Nicknames for family members are very endearing, but can sometimes be a problem when their real names are unknown.  My father recently shared a funny story about nicknames and our family members.

My paternal grandmother, Leola (Goode) Askew, while visiting her younger sister, Olivia (Goode) Bell, had a medical emergency and needed to be taken to the hospital.  My 2nd cousin, Bobby Bell (Olivia’s son), took my grandmother there.  Bobby knew he needed to contact my father and aunt to let them know that my grandmother was at the hospital.  Bobby goes to a payphone (Remember those?) and starts searching through the phone book (Remember that big, thick book?).  He begins to wonder how he’s going to look up “Baby Brotha” (my father), and “Jitta” (my aunt).  Bobby had always only known them by their nicknames, but never their real names.

I didn’t get around to asking my father how Bobby was able to get the word to them about my grandmother being hospitalized.  I’ll have to ask the next time we talk.  However, since my father was able to share this recollection with me, it’s safe to assume that word reached him.

5 thoughts on “Nicknames

  1. My family name is Roads. My father gained the nickname, Rocky, while in the Army. After their marriage, my mother was dubbed Dusty. I started life off believing my parents actual names were mom and dad, then Rocky and Dusty. I think it was mid-elementary school age that I learned their real names.


  2. Not surprised. I’ve never been one to be shocked at these kind of revelations. My more common response is, “Huh, that makes more sense.” Thinking back, I was pretty dense to not realize how unlikely they were born Rocky and Dusty, and Mom married a man named Rocky Roads. I continued to introduce my Dad to my friends parents as Rocky out of habit through most of High School until I noticed he would immediately re-introduce himself with his real name. He hasn’t been Rocky to me for two or three decades now (I’m dating myself). Mom still goes by Dusty. My art teacher tried to dub me Pebbles in middle school. Thank goodness that didn’t stick.


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