Tuesday, May 16, 2006

What's in a nickname?

It's still me, Tootie.

A question was asked in the comment section of my last post. A reader wanted to know the story behind the name "Jellyhead."

Well, I do believe it's because Jelly can be a little bit of what we Americans like to call "airheaded." Despite her medical degree and her obvious intelligence, it would seem that she sometimes walks around with her head in the clouds. Aren't we all guilty of the same thing from time to time?

I, myself, went to my credit union the other day and asked them to call the branch across town because I was certain I had left my driver's license in the carrier there. The nice girl behind the counter was very sweet and courteous and she called the other branch, waited on hold for several minutes while they searched for my license, and then sadly informed me that my license was not at the other branch. I frowned slightly and wondered aloud, "Where could it possibly be?" Just then, I opened my billfold to place the cash I had withdrawn from my account, and the cashier exclaimed, "There it is!" Yes, folks, my license was staring out at me from my billfold. It was right where it belonged all that time. Imagine that! Even worse, I had been looking for it for a week! Yes, I think we can all be a jellyhead at times.

But I really must protest that some of you seem to think my nickname, Tootie, is self-explanatory. It really isn't. It has nothing at all to do with any flatulence on my part! Nor do I have a habit of tooting my own horn. Nor do I sound like a train whistle when I blow my nose. Honest. Cross my heart and hope to die. Here's how my nickname came about:

Apparently, nicknames are the norm in Australia. Jellyhead's real name is used in it's shortened form by her friends. She really does call her husband "Fatty" a lot of the time. She calls her daughter "Louey." She has nicknames for all of her good friends. She was recently lamenting that calling me by my real name seemed much too formal and asked if she might call me by a nickname. I had no problem with that except that I have never had a nickname. My name is impossible to shorten and no one has ever called me by anything else. I set Jelly to the task of coming up with a nickname. She tried "Nicki" but my grandmother stubbornly insisted on calling me by that name (which is a shortened form of my middle name) when I was born despite my mother's obvious irritation. So Jelly didn't want to be like a stubborn old lady. She begged and begged me to give her something to work with. I reluctantly admitted to her that my father's nickname for me has always been "Tootie Brown." Don't ask why. I have no idea. I mean, the "Brown" part is because I always had dark skin. The "Tootie" part was invented out of thin air. Jelly was bubbling over with happiness. "Oh, I LOVE Tootie! Can I call you Tootie, can I?" My husband was a witness to the conversation and he said, "Yeah, did you tell her she can call you Tootie only if she has a death wish?" See, I have always been reluctant to share my nickname with anyone. That's why my husband was so surprised when I sighed, "I guess." It is a testament to how much I adore Jellyhead that I have bestowed upon her the honor and privelege of calling me by my childhood nickname.

I must say that, as much as I enjoy guest posting on Jelly's site, I am missing her so much! I am sure I am not alone. I know all of you are anxiously awaiting the day when Jelly brings her own honest, yet witty, style back to the blog.

Come home soon, Jelly! We miss you!


John Cowart said...

He that tooteth not his own horn,
The same getteth not tooted.

TUFFENUF said...

OK, thanks for the info. on "Tootie". Do you have your own blog? If you don't you should. I can see from your writing why you and Jelly are friends!

doubleknot said...

Thanks for the info on your nick name - I was going for the flatuance - which struck me as pretty funny.

T. said...

Tootie, I love it. But not enough to relent and let my best girlfriend call me by my childhood nickname...

Franny said...

Ooh I want a nickname, I want a nickname!

Yeah, Tootie, get a blog! You are amassing a fan club!

jellyhead said...

Tuffenuff and Franny: Yes, I do have a blog. But I will leave it up to Jellyhead as to whether she wants to decloak her guest poster or not. :-)


Abandoned in Pasadena said...

Tootie you are indeed a very interesting and witty writer...And did I say funny? So glad to hear that you do have a blog of your own, and your talents aren't going to waste.

Thanks for telling us about Jelly's nickname and how you got yours.

somershade said...

That's a really cute nickname. I have brown skin too,so of coarse I liked the tootie brown.

I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one that does that,lost,not lost thing.

Anonymous said...

you are doing a fine job.

Just today I was looking for the phone book and here it was just on the other side of me.

Kerri said...

I'm definitely a 'jellyhead' plenty of the time. It's nice to not be alone in that respect :)
I love your dad's nickname for you. Fathers seem to come up with some good ones. My dad has always called me 'Snip' (and sometimes 'Cherub'). How do you like 'Lizard'? That's my husband's nickname for our youngest daughter, whose middle name is Elizabeth. I hope Jelly lets us in on the secret of your identity. Yes, we all miss her. Thanks for keeping us entertained in the meantime :)

J's Mommy said...

I love nicknames - they are so fun. I never had one though! Boo hoo!