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?