Saturday, June 11, 2011

Name Game

Names are funny things. Take Portland for instance. It was originally named Machigonne by Native Americans. In 1633, it was called Casco and settled as a fishing village. When the Massachusetts Bay Colony took it over in 1658, its name was changed again. This time to Falmouth. Later in 1786, part of the village, that was growing into a shipping port, formed a separate town and named it Portland. This monument, on Eastern Prom overlooking Casco Bay in the fog this morning, recognizes all four names on its base. Now, when you are born with just a few letters in your first name, you're stuck. Eddie, Skipper, Buddy, Billy, Teddy all had good nicknames, but Leo and I had no where to go. Never had a good nickname. Well, not one I'd admit to this morning anyway. Oh, don't get me wrong. When you occasionally (hahaha) exhibit that 'shoot from the hip', 'non-filter lip' you're called all sorts of names! I guess I'm fated to stick with those.



29 comments:

  1. I never had a nickname either, but in true southern tradition my family always calls me by my first and middle name.

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  2. I get the first and last name treatment sometimes... but I'm always in trouble when I hear it. Is that the northern tradition? hahaha

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  3. Absolutely FABULOUS history. We LOVE posts about language and posts that get at the history of a place. Your post today is the epicenter!

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  4. You'll always be Birdman to us...a rather fine and fitting nickname, I'd say. You make me homesick for the prom with this shot. Sigh.

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  5. Place names don't change easily here, thanks for the interesting lesson about your hometown.
    Nicknames are quite common but, like you, I never got one.

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  6. How about "Abey" rhymes with Baby. Abey baby! That is almost sick.

    Course there is Abe and Lincoln and stupid but I never used stupid as often as some people liked.

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  7. So what are you trying to say? That sometimes your mouth is flapping away without your brain being in gear. Heck, most of us have that problem!

    I thought your name, Birdman, derives from the time you looked up, pointed and cried out: "Look, it's a plane, it's a bird...uh oh, it's a bird!"

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  8. When I'd hear mother calling me by my first, middle, and last name all together, I knew it couldn't be a good sign.

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  9. Super post, Birdman. As for nicknames, I've been Nette for years and years, in the family. Creative fellow elementary school students wrote Twanette and Fish Nette on my Valentines!

    Coming to Portland in the Pacific Northwest! If you have time, let's meet for lunch or a walk or something.

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  10. Birdman is a good nickname.

    Like Lois I grew up with first & middle names as the name you were greeted by. Hey, its Ronald Wayne, Jimmy Darrell, George William... .

    My mother didn't use that however. When I was in trouble she called me Dammit. As in, "Dammit, I told you not to do that!"

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  11. I like the original Machigonne the best!

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  12. Marchin O'NeachtainJune 11, 2011 at 10:30 AM

    I believe I had a few nicknames for you, but I could never reveal them here. I believe that i added "us" to your name to lengthen it rather than shorten it.

    Thanks for the history lesson. Sometimes we forget about these all important names.

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  13. How did you come up with the name Birdman, Birdman!! there's got to be a story there, or did I miss it. Oh yeh and if I had a dollar for every time someone has started singing 'amazing grace' when they hear my name, I'd be a wealthy woman!!

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  14. I have several different nicknames. The one that sticks out in my memory the most if from one of my uncles who never called me by my first name. Funny thing, he passed away several years ago and the other night I heard him call me by that nickname in a dream.

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  15. Birdman's good enough for me. Interesting history.

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  16. Not even a funny one made up by school mates? :)
    God bless you!
    Cezar

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  17. Love it when you go into free association mode!

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  18. I, your wife, have a few nick names for you that even you haven't heard!
    (Don't worry....all good.) (well...most of the time.) ;-)

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  19. This post is a tease, Birdman. You are going on about a name that most of us are not privy to.

    I'm the fourth generation of a family that names the first son John, and my John is the fifth. We alternate John, Jack, John, Jack, so that when someone yells, we know who needs to respond. It confuses lots of people at work, with an official name of John and yet really just Jack.

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  20. I live in a village that has had it's name changed a few times too. I think that's so confusing!

    As for nicknames, my grandmother gave me mine the first time she saw me. Ha! It has stuck all these years!

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