Where do we get these nicknames from?

Is it a bus, a bear or a snugglepuffling? Pic credit below.

Is it a bubs, a bear or a snugglepuffling? Pic credit below.

Like most families, we have a range of nicknames for our two daughters. We always have done.

The other day I heard a mum make an off the cuff remark about the names given to children. It got me wondering where on Earth us parents get these nicknames from?

Of course mums and dads want nothing more than to express their love and affection for thier children. This is quite natural and to be encouraged. Should we, however, really do it by calling our children snugglepuffling in public?

Here are a few nicknames I’ve heard used (indeed I may have used a few of them myself);

  • Bear
  • Sauage
  • Bubs (for some reason this one is particularly common)
  • Darling stars (I mean, what does this mean??)
  • Monkey
  • Sungglepuffling (yes really) and
  • Beautiful butterfly.

While writing this post I came across this article on the LittleHeartsBooks website. Just look at that; 300 possible nicknames for your child. In fact I went through the list and was  taken aback at how many of them I have used over the years.

Something happens to us, doesn’t it? I’m not too sure exactly what it is, but as soon as we have to take responsibility for a young child, any sense of decorum simply melts away and we distort the English language and give our kids whacky labels.

It’s not that I disapprove; I’m as guilty of this as anyone else. I simply think it’s funny that we all give our kids such wonderful and often creative names.

That said, I did have a bit of a rough time of it in my high school days. Let’s just say it took me a while to grow into my face and I had the misfortune to pick up the nickname ET. Needless to say, this wasn’t a name used by my parents at home. If so, I think I may have rung Social Services myself.

Dear reader, I have to ask; what affectionate nickname do you have for your child(ren)? There’s no shame in admitting you have given them some kind of crazy, made up nickname. It’s simply one of those elements of parenthood we all engage in. I’ve no idea why we do it…but we do!


Pic credit; Kenny Louise. Reproduced under Creative Commons agreement 2.0.


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  1. April 20, 2015 / 9:48 am

    I love the fact that there is no rhyme or reason to nicknames. My son’s called Roscoe and before he was born everyone told me he’d get called Ross and he ended up with the nickname…Chief, of course that makes sense.

    • John Adams
      April 21, 2015 / 5:24 am

      Chief. I’ve not heard that one used before but I can see why it appeals.

  2. April 20, 2015 / 1:42 pm

    I usually end up using ‘sweetheart’, I don’t think I’ve used anything other than that. However I have heard lots of odd nicknames in the past while standing in the school playground. Some of them are beyond comprehension!

    • John Adams
      April 21, 2015 / 5:23 am

      Yes, sweetheart happens ot be one I use all the time. Once my eldest reaches Year Three, I expect she’ll tell me to stop!

  3. April 20, 2015 / 5:08 pm

    Aside from “bear” and “Monkey,” I’ve heard of none of these; maybe it’s a geographical thing. I wound up calling our boys “buddy” and “buster” for the most part, which I think every dad around here does as well. – RM

    • John Adams
      April 21, 2015 / 5:15 am

      Robb, I am going to take a guess that you are based in the United States? That being the case, I thikn you guys have something to teach us Europeans; IE, how not to be so saccharine!

  4. April 20, 2015 / 8:45 pm

    I love the weird names we have for our two. I call my daughter midge that’s been around for years and she’s now 7 it comes from her being so small as a baby now it’s stuck despite her being almost my height!! My son, and I have no idea where it came from but it’s only a nickname between me and him and no one else(he’s called A to everyone else) I call him Baba Roo..he loves it and it suits him!x

    • John Adams
      April 21, 2015 / 5:13 am

      Midge and Baba Roo. Exactly the kind of names I was taking about! Creative, but best not used in a busy supermarket.

  5. April 23, 2015 / 4:17 pm

    I’ve used a few on that list too – Jessica was Little Miss Wrigglebottom when she was tiny (for obvious reasons) although that nickname is much less used these days and has mostly been replaced by Pickle or Little Miss Mischief. Sophie has always been nicknamed Sophie-woo – I know I started it but to this day I have no idea where it came from or why. Isn’t it funny the nicknames we give our children?

    • John Adams
      April 24, 2015 / 8:12 pm

      Ah, Pickle, yes that’s quite a common one.

  6. April 26, 2015 / 5:29 pm

    what a great light hearted post! Ryley was nicknamed Barabbas after his late grandfather used to call him that lol! Logen Longaniza as in the sausage and Olivia I have always called monkey!

  7. April 27, 2015 / 10:16 am

    He he, love these. Spookily marrying, meant my initials are now ET. Hopefully I don’t look like him though.

    N gets called Nate (which is meant to be his short form, although I don’t really use it), banana (my best mate from when I was pregnant, and we were joking about bad Fruit names celebs give babies), squirrel (his dad and uncle), and sweetheart – it just comes out, I’ve no idea where from.

    That’s about the limit of them though, thankfully!