My husband’s a nickname guy. He gives everyone he meets (well, almost) a nickname at some point in time. Family members usually get several nicknames. He’s had several for our children over the years, which sometimes change depending on what they’re doing at that time. Our daughter was “Wiggles” when she was an infant because she never stopped moving. Our son is “Snuggles” (actually I call him that) because he just loves to snuggle anyone.
I was reminded of this tendency by some of the comments on my other post, Claiming Baby Names: Okay or Not? One commenter mentioned that sometimes names are chosen due to family heritage. My husband’s family is all German (his grandparents are immigrants) and although none of the younger generations speak German anymore, kids in the family are affectionately referred to as “fritz,” the German word for “child.”
A lot of people also use nicknames for their babies before birth, especially before they find out the sex. Just about all my friends have had a unique way of referring to their babies before birth, or in the early months of pregnancy (most do find out the sex and some then refer to the baby by his/her “real” name). It’s kind of a cool way to make your baby unique, even before you’ve chosen an “official” name.
Many of the nicknames I’ve seen were inspired by totally random things. Some use initials from their family, some choose a baby name they’d never really use, I’ve seen “2.0″ or “baby number 2,” all kinds of interesting things.
Some nicknames stick after birth too…though most usually get changed! My niece was called “Fred” for the first few years of her life…and they joked that all the girls in the family needed a boy’s name for a nickname.
What about your family? Do you use nicknames before or after birth? What inspires you?