I was inspired again by the author of Oh Shit…She’s Awake to tell all about my various nicknames over the years. Thanks!

Nicknames are funny things, some we adopt, some we create, some are created for us, some are created for us without our knowledge and some are used against us behind our backs! Nicknames can be powerful, fun, informative, contradictory and even hurtful, it doesn’t matter how short your name is, a nickname will lengthen it and if your name is long I guarantee there is a truncated version of your name that everyone could guess or invent in seconds.

Those are not the nicknames I will be talking about today; Charlie – Chas, Darren – Daz, Christopher – Chris or Philip – Phil

Porifera Robert Polygon Trousers

We won’t be talking about the more obscure etymological nick names:  Ted – Edward, Bill – William,  Bess – Elizabeth or Lanie – Melanie.

I’m not going to be talking about alternative names or titles; Chief, Gaffer or Boss.

I’m not going to be talking about alternatives names for professions; Chippy, Bones or Cabbie.


Two Bones are Better than One

Or even alternative names for races, creeds, colours or religions; Limeys, Toffs or Frogs.

I’m definitely not going to be talking about hypocoristic names – Wait! What? You don’t know what a hypocoristic name is? Maybe you do actually, I bet you either have one or have had one in the past.

Picture of my naked hypocoristics

They are the names you call your loved one, or your loved one’s lovely bits, or maybe what they called you or your lovely bits ;  ) They are also in a disturbing sort of way the names people make up for their grandparents MeMaw, Granpa, Nana etc. We are definitely not going to be talking about those, THOSE or those.

What we are going to be talking about is pseudonyms, stage-names,  avatars, monikers and those names your mates make for you, that seem to spread amongst the rest of your friends quicker than you can set the fake smile of acceptance across your face so they can’t see your pain. Well specifically we are going to be talking about mine actually.

Which means there are some ground rules that you have to agree to follow before you are allowed to continue reading:

1. none are to be used in the present day – if you do, you will, unless I really, really like you, be deleted from my friends list – maybe not immediately but eventually and probably sooner than you think.

2. this may not be an exhaustive list but that doesn’t mean you can go on and add the ones I’ve missed.

3. also don’t go making up new ones for me, unless of course you are willing to keep them to yourself or they are hypocoristic ; )

After me, please say: I do solemnly swear……

Okay – I guess that’s about it: I may regret this……

Fippy: this was a name I was called by everyone from the age of about 3 until I was 14, occasionally my family may use it with a wink in their eye, but this is both rare and quite dangerous. I am much calmer about it now but when I was in my teens it drove me wild and at about 13 I began to insist that it wasn’t used and would demonstrate vocally, if it slipped back in to use. My next door neighbour Marianne was about 6 months younger than me and could not say my name properly – she called me Fippy and it has haunted me ever since : (

Nipples: I have no idea where this came from, what it associates too or why Jason one of my childhood friends came up with it, but for about two years aged between 10 and 13 it was in regular use amongst my closest friends – I neither encouraged nor complained and it slowly slipped into obscurity, until now!

Furliiiiiiper: When computers first started to be able to make noises, yes that’s right, when computers first started to make noises, we were so excited to get our hands on a speech simulator programme, it was fascinating, exciting and to be honest a little bit crap, but it was the best thing available at the time. So when we were mucking about with it round at a mates house for some unknown reason it was deemed hilarious by all that if you typed in ‘Philip’ it said ‘furliiiiiper’ (in a Stephen Hawking slow drawl)  and again for at least a couple of years I was called furliiiiiper : ) (sometimes condensed to just Flipper).

Phillipobonjovihedgehoggerlutumheadfroggerlutumhopski: Phew, well done for saying that out loud without stumbling *pats on back and air high fives all round*. When I was a young man, my first formal employment was as a Carpenter & Joiner and I worked with some amazing characters (possible future blog material methinks). One of them was the apprentice above me, Ian, he had a way with words that was all of his own; he added ‘ski’ to the end of everything, he added ‘lutum’ in the middle of words at random and he kept making up words for everything and everyone. I thought he was an interesting individual and I like people who are what they are, so I would guess, that I probably encouraged him. Subsequently he came up with ‘Philippobonjovihedgehoggerlutumheadfroggerlutumhopski’ for me – and it stuck!! People that I worked with would call me a bit of it here and there, maybe Phillipo, BonJovi, Lutumhead, Frogger or Hedgehog, but only Ian would call my by my full nickname!!

Each part of the name represents something that Ian thought was significant, not going to go into detail but in etymological chronology order – Long hair, recently cut short, big eyes, fidget, who couldn’t sit still (still can’t) who likes hip hop…??

Wideboy P: First stage name for Relevant Elephant – Look up the definition of a Wideboy – I wasn’t one and never will be, but compared to my band mates I was and they thought I was, so it became my stage name, Wideboy P.

Superadvo: Another work related nickname – ADVO stands for Assistant Director of Visitor Operations; I arrived working for English Heritage as the youngest member of the team, managing the worst performing region (historically), full of confidence, bravado acting like a Wideboy (thank you, I do see the irony) and I delivered results, in contrast to some of my colleagues – I was subsequently awarded an outstanding achievement award that year and my colleagues jokingly (possibly sneeringly) called me Superadvo, but I was proud and accepted their title along with my more official accolades with the same pride and joy. If they were jealous, then that was their problem not mine : )

Philosovic: As my career progressed, I had to undertake some of the less attractive elements of People Management and Business Development – Restructuring. I hate having to let people go, and they have been my worse days at work, ever, but it is my job to do those things and do those things I must. My best friend decided I undertook some of my duties in more of an ethnic cleansing approach, which I still argue against, (I only expected them to do the jobs they were paid for, it’s not my fault they chose not to, is it?) but it has stuck and occasionally if I am being a little too ruthless I am reminded of this nickname and act with a kinder approach than before when sacking someone.

Pheeeeeeaal: This is only really uttered by Neal, the other half of Relevant Elephant, he has trouble getting hold of me, I am a busy man, so he leaves messages on my answerphone that just go ‘Pheeeeeeeeeeeal?’. This is his cue for me to ring him back, I like it but I am glad it is not used day to day.

Mister Shakespeare: Now defunct; when I worked for Shakespeare Country, I used every opportunity to promote the destination and some people started to refer to me as Mister Shakespeare – still love the Bard and his works but it is no longer my professional passion to raise awareness of him and the destination surrounding his birthplace, I believe this nickname is now dead : (

Phlackett: [pronounced Flack-It] Lazy combination of my first and last name, don’t like it but it does roll of the tongue, intermittent use, by people that you would least expect sometimes!

X-Wide P: Current stage name/avatar/pseudonym/moniker/pen-name etc. As the mind has narrowed and the waistline has expanded – or maybe as I have become more of a wideboy than I would care to recognise or admit; I have become Extra Wide Phil or X-Wide P. This actually came about because Neal (Relevant Elephant) was known as Mr Biggs but gave himself a title and subsequently became ‘The Lord Biggs’ so not to be outdone I promoted myself enigmatically from Wideboy P to X-Wide P – I am not justifying it any more than that : )

Well those are the ones I am willing to share, there is just one more, but I don’t know it, so I am going to have to tell you about it instead: Years ago a bunch of friends of mine played this kinda ‘in house’ game amongst ourselves – we would invent nicknames for each other (and for other people) but the idea was that you only used it for them when they weren’t in earshot, so I had a nickname but I didn’t and still don’t know what it was! One of our friends kept finding his out, so we kept having to create new ones, then after about six months we realised that he had found out the latest one ‘Obnob’ but he hadn’t done anything about it because he liked it – that is until he found out it was short for Obnoxious ; )

Apparently they help people!?

Hope you enjoyed this, if you add your nicknames in the comments list, I promise not to use them either *fingers crossed*

TTFN (ta ta for now)

P.S. I won’t delete you from my friends and follower list if you use X-Wide P ; )

About X-Wide P

Award winning advocate for the arts, heritage & culture; Fine Artist & Curator at StudionAme; Resources Manager for Leicester Arts, Museums, Festivals & Events; Founder & Curator of L.O.V.E. Art the Leicester Open Exhibition
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7 Responses to Nicknames

  1. Pingback: Day 7 – Your first job | Extra X-Wide P

  2. J.Brain says:

    THAT is not distraction that is what’s known as a very smooth move – a genius stroke of inspiration!!!

  3. artsmonkey says:

    My nick names are all relatively dull in comparison being in reality a *Juliet* i have been anything from Julie-oolie-ooliet to schmools, jools, and ju-jube to Jet and also for a couple of years *Mort* which was a shortened version of my surname. I’ve thought about it lots and i think my nick-names are responsible for me marrying a man with the surname of *Brain* = distraction technique

    • xwidep says:

      Ha ha, a friend of mine was not at all happy at the fun people made of her surname ‘Bean’ but her distraction technique didn’t really work, she married a fella with the surname ‘Coffey’ so now she is Mrs Coffey-Bean instead!!

  4. Pingback: It Box @ All Around the World News

  5. loripop326 says:

    I’ve had a few nicknames in my past, as well. However, my funniest nickname story does not have to do with me, but with my best friend. Her name is the same as mine – however, she spells it differently. While I spell mine “Lori”, she spells hers “Laurie”. Both of us, however, do answer to the common shortened variation of Lor or Laur.

    A (far too high) number of years ago, when hew nephew was just a very young boy, he had an interesting speech issue where he wasn’t quite able to make his “ell” sounds. They came out more as ‘h’ sounds.

    So once, when walking through a mall with Laurie, we heard this cry of “Whore! Auntie Whore!! Whore, Whore Whore!!” and turned to see Laurie’s sister and her son coming down the mall at us…

    Needless to say, we got a few strange looks from the other patrons that day.


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