Saturday, February 19, 2011

30 days of blogging, day 4: Nicknames

For the record: I did say this wasn't going to be a consecutive 30 days, and seeing as it's been 2 1/2 weeks, I'm way overdue, even taking into account that I expected this to be a slower pace! Oh well. Today's another fun one, nicknames. Since I'm doing these out of order, I'm pretty much doing what sounds good at the moment, which means there is a growing possibility that there will come a point that I'm going to be left with more than a few from the original list that I just don't want to bother with. Because you know that when you put the iPod on shuffle with the intent of listing the first 10 songs that play, you are guaranteed to get a list of the 10 most embarrassing songs ON your iPod. (I'm a Disney fan, so just drop it, OK? You are Part of My World on a voluntary basis.)

So on to the real story for today... my birth certificate says Rebecca, but immediately after committing those 7 letters to the permanent record of my name, my parents started calling me Becky. I went by that until the 5th grade when I changed schools and decided to go by Rebecca. Of course, no one who'd known me since birth could make the switch, so in 9th grade I switched back, only decided it would be "fun" to change the spelling of my name, and I became Bekki. That lasted an even shorter amount of time, and by 11th grade I was back to Rebecca permanently. In other words, I totally deserve it that a couple of my cousins call me "ReBekky," but they are now old enough for me to legally bribe them with beer, and haven't been bugging me with that too much lately.

--- pet peeve ---

          Conversations that go like this:

          Me:                    Hi, My name is Rebecca.

          Other person:     Hi, Rebecca. Do people call you Becky?

          Me (politely):     No, I prefer Rebecca

          Me (in my head): Never. Because if I wanted people to call me that,
                                     I would have started this exchange with, 
                                    "Hi, My name is Becky." SERIOUSLY???!!?

          (Does this happen to other people whose names have common nicknames? Drives me bananas!!!!)

--- / end peeve ---

Besides that, I'm sooooooo not a Becky. Really. A few people have a waiver on this one and call me Becky, but they are generally related by blood, or married to someone who is, or otherwise considered to be "practically family.") Ok, so how about a nickname I actually use, and like?

My friends call me Rebo. Not Reba. Rebo. The story behind this one is unusual. My last year of college, I was roommates with four women I'd never really met before we became roommates. Two of them were named Sarah. One of the Sarahs had a boyfriend (who is now her husband,) who decided it would be easier for him to refer to "his" Sarah by a nickname to save himself the kind of phone calls that start with "Hi, is Sarah there?" "Which Sarah?"

He also decided, that since he was a HUGE (really huge; caps are still an understatement here) Star Wars fan, he would give her a 'Star Wars nickname.' Somehow, it was a very short jump until ALL of the roommates had Star Wars nicknames, and mine is "Rebo," short for Max Rebo, who is the alien that kind of looks like a blue elephant that plays the piano in the bar in Return of the Jedi. (I told you it was unusual!) Rebo was an easy Star Wars match, since it was so close to my real name, and believe me when I tell you that some of the other Star Wars nicknames I didn't consider to be quite so desirable.

So anyway, I didn't need a nickname that year, being the only Rebecca at that particular phone number, but it stuck, and it stuck hard. (Unlike my other college nickname, "Webe," which I only hear very rarely these days from a small list of former roommates, but one of these even converted to Rebo.) My friends from that last year of college still call me Rebo, and probably because that was a wonderful year for me, and because those are some of my dearest friends to this day... I love this nickname. Besides that, one of those friends has kids who call me "Auntie Rebo" and that's how my nephew now knows me, too.

So that's the story behind my favorite nickname... and all the unfavorites that came before it.

-- Originally posted at:


  1. Well... Charlie really can't say Rebo, so he says Baboo. Hmmm... maybe a new nickname.

  2. Glad you told the story. I have to say, in all the years I knew you and lived with you, I never knew the story. Guess I should have asked.

  3. This post made me smile - and brings back so many happy memories. Believe it or not, there are quite a few Shaun-named people out there that have "stuck." He has a gift. :)

  4. I laughed out loud more than once while reading this, and Aaron kept asking, "Mama, why are you laughing?" All I could tell him was that Auntie Rebo is funny. :-)

    I'm with Sarah (the one married to the guy responsible for that favorite nickname) - this brought back so many good memories. That was a wonderful year!

    And I have to say, I'm glad my Star Wars nickname didn't stick. ;-)