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What’s In a Nickname?

Let me tell you a funny story, or at least one that I think is funny.

My nickname for my husband is Lovey. And I don’t just use it when we’re home alone. I call him Lovey when we’re out in about, in front of family, friends, acquaintances, and complete strangers.

Many years ago, back when we were living in Austin, we occupied a unit on the second floor of a three-story apartment building. The man and woman who lived below us also rented the floor above us as an office so we saw them all the time.

We were friendly, but only in passing. Though we had never introduced ourselves, the woman, Liz, always greeted us by name, calling me Jenna and my husband Larry. But Mr. Sutton’s first name is actually Mike. We had no idea why she called him Larry, but we never corrected her.

One day, as Mr. Sutton and I were leaving for ballroom dancing lessons, I walked out ahead of him. Liz was in the corridor, and she heard me call out, reminding hubs not to forget to bring the trash with him so we could dump it on our way out of the apartment complex.

Liz stopped next to me in the corridor. “Why did you just call Larry Mike?” she asked, a bewildered frown on her face.

“Because that’s his name,” I replied.

“But you call him Larry all the time,” she insisted.

I shook my head, baffled by her assertion. “No, I don’t.”

Mr. Sutton joined us, and Liz turned her attention to him. “Is your name Mike or Larry?” she demanded.

Hubs looked at me, one eyebrow arched, and then turned back to Liz. “Mike.”

“But I hear Jenna call you Larry all the time,” Liz argued. “Larry, don’t forget the trash. Larry, can you help me with the groceries? Larry, do you want to drive?”

And all of a sudden I realized the problem, and I started to laugh. “Lovey,” I said around my giggles. “I call him Lovey. L-O-V-E-Y.”

“Oh,” Liz replied. “Lovey, not Larry.”

“Exactly,” Mike replied.

Then we said our goodbyes to Liz and continued on our way. The next time she saw us, she waved and said, “Hi, Jenna. Hi, Lovey.”

Lovey, aka Mr. Sutton, has a lot of nicknames for me. I never know what he’s going to come up with next. His most creative (and insulting) nickname? Mastodon.

Yes, you read that correctly. Mastodon.

I have no idea why he came up with that nickname, and neither does he. But he stopped calling me Mastodon after my dad said, “You know that’s a big, hairy prehistoric elephant, right? I don’t like that much… you calling my daughter a big, hairy prehistoric elephant.”

I love nicknames in romance novels. I recently read a New Adult romance by Sophie Jordan called Wild. It’s the third in a trilogy about college roommates who find their happily ever after.

First let me just say that I loved this book. The heroine, Georgia, was great, but the hero, Logan, OMG. He’s delicious. Beyond delicious.

Part of his hotness, in my opinion, is that he calls Georgia by the nickname “Pearls” because she’s kind of this uptight, princess-y type.

I adored his nickname for her. Every time he called her Pearls, I swear my toes curled inside my shoes.

My appreciation for nicknames isn’t just limited to Logan either. I love it when heroes assign nicknames to heroines. And I’m not talking about endearments like “Honey” or “Sweetheart”. I’m talking about a nickname that has a special meaning.

In All the Right Places, Quinn gives Amelia a nickname. I’m not going to tell you what it is… you’re going to have to wait and read the book!

So, here’s what I want to know: Do you have a nickname? Do you call your significant other by a nickname? And finally, what do you think of nicknames in romance novels?

1 Comment

  1. Densie Webb on March 4, 2015 at 6:06 pm

    I have an unusual name, Densie (not Denise). My close friends and my father, shortened Densie to Dense. It seemed natural when I was a kid, but when I got older and realized that it could mean “thick-headed,” it was too late. 🙂

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