Nick of Time

I have, over the years been given a handful of nicknames., alter-egos - what have you.  Some have been good, some bad, and a few that were just ugly.

The Good:

Allie, Allie Cat, Allie Bird and Alligator - these were all names used by family when I was young.  My sister and mother still call me Allie. My friends are all permitted to use Allie, but few do.  I was able to get one classmate to use it back in 5th grade TAG (the gifted program) because I thought it sounded friendlier.  He must have agreed.  We're friends on Facebook.  But when we used to see each other IRL, he'd call me Allie.

A - This is one that a few people called me in Middle School - it didn't stick.  My grandfather went by that nickname, and I'd have been glad to use it, too.

Breyer - This was my go-to for most of high school - it was casual and snappy, and it was my last name.

Everett - A few people call me this now.  Mostly male friends.  Which, come to think of it was true of my maiden name.

Aiiee - When my nephew was little, this is as close as he could get to Allie.  It stuck within my sister's family.  It's similar to my next one.

ae - This is how I sign casual e mails, letters and blog posts  - it's essentially the short version of the above.  My former boss calls me this one a lot.

The Bad:

A-Dog - The intentions are good.  I got this from a co-worker at my last job.  I don't remember why.  He doesn't mean it badly, but you know... it's a little unflattering.  It is in very limited use.

The Great Big Book of Everything - This is what some co-workers in my late 20s dubbed me because I knew a little bit about a lot of things.  It was not a compliment.

Wyntri Mixxx - Not a nickname, per se.  But my friend Connie and I contemplated opening a studio that shot porn for women.  This was to be my name as a scriptwriter.  It makes me laugh a few times each winter

Al - I really, really hate Paul Simon for this one.  It had a run in the 80s. I won't call you Betty - please don't call me Al.

The Ugly: 

Big Al - The first time I heard this was during my internship.  A cocky fellow intern started calling me that.  And it was fair.   I had started bulking up.  It never got traction that summer.  But about a decade later, someone on the outer edges of my inner circle started using it. It wasn't worth upsetting the delicate balance by protesting.  Eventually, someone clued him in that perhaps he should rethink his choice.  He dropped the big, and I'll take it.  I don't love it, but it's better than his first attempt.

'Fro Head - This one was from Middle School because of my short, curly hair do.  It was harmless, unlike...

Porky - A direct hit about my size.  It was not in wide use (pun intended), but it stung.  Years later, I got an apology from the purveyor of this name for not being nice to me when we were younger.  It was heartfelt and sincere, and clearly, I got over it.

Black and Decker Pecker Wrecker - This is so cringey, but so funny, too.  I got braces in 7th grade.  Some of my male friends started calling me BDPW (for short) as a reference to my mouth full of metal.  I would be well out of braces, many years later before I had the opportunity to "wreck" anything. 

Laura's Sister/Lucy's Daughter/Bill's Daughter/Matt's Wife, etc.- My standard response here is, "Please!  Don't be so formal!  Call me Allison!"

Alice/Ellis/Ellen - Apparently, I don't speak clearly. I have had bunches of people mishear me and call me any of these.

But you?  You can call me Mrs. Everett.  Or Allison. Or ae.  Or anything from the good or bad list.  Stay far away from the ugly.


PS - It was a struggle when I got married over whether to keep my middle name (Lynn) or make my maiden name my middle (Breyer).  It came down to ABE over ALE.  But since I spend 30 years accomplishing things as a Breyer.  So, ABE it is.  Surprising that it never made the list of nicknames.


I will never let slip the unique opportunity to call someone Alligator. Or, rather, Crocodile. Are you fine with Crocodile?

I had to think a couple of times about the Pecker Wrecker before I got it. Cultural differences.
Christopher said…
I like Alligator. It sounds snappy (pun intended) and makes you sound a little dangerous.
Of course when it comes to names I always defer to the Simpsons episode "Homer's Phobia" when Homer, speaking to John (voiced by the brilliant John Waters) says, "Queer. That's what you like to be called, right?"
And John replies, "Well, that or John."

In short I'll call you whatever you want to be called.