Tuesday, September 4, 2012

What’s in the Nick- name?

he other day, I was watching the children playing in my school and I noticed something that every one of us has grown up with.

‘Wai! Thowala (hammer head), pass the ball,’ shouts one to the other and the other responds, ‘as if I would give it to you, khe Toka (shit filled bull)! And saw him kicking the ball to the other side of the ground.   

Then I became keen on their name call than their play and listened to them for a moment. Every one of them called each other by their nick name or by their pet name. I could sense some blushing infront of us, the teachers. Some making faces, well angry faces in that case.
After sometimes, I was lost in my own thoughts. This nick naming and calling was pretty much there even in our times. I believe it must have been there, ever since the dawn of time, for that matter.   

Somebody with a big head used to be called as Humpty Dumpty, poking long nose persons as, suppandi, fat persons as phakpa (pig) and the list and the illustration magnified on.
‘Your mother dried you in the sun after washing and forgot to collect. That’s why you are so black’, jeered one of my class-mate to other, which landed both of them in a dual fight after school.   

Like-wise, there are lots of funny anecdotes in my life’s diary. There were some, who just couldn’t stand a sound of a nick name that they would run to the teacher and complain. And there were also those, who wouldn’t mind punching you either, for a lousy nickname! I remember getting slapped by a huge girl, when I was in class VIII, for calling her cow girl. I still cannot believe that ever happened to me!
There were some people, who were so good in nick naming. They could name you from any angle based on anything under the sun.  Nicknames come in all ranges; in different languages, aspects and even perversity.     

Somebody had to be damn perfect in-order to escape from those big mouths. Even teachers fancied, calling us by our nick-names. Perhaps, I thought it referred to us more precisely based on our character or look.
Even today, as adults, we call each other nickname; one very common one is beer pholang (beer stomach), because many middle age men have bulged stomach, for that matter.

So there I was watching a game with my mind floating with bizarre thoughts of those hatred and ridiculous names. I often tell my students ‘let them call you anything they like because those names cannot turn you into one’. I understand that my statement is quite vague because I know how it feels to be called one, especially in the crowd.

Shakespeare has rightly said, ‘what’s in a name? That which we call a rose, by any other name would smell as sweet’, so the name, after all, doesn’t have any relation with us, if taken lightly!  


  1. It is thoroughly interesting and yeah I liked the idea of nickname of your students la. That used to happen while in school life and it happens throughout our life indeed. But I feel less when I have to admit that I never got any nicknames from my friend. It may sound quite unusual but i never got the one. I like to have one but none gave me the name. Hope i would have one in older days :P

  2. Well I wasn't so lucky like you... We had a friend who was damn good in giving you one. infact i can't even count..... thanks for the comment!

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  4. I remember my younger years :) especially when they call me Daimos. Well, Daimos is my favorite anime cartoon show on the television and because of that they nicknamed me Daimos.

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  5. i like your statement about name-calling because even it is vague, it is also true. before my playmates called me sunog na tinapay (burned bread) and my classmates - siopao ( a Chinese white bread).

    it is never ending labeling actually. you can have the lousiest name ever but you can prove that name is the name of amazing person.

    keep it up Sir!

  6. Thank you all for a great comments and for your time...

  7. Nicknaming is an age-old practice. Even my three year old nephew has already learnt the art :-0
    It all goes to show that human beings are born with a mean streak in them (a Christian teaching).

  8. I guess you are right. Thanks for reading..

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