Sunday, January 28, 2007
Best Bud/Worst Bud
Our four boys have nicknames for each other:
The middle two call each other Best Bud or Bestie for short. They say it with a certain amount of sarcasm, as if they're not really best buddies. But they are. They call and text each other almost every day, even though they live 250 miles away from each other.
It soon became apparent that they needed a nickname for the oldest brother, so naturally he became Worst Bud or Worstie. Note that his nickname is delivered with affection. Honest.
The youngest brother became Little Boonie Bud which comes from Boone which is what he goes by even though his real name is Byron. Got that? His brothers also call him Big Blinga. I'm pretty sure that one is delivered sarcastically.
#1, age 26: Austin/Worst Bud
#2, age 24: Nolan/Best Bud (to Carlin)/El Gato (don't ask)
#3, age 23: Carlin/Best Bud (to Nolan)
#4, age 21: Byron/Boone/Little Boonie Bud/Big Blinga
With 4 boys only 5 years apart, it's hard for people to remember who's who. And I don't expect anyone to keep them straight. So over the years, I started to refer to them by numbers. In person, I still call them by their name, not number, although I can't claim to always get the right name at the right time. And they call each other by name or nickname, not number. It's only when I'm talking about them to students or colleagues or friends (or readers like you) that I use numbers. It just seems easier for everyone.
People seem to have a hard time remembering which name goes with which kids because 1) they're close in age, therefore close in size growing up, 2) they look alike, and 3) they all have tricky names. Austin, Nolan, Carlin and Byron all end with the same last syllable. I can blame this on my husband's family. His mom had 6 (!) kids, named Kevin, Galen, Maren, Loryn, Quentin, and Curtin, which all end with the same -n syllable. Yes, Curt's real name is Curtin. It came from a great-grandfather, Samuel Curtin Davidson. Anyway, Curtin married Megan (mine was the only spouse's name that fit the pattern) and we decided to continue the tradition. I like the tradition, but I know it made it hard for people to keep them straight. Grandma used a famous amalgamated name Au-No-Ca-Byron (pronounced AnnikaByron) when she couldn't get the right name quick enough.
It's funny that they're all so close to each other because they're really quite different. Growing up, they fought plenty, but they also played together plenty and because they were so close in age, they often had the same circle of friends. When the youngest one was turning 21 last year, the people he most wanted to spend it with were his brothers. So they all 4 came from their respective cities and met in Seattle to go to a Mariners game to celebrate Little Boonie Bud turning 21.