"Claystorian"...nice. It fits.

Anonymous said...

Brothers: Arty became Otto, then Dodo (courtesy of my son, who was 2 years old at the time), and eventually Dode. Doug is Mutt, probably because Doug sounds like dog. Rob is Moo Moo, thanks to my very mean oldest brother, who does not have a nickname because he is too mean.
Sisters: Frances is Tooty (long, Italian origin story); Regina is Jub (don't ask), and I (Laura) was Raz, then Roxy, but only by my Mom.

Karen Deborah said...

well, I call my dog Lu bellie.
Bellers just sounds like a noise from a cow. but ya know nick names stick like Lirpa. Kinda has a little ring to it doesn't it?

Ellen said...

Well! I don't know about you all, but i happen to like my nicknames!!!

Well maybe not ALL of my nicknames..Eli Lizzy is a good one, but Ells Bells is getting kind of dull.....