What’s in a Nickname?

I have always had a kind of fondness for nicknames. To me they often seem like a term of endearment, and if you are a fun and socially accepted person, I figure you probably have had some kind of nickname at some point in your life. Most of my life has been spent without a nickname. Just plain old Eric.
My sisters would call me Erk once in a while (pronounced like and synonimous with irk). This was a little less than endearing however. When I was in the band I picked up the nickname of OOOOOT. This is a bit of a long and stupid story, so I will spare you of it. But a Tenor Saxaphone player in a Jazz band almost has to have some nickname.

A group of people from work put together a pickup softball game last weekend. It was organized as an old guys against the young guys game. A quick glance at my profile will reveal that I am 39 and thus squarely on the old guys team. The people who organized this thing decided that everyone who was on the rosters should have a nickname. So they wrote down all the known nicknames, and assigned nicknames to the rest.

There may be those of you who think you know me fairly well through this blog thing. Any guesses at what nickname my co-workers came up with for me?

Well, they came up with Eric ‘No-Nonsense’ Nielson.

No-Nonsense?! This is right up there with No-Fun Francis isn’t it?

So what’s in a nickname? Why No-Nonsense? Is it because I am a rare Mormon in Michigan who is known not to drink or smoke? Bit of a ‘goody two-shoes’ thing? I also wonder if it is because I take my job somewhat seriously, and as an occational project manager I am often pushing things to make schedule.

I told my wife about my nickname and she observed that No-Nonsense is a brand of panty-hose. Great. Eric ‘Panty-Hose’ Nielson. That’s just what I need.

So does ‘No-Nonsense’ fit me as a nickname? Are nicknames a good thing? What nicknames have you had?

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9 Responses to “What’s in a Nickname?”


  1. 2 Eric Nielson May 2, 2006 at 8:33 am

    E-Dawg?

    What’s that supposed to mean? 🙂

    Thanks C.

  2. 3 C Jones May 2, 2006 at 10:07 am

    Well, I admit it’s hard to tell a lot about someone just from reading their blog entries, but “No-Nonsense” just doesn’t seem to fit you.
    Take this nickname post, for instance. It’s charming and funny. So I think you should go with the cool Jazz sax player image– hence E-Dawg 🙂

  3. 4 Capt. Obsidian May 2, 2006 at 11:04 am

    I have to admit that I don’t know you well enough to comment on the appropriateness of No-Nonsense as a nickname, but No-Nonsense Nielsen does have a certain ring to it (must be the alliteration). It makes you sound like the kind of guy who will be an enforcer on the field. You know, who will step up on the pitcher’s mound and throw a little chin music at the batter who’s crowding the plate. I think you should play it up for the intimidation factor on the field, or whatever.

    As far as my nicknames, a couple of guys in high school used to call me KT (my initials), but it sounded annoyingly close to “Katie” so I never really liked it.

  4. 5 Eric Nielson May 2, 2006 at 11:37 am

    Thanks C, that’s what I needed to hear.

    Capt. Yes, I guess it does have a ring to it. But a 6 ft. tall 150 lb. guy doesn’t exactly exude intimidation. But thanks for the image.

    Yes, KT sounds a little strange when said fast.

  5. 6 Kristian May 2, 2006 at 12:34 pm

    Yo- E-Dawg! 😉

    Since I actually know you, I totally think that “No-Nonsense” isn’t right.

    I’d ask Nate, Micheal G., or Cris from your YM’s to help out.

    Knowing your love of the band RUSH: “Working Man”

    You’re more “Abbot” to my and Paul’s “Costello”

    You’re the quieter fellow that has the knack for hitting that comic “sweet spot” from out of knowhere: “Wink”

    Simple: “Brother E”

    That’s all I got for now. I should get back to work, but I’ll think on it and see if anything else comes up.

  6. 7 Geoff J May 2, 2006 at 1:32 pm

    Hehe… Funny post E.

    I think No-Nonsense is pretty amusing. You probably are known as a “git ‘er dun” kind of guy at work so add a little alliteration and you get “No-Nonsense Nielsen”

    I’m a fan of single letter nicknames or Spanish variations so you would probably end up as “EEEEE!” to me (although I already call my little brother Ian that and my daughter Erin gets it sometimes too) or I’d call you Enrique.

    Yeah, I like that for you: Enrique.

  7. 8 Kim Siever May 2, 2006 at 3:59 pm

    Most of my nicknames have been related to my looks: Peewee (as in Herman), Willy (as in the dad on ALF), and Ich or Ichabod (as in Crane).

    My most recent nickname was Bubba. When I was in a YSA branch, we got together to make a short film. My character’s name was Bubba Appleby. It was a popular film (every FHE group did one), and everyone at church called me Bubba after that. Three or four of my fellow saints worked for the same company I did and it was only a matter of time before ‘Bubba’ caught on there. Once I moved to Lethbridge, however, it never caught on. I don’t think I’ve had another nickname since then.

  8. 9 Eric Nielson May 2, 2006 at 5:11 pm

    Kristian:

    I’m not sure I want to know what the YM call me behind my back, or to give them the idea. But I think you have me pegged pretty well. I hope everything goes well for you out there!

    Geoff:

    My sons call each other K, A, and T. First letter nicknames must be common. And I forgot that I have been called Enrique of Enrico before.

    Kim:

    Budda it is!


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