What's in a (nick)name? | BrainerdDispatch.com | Brainerd, Minnesota

What's in a (nick)name?

Isabella Howard, also known as Chicken, Tunie and Pudgie Pie, always has smiles for the camera.
Isabella Howard, also known as Chicken, Tunie and Pudgie Pie, always has smiles for the camera.

My mom and dad call me Punkin. And no, that's not a misspelling. It's not Pumpkin, like what you carve at Halloween or the pie you eat at Thanksgiving. It's just Punkin. It never really bothered me much growing up. Lots of people have nicknames, right?

My Grandpa Trowbridge called me Swede. I have no idea why. I'm not sure if I ever heard him even call me by name.

My Grandma Trowbridge called me DeLynnda. In fact, she suggested that as my birth name but my parents went with just DeLynn (which is strange enough, let alone adding "da" on the end). Geesh.

My sister is known as Toad. When she was a baby and into her toddler years, she was Toadie. Somewhere down the line, the "ie" was dropped. Toad just sounds more mature, right?

And then I wonder (OK, I don't really wonder...but I'm sure others do) why I never call my five-month-old daughter by her given name?

We named her Isabella Faith Marie — Bella for short.

It's a good thing she's still so small and doesn't have a clue because we rarely even use either name.

My husband calls her Chicken. I began calling her Petunia before she was even born. After she was born, I shortened that to Tunia and now it's Tunie. Sometimes I call her Dolly. My sister called her Duckie before she was born. My dad calls her Pudgie Pie. Her daycare lady calls her Beanie.

Seriously, if this girl doesn't end up with an identity crisis by the time she's 15, it'll be a miracle.