By Vernalee
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I don’t know many Black families that don’t have one of the following nicknames circulating in their relative quarters:
Uncle Buddy,
Aunt Sis,
Baby sister,
Sister,
Man,
Bro Man,
Boo,
Bay Mae,
Pookie,
Shorty,
Junior,
Little______,
Sweet,
Punkin,
Poochie, Pooh……..
among others.
We love integrating colorful nicknames. They are harmonic to our ears.
Lest not forget the nicknames like B.C. or J.W. We are fond of initials!
Many times, with the predominant use of nicknames, we never know some folks’ real names and the ones (names) that we know amazingly don’t fit the person. They become foreign utterances from our tongue.
I once called an old friend and his niece answered the phone. She asked, “Whose calling?” I answered, “This is Verna.” Suddenly, there was no one on the line. I called back and said, “This is Bonnadeane.” “Oh, ok, how you doing? Hold on a minute; let me give Roger the telephone. Nice talking to you.” She had no clue who I was by my real name!
Everyone knows the generic, recognizable derivatives such as Bob for Robert; Liz for Elizabeth. They have been around for years. Of course, we “spiced” up the other ones. For those who get lost in translation, heed the old folks’ advice, “It doesn’t matter what you are called; what matters is what you answer to!”
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