Stupidly, while pregnant, we were not sufficiently secretive about the name we’d picked out for our son. The name Fox elicited concerns, disapproval, and pleas to reconsider. But seeing as you can never please everyone, you may as well satisfy yourself.
Like all parents, we have an expanding stable of nicknames to compliment our son’s real one. Rarely used in public, they are mostly endearments, slurs and situational shorthand. As with his intended name, we should probably keep these to ourselves. But in the interest of chipping away at our son’s dignity, I’ll relay a brief selection:
Baby Cracks: This is our affectionate way of calling him a crackhead. I think there may also have been a tie-in with that release the kraken meme. Like crackheads, babies are single-minded, unreasonable and totally untrustworthy.
Mr. Pants: Some people can’t wait to dress their newborns like miniature people, in full-on outfits. We opted to keep our son exclusively in amoeba-wear: onesies, kimonos, sleep sacks, and especially zip-up footie pajamas. The main criteria were a) anything shapeless and b) not too many snaps. So when at six months, our son finally donned pants, they defined him.
Tootie: Origins unknown. (My wife’s too young to remember Kim Fields on The Facts of Life.) Derivations include, Toot-Scoot, Li’l Scoot, and Toodle-licious.
The Botfly: This was actually his nickname when he was a fetus. Most expectant mothers go with peanut or jellybean, which are far too generous. Botfly was inspired by this insane video* a woman made about a parasitic maggot that was embedded in (and removed from) her scalp. It seemed a fittingly impersonal moniker while our son was just a cluster of cells causing nausea and nerves.
Cosmonaut: One of his footie pajamas looked particularly Soviet. Fox filled it out like he was president of the Young Pioneers Yuri Gagarin Fan Club.
Little Fucker: Okay I’m not proud of this. It’s not exactly a nickname per se. But I’m fairly certain I’ve uttered this more than once. Usually spoken with a mix of disbelief and helplessness at my son’s boundless enthusiasm for destruction.
Kookamunga: Generally used when child is exhibiting any jungle-like behavior, e.g. swinging from furniture and/or people. It appears to be a portmanteau of kookaburra and cowabunga.
Zorrito: As in li’l Zorro. Usually invoked to express sympathy. You’ve got to trill the (rr) for effect. Zorro is Spanish for fox. I hope for his sake my son chooses Spanish over French in school. Otherwise his name in class with be Renard. Not nearly as cool.
My wife really wants me to include Chickie Boom-Boom on this list. But I’m refusing on the grounds that this name was misappropriated from my cat, Haywood, who also goes by Baby Great White Shark and Corporal Cuddlepaws.
Okay now it’s your turn to embarrass your
kid self. I know you’ve got some dorktastic house names you need to get off your chest. Let’s have ‘em, with etymology if you like.
* Here’s that botfly video. While awesome, it’s not for the squeamish.