Nicknames can make or break you

(Lily Choi | The Oswegonian)
(Lily Choi | The Oswegonian)

The first thing my family and friends would yell out in public was “Daddy Long Legs!” This was the most embarrassing thing that anyone could possibly do in front of the entire world. People turned and looked at me, mostly with pity, but the other half in amusement, realizing why I was being called this name. When friends would come over, they would hear this, and I wanted to cower in the corner and fade away. In my family’s mind, they were calling me what they always called me and found no problem with it. This is what nicknames can do to you, destroy you and aid you.

Nicknames are good because they connect you more to a social group and make you stand out from the rest. Luckily, this nickname did not destroy my reputation in any way. It just made people laugh. It feels good when you are on the basketball team and they call you Lucky Shot; it can boost your self confidence with a hobby.

What about nicknames that aren’t appropriate? What if a nickname evolves from an outrageous thing they did in college? Should that be yelled out in public? We tend to forget people can change, and eventually we have to leave that nickname where it was created and move on. I have heard multiple stories in the past few days about people being dubbed “Drunkie” or “Thottiana” even though they have moved on from that life or have done great things that should have outshadowed that one incident, but it didn’t.

Out of all these stories I’ve heard, I did not once hear someone say my friends call me “Busy Bee” or “Dreamer” or anything positive. We do not dub someone on the good they do, but only on the bad or some physical quality they are not proud of, or that others usually pick at. I am not saying that nicknaming someone by something crazy he or she did is bad, but eventually we should drop it as the years go on because it can affect their job or reputation in general, no matter how much of a changed person they are. I have seen people comment on other’s pictures using their nickname and left the other person humiliated, especially if their boss or other coworkers see it. Having a horrible nickname is not the worst thing that can happen, but time and place is always key when it comes to nicknaming and calling that person by that nickname.