Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Wednesday WOLF

I'm a nerd. Yes, I'm in fact such a big nerd that I tend to look up word origins in my spare time because I'm fascinated by our language. The odder the origin, the better. I've got a collection of random information in my brain that makes me an awesome Trivial Pursuit partner, but is completely useless when it comes to real world application. Like say, job applications.

In any case, I thought I'd share some of this random crap with you in the form of the new acronym-ific series. I give you - Word Origins from Left Field. Er... ignore the fact that the "from" doesn't fit.

Today we're going to talk about nicknames. I've got a real name (Mindy) and a few derivatives of it. I've been called Mind, (not pronounced like a brain), Minn-o, Little Minnow (this was awhile back), and my sister calls me Minner (unsure why). Even my screenname of bigblackcat97 quickly got adjusted to BBC over on AgentQueryConnect.

So where does the word "nickname" come from?

Apparently we have our lazy-tongued ancestors with bad diction to blame. In Old English, "eke" means to add. I still find myself using that particular word occasionally, like when moving furniture. "Just eke it to the left a bit," or cooking, "Eke some salt in there." But I read a lot and pick up a bunch of old words that get odd looks from the b/f sometimes, which culminate in the occasional Dictionary Challenge, so if you don't use "eke" in general conversation, don't feel bad.

In any case, "an ekename" would be an additional name, one by which someone is known even though it's not the name they were born with. "An ekename" got blurred together and there you have it.

What's your "ekename?"

6 comments:

Anita Grace Howard said...

Haha! AWESOME. My ekename is a toss up between jellybean and kumquat, depending on who you ask.

Mindy McGinnis said...

Oh my AG, that really opens up the surmising.... :)

TeenLibrarianChristina said...

This. Is. Fascinating!!

Laura Nungester said...

So my ekename came from my students. As a teacher with a long last name that can tongue tie some and is much too taxing and laborious for an 8th grader to spell...I became known as Nungie

Deb R.H. said...

That's so cool! I have a list of ekenames that I won't bore you with lol. Most call me Deb, obviously. Many call me Debbie, though I don't like it.

My favorite one, which my little sister gave me, is Bolly, which is an ekename for Apollonio. lol

cleemckenzie said...

I have a few ekenames I've collected. Family is the only group allowed to use them! Glad you're on the Blue Team Love the cover for Given to the Sea.