I am a Brooklyn girl with Southern roots and to prove it, I share with you my nickname, Day-Day. That is right, until I was 18 and had earned the right to respectfully demand adults call me Adiaha (Ah-day-ah-ha), I was called Day-Day by nearly everyone in my life. The only person who called me Adiaha was my mother.**
Having a nickname where I come from is a rite of passage. My brother’s nickname was Ti-Ti, my cousins were/are, Robbie, Nikki, Ray-Ray, Mi-Mi, Danni, and Mikki. I knew a Shorty, Beef (yeah really he was a big fella) Tiger, and Pat.
If you did not have a nickname it was because your parents gave you a name with a maximum of two syllables. More than two and it got shortened. Shaquanna became Quanna. Sometimes the syllables of your name were just changed, i.e., Meta became Mi-Mi. Yet still, you could get a nickname based on your appearance. Skinny girls became Fatty, tall and heavy guys were called Tiny.
For whatever reason, the coolest kids had the coolest nicknames, and you were not really popular unless somebody had a nickname for you. If nobody cared enough to shorten your name, then something was wrong with you. If you didn’t want your name shortened, then there was something wrong with you. If something was wrong with you, nobody wanted to play with you.
I was reminiscing and then realized that my daughters need the all to important nickname. My oldest, Alana, when asked what her nickname should be said her nickname should be LaLa. I nearly fell on the floor with tears streaming down my face and my body convulsed. She looked at me like it wasn’t that funny, but if you know Alana and you know what La is then you know how appropriate LaLa is for her.
My youngest daughter, Asherah, has already been dubbed, She-She, which is just terrible. But in the tradition of having a nickname and fitting-in, Asherah, which is more than two syllables, needs a nickname. Who better to give it than family.
What is your nickname? Don’t be shy or embarrassed, share it with us.
**Please note I do not answer to this nickname anymore.