Day 11- Nicknames: What’s in a Name? #write31days 2014



Term of the day: nicknames: an addition or substitution for a proper name given with either affection or ridicule.


Not necessarily the same as pet names because pet names are only given with affection.

Pet names have come into their own in the last century. There was once a time when a man named John would commonly go by Jack, but everyone knew his real name was John. This is not the case anymore. Jack, Mike, Bill, and Bob no longer need to be attached to John, Michael, William, or Robert. Nicknames, however, are another matter.

Unless you are a famous entertainer or an infamous personality, you reserve nicknames for intimate relations, unless there’s some bashing going down. A prime example of this, of course, are rappers. Not only do they use nicknames or “stage names”, their stage names have nicknames; and don’t get me started on aliases. Take rapper Marshall Mathers for instance. You may know him as Eminem, but then again he’s also been known to go by Slim Shady. There’s no point in trying to make any sense of it. If you get hip-hop culture, even if you don’t get this, you at least accept it.

But what about some more traditional nicknames; they must come from somewhere. You don’t have to think too hard about the origins of names like, Slugger or Green Thumb. People given these names are likely good at hitting things and growing things. But as endearing as some nicknames can be, they can also be hurtful. Sometimes calling a big guy Tiny isn’t very funny to him; and how about Four Eyes? I think we’ve all heard that one. No need to elaborate further.

In the best cases of nicknames, or more accurately labeled pet names, the name is simply a shorter version of the proper name that exudes intimacy and affection.

Name of the day: Annabelle.

Breakdown and meaning:

The English version of this name comes from the Latin Amabel. The more common, Annabel, was popularized by Edgar Allan Poe in his poem Annabel Lee. Also with Gaelic and French origins this name means: grace and beauty or joy.

In my Eternal Curse Series this name is given to a character who lives and shows incredible grace. Annabelle, referred to as Nanabelle (Nice nickname eh?), by the younger version of another character plays the role of a mother figure.

Well, that’s it for Day 11. See you tomorrow.


Go back to the beginning to see all the posts in this series.

Outside of my own personal search throughout the years, basic meanings and definitions of the terms used here can be found at the following websites:, Google search, and

Learn more here.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like it let me know and share it with others. See you next time, Toi Thomas. #thetoiboxofwords

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Toi Thomas

I like reading, writing, cooking, dancing, movies, and music. I'm a big kid and choose to see the world in my own special way. Yes, I'm educated, but I haven't let that stop me from being who I want to be. I'm a wife, teacher, author, blogger, and more.

2 thoughts on “Day 11- Nicknames: What’s in a Name? #write31days 2014”

  1. So my “legal name” is Elizabeth Anne but the only people that call me that are debt collectors LOL. I’ve always gone by Beth Anne and some even call me BA. It’s kind of a long story but my dad was hardcore about naming us after saints and there is no saint Beth or Beth Anne…he also HATES the nickname Lizzy. I blogged about the story of my name a few months ago.

    1. I’d love to take a look at the piece you wrote about your name if you care to share it. I don’t blame your dad; I’ve always felt that Lizzy wasn’t a good pet name for Elizabeth and tend to like Beth more myself. Thank you so much for stopping by.

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