I Dub Thee …

This afternoon I was shopping at the wholesale club for deodorant/antiperspirant for a female member of the household, as I had neglected to purchase some on a morning supermarket run. After analyzing the posted unit prices, I determined the best deal was on this product:

Lady Speed Stick

So, with the approval of that household member, who was with me, I bought a 3-pack.

This reminded me, strangely enough, of my proclivity for nicknaming colleagues at work and my sons.

I’ve tried to cut down on nicknaming since I read somewhere — I’d link it if I could find it — that nicknaming is, at its root, aggressive behavior, a form of mockery and bullying that is employed for the most part to mask feelings of insecurity (check) and inferiority (check). I mean, duh, couldn’t I have figured that out myself?

One famous guy with whom I share the nicknaming habit is the presidunce, Mr. Bush. That alone should be incentive enough for me to end the habit.

This entertaining post about Bush’s disdain for education has some choice comments about Bush’s nicknaming.

[comment #5 by Farinata X] [The element of aggression is] also at the root of all the nicknaming, a trait of this asshole’s that I particularly dislike. God, I hate this prick.

[comment #15 by beep52] And the nicknaming mentioned by Farinata X is just another way [Bush] exerts his power over others. The SOB denies people their own names! Of course, all this plays well with those who are themselves stupid and uneducated bullies.

Yikes, I’d really better cool it with the nicknaming.

So what has Lady Speed Stick to do with nicknaming?

Well, I’ve only ever had one colleague — a woman — ask to be given a nickname. That day my mind was sharp and I was able to shoot back an immediate reply: “I dub thee Lady Speed Stick.” It was a line I had used before — too many times, actually — at home when presenting the product to female members of the household over the years. (I tend to beat jokes into the ground — the dumber they are, the more I repeat them — another delightful character flaw. My family can confirm. The phrase “Dad’s stupid stuff,” is used by my sons.)

Anyway, the new Lady Speed Stick obviously was not thrilled with the nickname. I’ll bet she was sorry she asked. So I speedily decided it wouldn’t be wise to try to stick the nickname to that lady by using it repeatedly.

Here’s someone we can think of as Lady Speed Stick without regret — tennis star Maria Sharapova.

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5 comments so far

  1. Gina on

    Hmmm…this post was thought-provoking on so many levels..I will have to re-examine the motivation underlying my many nicknames for the offspring, esp. #4…I personally thought they were cute..

    and, concerning “Dad’s stupid stuff”.. we have a similar situation here.. but I’ll wait to turn that story into blog-fodder..

  2. Kani on

    Careful with those nicknames. They can have a life of their own. (Croc and Zhoul come to mind. And even, or especially, the workplace is not safe with the likes of QC and friends making up zingers.) Sibling nicknames can be worst of all…having been called canine, cannabis, canister by my lovely sister. It still rankles…

  3. gina on

    something else that came to mind, and I’m not having luck yet finding a good link.. but, did you ever see the SNL skit, with Rob Schneider playing the guy who sat next to the copy machine, (Richmeister) and gave annoying nicknames to everyone who came in? The funniest one, I thought, was when David Koresh (Branch Davidians) came in.. “Hey it’s the Christmesiter! Makin’ copies for the lamb of god..!”

    Gotta find that one…

    oh, and thanks goodness my siblings were way too young to give me nicknames.. 🙂

  4. Kani on

    gina, I actually have one of those skits on an old tape…Macauley Culkin was the guest host.

    Back to nicknames: Some nicknames that are inflicted by siblings can “stick” – as in my nickname, which I prefer to my real name (Kathryn). Then there are those names that lend themselves to common nicknames, and our familiarity-prone society keeps calling us by, whether we like it or not. (Don’t call me Kathy.)

    Almost worse than an unwanted nickname is perpetually being called the wrong nickname. Some of my relatives can never get son #3’s preferred nickname correct.

  5. QC on

    @Kani:
    In 9th grade a school basketball teammate retaliated against me for having called him “big guy” in practice by calling me a rather unflattering nickname. And it stuck. I’m not going to write the nickname, but suffice to say it referred to my (lack of) basketball talent rather than my personal hygiene.

    I went along with it for several months until one day I was inside and a friend shouted from outdoors and used the nickname to get my attention. A bunch of hotshot seniors heard my friend shout and started laughing. I felt humiliated. I came outside and said to the friends gathered there (the same friends accustomed to using that nickname), “That’s it, no more, I’m not going to answer to **** anymore.” And that — with rare exceptions — was the end of that nickname.

    You would think I’d have learned my lesson then … but no.

    @Gina:
    Ah, nicknames for offspring, thanks for reminding me! I really meant to write that I have a history of nicknaming my sons — as well as colleagues. So I’ve added that to the post.

    Regarding the copy machine guy skit from SNL … I don’t think I’ve seen it but I sure do remember people talking about it — my brother comes to mind. I also haven’t been able to find it online. If you find it, please post a follow-up comment.


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