Langley Writes

about her rich and random life

M is for Meat: Sweet Meat April 15, 2011

Just now, when I stumbled onto an idea for an M-day post on the A-Z Blogging Challenge, my heart started racing and I began grinning like a jack@$$ eating briars. All because… my sister is going to kill me for this one. I’ll get there…

In the south, we nickname everything. It’s fun, funny and creative. Often, we have many nicknames for the same person, pet, restaurant or whatever else we nickname. Growing up, my dad called me Punkin Head (Pumpkin Head), or Punkin. My head is not especially big but he still calls me that, among other things. My brother’s nickname is Bubba and I’m not kidding. He runs a successful business but never asks clients to call him by his real name. He’s always been Bubba. There were two Bubba’s in our neighborhood so, growing up, I always called my brother Bubba Watts and the other kid Bubba Brickell. Nobody thought it was odd that I called my own brother Bubba Watts because you almost always have to follow ‘Bubba’ with a last name in the south. There are too many to keep them all straight.

My sister’s name is Mary but, in true southern style, she had to have a nickname. She nicknamed herself at a very early age. She started referring to herself as Mimi instead of Mary. And because I put nicknames on everything-even nicknames-I started calling her Sweet Meat. She was my Sweet Meat, my baby sister. (By the way, Baby Sister and Baby Girl are common nicknames in the south but she managed to sidestep those. Now that I think about it, however, she would probably prefer Baby Sister over the evolution of Sweet Meat. I’ll get there…).

As time went on, Sweet Meat became Meat. Just Meat. And it stuck. So we still call my sister Meat. If you don’t know the origin of her nickname, I know how it sounds. It’s terrible to call someone Meat. And I try, I swear I do, to call her Mimi-but I just can’t. Meat pops out of my mouth every time I speak to her. It’s a term of endearment, a pet name.

She’s not really fond of her nickname and her husband, who came into the picture long after she was dubbed Meat, hates it. I try hard not to call her Meat in front of him but I know I do. I can’t help it. Her name is Meat.

PS – here is an article about Southern nicknames if you want to read more: Five Common Names for Boys in the South.  I could write 10 more of these articles and not cover half the subject.

Do you have a nickname or know someone who does?


11 Responses to “M is for Meat: Sweet Meat”

  1. Kay Balbi Says:

    When my daughter was young I called her pumpkin head in front of my mother and she got upset. She is not a pumpkin! My ex calls her Peanut but she is not a peanut either. When she was little she couldn’t say her own name, Cassandra, and ended up saying “sana” instead. She will always be my little Sana-doon, but she hates it when I call her that in front of her friends. Some of my friends call me keek-a-deek, or K Baby K. Sometimes things just stick for no darn reason. I guess it could be worse. Somebody could be calling me Meat – just kidding! Great story!

  2. Wendy Says:

    LOL I have to laugh at this one because I get it. I really do. My aunt was Mary Wilma, but the only name anyone ever called her (except her husband) was Sally. How’d they get Sally from Mary? Because when she was born and named, the neighbors came over to see her and commented that she looked more like a Sally than a Mary to them. My dad called me Ajax or Junior when I was very young. Neither one stuck (thank God).

    Another A-Z Challenger stopping by to visit. You can find me at:
    The Frustrated Foodie

  3. Karen Bishop Says:

    Coming from southern roots myself, I’m sitting here laughing so hard. Had nicknames and lots of family with nicknames as well. You’re right about the articles and writing on the subject. Too funny!

  4. Loki Morgan Says:

    hahaha love it! 🙂 My sister also has a nickname that she would kill me if I shared.

  5. mothermorgan Says:

    SOOOOOO on-target here. Honestly, so very true. My daughter is both “Peanut” and “Punkin”, which somehow has transformed into “Punch”. It’s a truism: we DO name everything, and the more strange the nickname, the more it sticks.

  6. Theresa Wiza Says:

    I don’t come from the south, nor do I live in the south, but I call one of my children Bean because when she was born (over a quarter of a century ago), her brother couldn’t pronounce Brittney Lynne, so he called her Beanie Neen, which eventually got shortened to Bean, though I sometimes refer to her as my Beanie Baby.

    Fast forward to her second pregnancy when she scoured baby books for the PERFECT name for her son. They gave him a beautiful name, Nolan Scott (middle name after his daddy), but do you know what they call him? Bubby. Yes. Had I suggested that name before Nolan was born, they would have said NO WAY! But there you have it. He is Bubby.

    My latest A-Z Challenge blog is here:

  7. Beth Says:

    When my mom was a kid, her little brother couldn’t pronounce her name (Louise) correctly. It always came out PeeWee, so for her entire life, she was PeeWee to most of her family. Beats Meat, though.

    Wait. That sounded wrong. ;O)

    My “M” post is right here:

  8. Tracey Says:

    This is a funny story. I’ve never had a nickname that stuck thank goodness. I’m not Southern either so maybe you can explain another naming phenomenon I’ve noticed. Why do so many people go by their middle name instead of their first?

  9. Kerry Says:

    Funny that..Hubby was telling me the other day that he had a friend in school with that nickname. I had never heard of it before.

  10. Keena Says:

    Loved your story. Had me laughing out loud. When I was younger, my dad called me Gertrude. Thank God that didnt stick. My uncle called me Keenie-Weenie which now my husband calls me that sometimes. For the most part, I do not have a nickname. Mostly my husband calls me Babe oe Honey

  11. Nancy Watts Says:

    We have three children. Langley, Charles (Bubba) and Mary (Mimi or Meat). Charles and Mary have a nick name. Langley does not…go figure.

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