Thursday, March 25, 2010


Does anyone use their own name any more? The Farmer calls his brother and sisters by their nicknames: Otter, Duke and Butch. His friends are Toad, Rabbit, Pinkie and Doo-Dah. This drove me crazy when we first met because I never had any idea who in the world he was talking about.

The Farmer’s nickname is Ronnie. That’s because his middle name is Reagan. This makes a whole lot more sense than Rabbit or Doo-Dah. I’m sure there are stories behind those that I am better off not knowing. His mom even has a nickname, Blondie, which is what everyone calls her all the time. Imagine my surprise when we did our wedding invitations and I found out she actually has a first name and it isn’t Blondie.

It’s just as bad with my dog friends: there’s Martha (that’s me!), Meme, Sal, Witchman (me again) and Deerslayer, for whoever the latest person is to hit a deer, which sadly has been nearly all of us at one time or another. There are lots more nicknames, too. Plus we tend to tag everyone with the middle name Sue, so it’s a never-ending stream of RildaSue, TerrySue (don’t ask), TammySue, etc.

Our dogs can’t escape this phenomenon either, but nicknames for them are a little more personal and frequently more varied. Connor was the Skunk Dog. Early in his obedience career, a kid at a fast food drive-through looked into my vehicle, saw Connor curled up neatly in his crate, only the white stripe of his ruff showing, and asked, “Hey, you got a skunk in there?” It stuck. As time passed, the Farmer called Connor the Old Dog.

Skunk Dog
The Old Dog

Jamie is the Coyote (he howls), the Big Red Dog and James Alexander (obviously from Diana Gabaldon’s “Outlander” series from whence he is named.) The latter is usually accompanied by many exclamation points, as in “James Alexander!!!! Do NOT poke RildaSue in the butt.” The Farmer calls Jamie the Big Dog.

The Coyote
Big Red Dog
Big Dog
James Alexander!!!

Phoenix is the Maligator. While not terribly original, it’s very fitting. He, too, has a middle name, Phoenix MacKenzie (also an Outlander-series reference), and yes, that, too, is punctuated heavily. “Phoenix MacKenzie!!! Give me back the bottle of honey!” In keeping with the tradition of nicknames that make no sense, the Farmer calls him the Little Dog.

At one point a very long time ago, he was a little dog but even now, at 24 inches at the withers and 52 very solid pounds, he is still the Little Dog. This is the nickname I probably use most for him and embellish it occasionally to Skinny Little Dog or Naughty Little Dog.

Little Dog
Skinny Little Dog
Naughty Little Dog
Phoenix MacKenzie!!!

The two Belgians share a number of nicknames as well: Fuzzy, Bright Eyes and Furball being the most often used.

How about your dogs? How many nicknames do they have?

(Thanks Sheryl and Meme for the photos.)


  1. My old Chow-mix's name was Sonny, after Sonny Corleone from the Godfather - NOT Sonny & Cher. He was so snotty sometimes, he would be Sonny LeBeau, to make him French. That turned into Beau-Beau, and his senseless nickname was Beauvitchk, to make him Russian. He was deaf, actually, so I guess all his nicknames were senseless.

    Casey's (the black Lab) main nickname is Cupcake. He is SUCH a cupcake. He's a woman's dog. His absolute favorite resting spot? My left boob. He doesn't care much for the right one, and will kick and bully his way in between Pat & I to try to rest on the left one. Cupcake has evolved into Cuppy-Cake, or simply Cuppy.

    And then there's Layla. Of course, from my blog title, her nickname is The Mammoth. One thing that solidified the nickname is that on her muzzle she has markings that, if you use your imagination, could look kind of like an M. That was before I saw giant Malamutes. She really is considered small for a Malamute - 23.5" at the withers and only 75ish pounds (when in full coat, probably closer to 70 when she's naked like now). Since my brother and I speak German, she's Das Mammut (the mammoth) and, for inexplicable reasons, it's usually the whole sentence of "Das Mammut ist gut am Boot" (The mammoth is good on the boat." Don't get that one, but it makes her smile. Her other biggest nickname is HoBags, or just Ho, or just Bags. Usually the conversation would be, "Do you know what your little HoBags just did? She (fill in the blank for any deviant behavior)." "Wow, what a little ho!"

    There's probably a lot more, but those are their more common ones.

  2. LOL - I want to know about "Pinkie" and "Doo-Dah"!

    Poor Frank got that bad end of the nicknames - Frank-n-Fart and Frankfurter are a couple. Frank Lee (if you want to use his middle name :-)

    Betty is, of course, BettySue

    Robin is Robert or Rob Dog... not really sure why.

    Vinnie is just Vin. I am sure there will be more nicknames to follow with him!

    All the boys get called "Bud" or "Duder" - not really sure why on that one either!

  3. OK, here come my nickname confessions!

    Our first Dog was named Mickey. When we adopted a stray off the street, Brendan named him Donald. So with a Mickey and a Donald, of course their nicknames became Mouse and Duck.

    Ten years later when we adopted Lucy, who looked like a smaller clone of Donald, she became "Goose" (now more often "Goose-goose."

    When we adopted Desi, "Turkey" followed naturally after Duck and Goose, but never took. Somehow, Desi started going by ... "Frubby" and that has stuck for years.

    Kiri's wonderful wagging stub of a tail earned her nickname "Wiggle."

    Orbit doesn't have a consistent nickname yet. Orbit Q. Sporbit, Zorbi, Zorbo, Orbo -- she answers to (or ignores!) all of them equally.


  4. Bree (also named after an Outlander series character) gets called Breebee, Breebles, Missy, or Missy Bree.

    Egan answers to Mr. Handsome, Mr. Man, or Eegie. We call him Cowboy when we catch him eating grass!

  5. My UDX Berner was Ptolli, silent "P"... She was called Ptolli-Pooh quite a bit, then Ptoll-PUP, and just Pooh. Our first three were all substantial girls -- 95, 108, and 95 lbs. each... The current two are 89 pounds each, although the younger one is taller than the older... Being so "slight" and also rather hyper in nature (for Berners), we frequently have occasion to say, "you are a strange, strange, little dog." Little... yeah. I can't get over how many people say to me, "Oh, I wanted a Berner, but they're so big, so I got a Golden." "How much does your Golden weigh?" I ask. "90 pounds," they say. [Insert eye roll.]

    Also -- no joke, my verification word for this comment was "forksht" !!!

  6. My old Sammy was named Nikki. I called her Nikki-girl and sugar mostly. She never answered anyway.
    Jazz has mostly been The Jazz Man. I also call him sweet baby boy, baby and fuzzy butt. Now he gets called Big Brother.
    Coach is Baby Brother, little one and, I swore I wouldn't do this, but I call him Coachee the other day.
    Both of my "boys" get called other less mentionable names from time to time, but as Mary says - "It's hard to be fuzzy."

  7. OK here goes:
    My Sheltie "Indy" is Pinto Pony, Merley Man, Brown Boy, & Little Brown Indian. I even have a song I sing for him, and no I will not sing it or share the lyrics. He's the only sable (OK, sable-MERLE) Sheltie I have so he gets a lot of "brown" names. Go figure.

    Sheltie "Frost" is Frosty, Frosted Flake, Mr. Freckles, Big Beautiful Boy, and for the time being, Lard Ass. We're working hard to make that nickname obsolete.

    Cardigan Corgi "Druid" is Doodles, Mr. Stripey (he's a brindle), Stumpy, Big Fat Worm (cuz he looks like one), Gwangi, T-Rex, and a whole host of 4-letter names I'm sure wouldn't be allowed here.

    Sheltie "Sasha" (who is all-white & born deaf, and mostly blind) is Creature Feature (and when she SCREECHES while playing - SCREECHER-Feature), & Miss Possum Girl (Ever seen an albino 'possum? Ever seen an all-white Sheltie? I'm tellin' ya....)

    When Druid, Frost, & Indy are together, they are referred to as Al Qaeda. A bigger bunch of terrorists you'll never find.

  8. I agree - who? My boyfriend and all of his friends use nicknames for each other and as I've not yet met most of them, it is darned difficult to know how is who - or what depending on the nickname. My dogs don't escape either - Tara Too also known as Tara Marie (when in trouble) or Monkey (have no idea where that came from). Seek is also Sequin (she came with those). Elliott is Red-Headed Devil Dog!

    I've enjoyed reading everyone's comments as well as your post.

  9. Sophie-Sue, Sweetie (I know), Soph. Ryelee is Ryelee Boy, Riles, Buddy. Not too original. Of course there are more names that I just use in my house!

  10. Zodiac's nicknames are "Z" or Baby-Z, and more recently Buddy. Buddy was Oreo's nickname but now I don't have a buddy so it has defaulted to Zodiac.

    Legend's are Ledge, Ledgie, Snakey and Baby girl.

    Lyric's are Lyr, Floopsy-woopsy, Floopsy, and Floops. Long story-has to do with Saturday Night Live!