I simply can’t be trusted. As I discussed in my last post, I would very much like to name your dog. But if you let me nickname your dog, I’ll make it weird.
However, if love is measured in nicknames, then my dogs experience immense amounts of adoration, just this side of smothering.
Gertie’s name is kind of a nickname in itself, though her “full name” is Gertrude in our minds only. Her other full name is Gertie Lou, which we insist has a sweet and spunky tone and not the hickish connotation that our friends from South Carolina conjured when they heard it. (It is not spoken with a twang.) This name just fits Gertie’s wiggly ways, but it has one other advantage: when she’s naughty, Gertie Lou morphs into Gertie Lucifer.
Now this is where it gets weird. One of our oft-used nicknames for Gertie is Boof, with several variations: Boofa, Boofie, Boofer Bear, and Boo Bear. I’m not sure why I applied this name to Gertie, but I do know its origins. When I was a toddler, I had a stuffed animal named Boofer Bear. When she’s not being Gertie Lucifer, Boofer is as cuddly as a teddy bear. And all of the variations sound bright and cheerful. When Tom comes home from works, he calls, “Where’s my Boofa?!” with each word drawn out. Gertie goes nuts.
Speaking of bears, I also use other animal names as nicknames for Gertie: Monkey, Capuchin, Turkey; I think I’ve even tried out Wombat.
With the exception of Gertie Lucifer, these nicknames help express just how adorable and irresistible I find Gertie. I don’t know why names like Boofa or Turkey are terms of endearment–they just are. Maybe Turkey came about because I said I wanted to gobble Gertie up. Sometimes I do. Sometimes she is so sweet and cute that I want to ingest her.
Other Gertie nicknames: Punkin, Punkin Pie, Punka, Punker; Pooka, Pookie; Gert, Dirt McGert; and Loubelle.
With Duke, I have annoyed myself by using several overly gendered nicknames: Mister, Bud, Buddy, Bubba. I can’t stop myself! With Mister, we often sing, “Mister, Mister, give me the news, I gotta bad case of luh-uhving you-ooh-ooh!” (Oh boy, the cat’s out of the bag: we’re dorks.)
However, we also have some creative nicknames for Duke. We sometimes call him the Great While Gorilla, which developed from calling Gertie Monkey. (And her nickname Capuchin materialized in response to Duke as the Great White Gorilla. The nickname game is a wildly choreographed dance around here.)
We also call Duke Dukie. I like names that end in the -ie sound. And while the name Duke takes itself a bit too seriously, Dukie suggests a playful, sweet personality, just like our boy. It’s also kind of funny and fitting that it’s a euphemism for poop, given Duke’s production capabilities on walks.
What nicknames do you use for your dogs? Why do you think you use certain nicknames?
Related Post: Please Let Me Name Your Dog