Thursday, November 5, 2009

a rose by any other name

when i was a kid i was known asTricia or Treesha.
being the awkward, attention seeking child i was, i wanted to be PAT.
never patty.
or patsy.
how boring is that?
i can't believe i thought it was cool.
it was just that it was 'different'.

i have four brothers and everyone of us had a nickname growing up.
pud, deacon or stiss, buck which became huck, honk and mag.
guess which one was me?


i hated that name.
i have no idea why i got it or where it came from.
does this sweet and innocent child look like HONK to you?

my parents didn't correct this horrible, hurtful habit in my brothers.
THEIR own names were mrs. pud and fath.
(our last name was rice so you can see a connection there?)

my 2nd oldest brother was the one responsible for nicknaming everyone in the family.
he randomly decided on the name you were given and was relentless in using it.
soon everyone else joined in.

everyone in  the neighbourhood had their own nickname.
kids, adults, shopkeepers, teachers, friends and neighbours alike.
after a while no one knew anyone's real names.
if you said 'there goes Mr. Smith?'
the reaction was, "who?"
'oh right, you mean bandy andy.'
the next door neighbour had grown up during the depression and suffered rickets as a child i believe.
hence his nickname.
in our street sensitivity to others' feelings was a weakness.

tub, jake, neg, tardis, basher, bandy, dolphis are some of the ones that still come to mind. you'd have to ask deacon, whose real name was michael, what the relevance of most of those names were.

he assigned them according to some strange connection between the person and an inanimate object or character which was usually apparent only to him.
i remember one day a visitor to the street, a nicknameless outsider, asked, 'why do you all have such weird names?'
nobody knew why.
it just was.

i got so fed up with being called honk that i would scream.
and then, being boys, they just stopped calling me by any name at all.
i was just their sister and girls had little value then.
so to pat.
i wish i'd stayed as treesh, or tricia.
but i refused to answer to that anymore.
they should have called me contrary mary.

my parents, mrs pud and fath,  continued to ignore my request for 'pat'.
to my mother i was patreesha.
the i sound was pronounced as an ee.
(that was our geordie accent).

my grandmother wasn't a geordie.
she called me 'pratisha'.

when i worked in the nursery school with the little kids i was known as miss pat.
one little guy  trying to blurt out something exciting that had happened to him called me 'piss mat'.
my friend's husband, when he's not referring to me as 'clippy', which as you know is rhyming slang, i.e. clippy mat, pat, still likes to call me piss mat.

don't anybody tell him about Honk.
he'd have a field day

if you have a nickname, i'd love to hear it. :-)


Granny on the Web said...

Oh Clippy what a bumper nickname post. No you don't look like a Honk... well what is a Honk, but a sound a pig makes, and I am sure you didn't sound like a Honk.
Because I always insisted I was a boy, and wore my brothers clothes when I could, I was named George... from the Enid Blyton booked on the ~Famous Five~ I was made up with this. Thank goodness it hasn't stuck.
Love Granny

Busy Bee Suz said...

Well Contrary Mary, I mean Piss Mat..this just cracked me up.
My Aunt is Patricia. Most people call her Pat except for my mom, myself and the girls call her Trisha. It gets confusing when there are others call her Pat..I don't know who they are talking about????
I have been thinking of writing a post about my issues with my name and people changing it.
My name is Suzanne. But you can call me Suzanne for short. ???
WHen I was a kid I went by Sue, cause I was too lazy to write it out. I have an old friend that has always called me Suzy. But everyone else calls me B*tch.
Just kidding. Suz or Suzanne. That is it! Or Mom. I get that one a lot too!!! Frankly, I don't know why people don't call me little miss hotpants??? what is up with that???

ChiTown Girl said...

This was a great post! The 'piss mat' made me laugh out loud!! You'll always be my Little Clippy!

karen gerstenberger said...

Have you read any of the Mitford family's saga? They had lots of nicknames, too, and one of them was HONKS. It's very sophisticated, if you look at it that way. And I love "Piss Mat, too."

My brother bestowed nicknames on lots of our friends, as well as pets, etc. I have been called Kareen, Turtle, Kokiefenokee, Pixie and - most recently - Gberger. (If you ever saw the Saturday Night Live sketch with John Belushi shouting, "Cheebuga, Cheebuga, Petsi, Petsi, Coke!" you would see the connection to my last name...maybe!) XO

Steve said...

Still giggling at "piss mat"...! Honk is awful. How horrible brothers are - and I should know cos I was one. My nickname at school was, rather boringly, Blakey after the miserable conductor from the On The Buses film (my surname is Blake - I wasn't necessarily miserable). I hated it. Thankfully since leaving school and cultivating a better class of friend my nicknames have moved into the realm of Stevie and Stevo which are much nicer.

Gill - That British Woman said...

Honk certainly is an unusual nickname. I don't have a nickname, though the kids occasionally call me Mrs. Bouquet, from Keeping Up Appearances.


Evil Twin's Wife said...

I grew up in an anti-nickname family. My mother forbid truncated versions of our names, so in turn, my children have such short names they cannot be nicknamed. :-)

Pam said...

Piss mat! Sorry but it is very funny.
Honk is a weird one.
Loved the picture of you as a young girl.
I'm "poo". Maiden name was Lewis, Poois, Poo. Get it? No I don't either really. But my sister, my hubby and my friend all call Poo and not Pam.

C said...

awwww such a cute picture of you as a girl! so sweet and non HONK like. our family had nicnames too... i was [mind you we are french so these may not make sence]
tatoone, tooneski, zette, zezette, which mean chubby, chubby affectionatly, pest, and little pest. like a dennis the menice pest. my sister denise was bucky, buck, crooked fingers, my brother her twin was brillo, and the youngest joanne was dirty goog. these may sound sorta cute but they really werent meant in an affectionate manner at all. i regret all the name calling now but back in the day, our mom used those and we more or less used them to hurt eachother with. sad, huh? yep.

great post, though. its funny pat, the things we remember and how they affected us.


Kee said...

Piss Mat...I just almost bloody pissed me self at that one. Laughed so loudly I almost woke Owie up. That is hilarious. Nicknames are funny. Honk....not so funny! Where did they come up with these? One kid at school could not say Ben's name for the longest time so he called him Ben Brocoli! The things kids come up with!

wor Vron said...

eee Fath and Mrs Pud, forgot that! You'll always be Treesha to me
love Lady Vracca De Burg x

Anonymous said...

haha nice post, very cute and so funny about piss matt, i remember that actually.

love you honk! (i didnt know about that one hehe)

xxx jenn

The Incredible Woody said...

All of my grandmother's siblings had nicknames. For years, I thought that's what their names were. I only found out their real names as an adult interested in genealogy

ChrisJ said...

Oh no! How can I give out my childhood nickname that also followed me through my teen-aged years? I'm almost 72 now (at Christmas) and I spent my life hating that name. My parents didn't stop it either, in fact I think it originally started with my father. I'm having a battle with myself here -- shall I tell or not? It's not naughty, it's just that I hated it so. I think not. Maybe I will reveal it one day on my blog, and what an anti-climax that will be. But you'd better visit, in case I decide to tell soon.

Expat mum said...

My mother (our family's "Wor Vron") got knickers when she was growing up. However, I think I can trump all that. Try growing up in the north east of England called Antonia. Yes, I know.