What’s In A Name?

posted by Momo Fali on July 18, 2008

Kathy from The Junk Drawer sent me this picture. She and her husband saw my name carved into a bench at a local burger joint. I told her it’s probably not the first time someone saw a ratty old bench and thought of me…or maybe that’s ratty old wench I’m thinking of.

Believe it or not, I have a real name. It’s Diane. Not many people call me that though. My BFF came up with Momo, and my entire family calls me Di.

When I was a kid, I was known as Di-Bi. My cousins and I all had goofy nicknames. Bill-Bud, Joni-Bologna, and Jo-Blo to name a few. My cousin Derek was known simply as Oil.

In elementary school, all my friends decided to create nicknames pulled from outer space. There was Jupiter Jenny, Saturn Stacey, and Mercury Mary. Since there are no planets that start with “D”, I got stuck with Dog Star Diane. Nice.

A little girl who lived behind my Grandmother’s house, who hated to bathe, became Susie-Piggy. My Mom goes by VoVo, my daughter is known as Goose, my son answers to Boo and my BFF is Bean. My husband’s friends call him Bugs and said friends are known to us as Briar, Grunt, Gat, and Panda.

Everybody has a nickname. So tell me, boys and girls, what is yours?


  • Jodi

    Usually people call me Jo, JoJo, Jods…

    I always nickname people:
    My sister is Zel.
    My other sister is Pooh.
    My cousin is Beaner or Beans.
    Jakob is Bakers.

    That’s just to name a few.

  • Dad of Divas

    In college my nickname was Spunky…I guess because I had a lot of energy…I still do have a lot of energy so I guess it fits.

  • Katie Kermeen Swisher

    My name is Katie, but when I was young, I couldn’t say my name. I called myself “Dee-Dee”, and my family still calls me that today…

  • Marlene

    My sister of Junk Drawer fame sent me your blog. Love your article – very funny. My mom grew up surrounded by relatives with nicknames, e.g., Toot, Sis, Honeygirl, Tooty, Aunt Bill (short for Sybilla), and Sister. So she named me Marlene – didn’t think any nicknames would be generated from that one and she was right.

  • chefmom

    We call my son Riley, Bubba or Bubba O’Riley. Nothing goes with Tierney….she gets called T. We used to call her Beeb, but she outgrew it. She calls me dad Mugga and my Mom Grandma. Riley calls them Dad-Dad and MeeMa. It’s so confusing to me…my parents have like 6 names!

  • Brittany

    Such a funny blog! The nickname oil mad me LOL!

    I was simply known as Britty, and my brother Adam as Buck.

    Now I guess it is my task to come up with something creative to call the kiddos.

  • Emery Jo

    In my family, I’ve always been known as Bean Brain.


    The sad part? I didn’t realize until college that this name was less than flattering.


  • the planet of janet

    my ex-husband used to call me bibby, or bib. (no, not the dead one. the still-living one…heh)

    it was a permutation of baby… with a little bit of additional influence from the name a old basketball star.

    i HATED it.

    my daughter’s nickname on my blog is actually something i call her in real life. roo, rooty, rootini…

  • Kori

    I actually and honestly do not HAVE one. The kids all do-Oni-Baloney, Mrs. Bean, Prince Charming (and yes, we really do call him that), and Jerface Teenaged Boy. Well-all are real but the last. He’s really just the honky.

  • Mama Dawg

    In middle school, a bunch of us got together and decided to give us nicknames with bugs as part of it:

    Caeser became Caeserpede
    Pat was Patterfly
    Darcy was Darfly
    Emily was Emabee (that's me)

    So, I'm known as emabee, or M & M or Em.

  • Jill

    Even my nicknames have nicknames. Witness the evolution: from Jillybean to Beans to Beanie to Beanie Boo Boo to JB. My niece now calls me Auntie Beanie.

    Those are the names my family gave me. In college, some ass called me JillBird and it, unfortunately, stuck. Thank God I have since cast off both those friends and the name.

    In San Diego, my friends called me Jillio and Hyeel (think: how you might pronounce Jill in Spanish).

    An ex-boyfriend called me Jillsy, after a character in his favorite book, The World According to Garp.

    I don’t really have any nicknames now, sad to say. I always kinda liked Jillio and Hyeel, because they make me laugh.

  • Geeks In Rome

    My mom calls me mousie, I call her moosie, my brother calls me Moose. My adult nickname with friends is glitzy.

    I love how your nickname was carved in a bench at such a sleazy kind of place! Once a boyfriend of mine found a brick wall in which someone had etched in the cement when it had been wet: “(my name) is a dooty bomb” very nice! i like to think of it as a compliment.

  • LiteralDan

    I mostly come up with nicknames for other people, rather than receiving them from others (not counting an ever-changing assortment from my brothers as a kid).

    However, a friend of mine started calling my LiteralDan a few years ago, and he became quite taken with it as time went by. I have to admit, it’s quite spot-on.

  • Lisa@verybusymomwith4

    I’m Lisa–what the heck do you do with Lisa? Yeah–so I’ve always been Lisa.

  • Laura

    My grandpa had a nickname for everyone, even our dog. To him, I was Laurentia. My brothers called me mouse. Still do sometimes.

  • The Mom

    We are HUGE nicknamers around her…but my old favorite nickname is Pabis….coming from Papa’s girl…it morphed into Pabis Adopolis too.

    Oh and one of my uncles used to call me Jeffrey…maybe he had hoped I was a boy?

  • PG

    I am Patrick, but it’s so formal, Pat suits me better. My wife, some of my former co-workers and online buds call me PG.

    When I was growing the Dad next door to us called me Marty (my middle name is Martin) ALWAYS, never called me Pat or anything closely related to my real first name. I liked it. Just so long as it was only Mr. Chambers that called me it.

  • Stella

    People have always used my last name, both maiden and married, to refer to me. Occasionally, if you’re close to me and I mean REALLY close, I’ll let you call me Ali. There are VERY FEW who are allowed that privilege! Many take it on their own and it pisses me off!

    We have tons of nicknames for the kids. And my husband we call Booger…I won’t tell you why.

    At one point in high school I had, incorrectly, earned the nickname Miss Thang.

  • sista #2

    My mother called me WORM my entire life. No wonder I have issues.


  • Xbox4NappyRash

    ” Jaffa “

  • Tom

    My friends call me Stove, but not because I’m hot.

  • Melissa

    My nickname is also Momo or Momosan, as in the Japanese word for peach.

  • Amy

    Well my brother used to call me Sleeping Ugly. I don’t really like him.

  • Tara R.

    My dad calls my daughter Goose! Funny. With a name like Tara I’ve heard a few too – Tara-nicotine, (tar and nicotine), Dak Tari (an old 60’s TV show), and my personal favorite… Tora, Tora, Tora.

    My pet nickname for Hubs is ‘Butt-faced, Monkey Boy.’ He is the love of my life. 😀

  • Heather

    aunt hezzie =)

  • piper of love

    Where should I start? I’ve been called it all!!

    Pipes and Peeps are the only ones I don’t hate.

  • Jo Beaufoix

    My full name is ‘Joanne’ so I suppose Jo is a nickname, but I get Jo, joeee, josie jo, jobo.

    I always shorten people’s names. I suppose it’s a form of affection. Like I call you Mo in my head. 😉

  • Jaina

    Jaina! No really, it’s a nickname that sorta turned into my online name. It’s the nickname from my two best friends. (and yes, it’s Star Wars related…did I mention I’m a nerd?)
    I have a few others, but it depends on the people. Jaina (or affectionately it’s Jaya) is my favorite.

  • AlisonH

    My mom would occasionally call me Tigger, as in bouncy bouncy full of funfunfun–I was high energy, definitely, and I wore her out. I did catch her a few times adding something about the most wonderful thing about Tiggers, was, I was the only one. (Note that I was #4 out of six kids.) Only, she managed to say it with enough of a smile on her face that for years I thought it was a compliment. Actually, really, I still do. I have a very patient mother. She says she learned it from having kids.

  • Ricardo Bueno

    Mine is Ribeezie; thus the blog title. A former co-worker of mine gave it to me. How it came about is actually a bit of a story; I’ll spare you the details. Though I’m working on a short youtube video to help explain it all.

    It’s all in how you say it…you gotta say it in an upbeat tone.

  • Ed (zoesdad)

    In grade school–Eddy Spaghetti

    High School–Steady Eddy

    That one stuck for the longest other than what my best friend calls me–Limp

    My wife refers to me as—Dork!

    Thanks for the link–it was a surprise.

  • Angie

    I have a few… My mom calls me Angel, My dad used to call me Nina, My friends call me Ange, or Angie, and my husband has the best one, Bleak. Yes, Bleak.

  • MommyTime

    Son is Goosie and Daughter is Birdie and my sisters are Bean and TT. Isn’t it funny how some people just give out nicknames to everyone? I’m one of those. I, on the other hand, have NEVER had a nickname that sticks. Odd.

  • meleah rebeccah

    Well, most people call me MEL which I hate because I think that makes me sound like a man.

    Its nice to finally know your REAL NAME.


  • meleah rebeccah

    Oh, and I a crazy nickname for my son.

    His name is Justin. In Spanish class his name is “Justino”. But for some reason I call him


    Which I’ve recently aabbreviated that into STEEN.

  • Jamie E

    usually jaymers nowadays and in highschool. Of course when I was born born my sis (oh my blog!) told my mom that I looked like a putzzy cat(pussy cat) so my family still calls me putz occasionally. not “uh” sound on the ‘u’ but the “oo” sound, try explaining that to everyone, esp being blond and esp being kinda ditzy at times!

  • nukedad

    Are you sure it wasn’t some kid who was standing behind the bench who carved “OWOW”? Just a thought 🙂

  • Drowsey Monkey

    Sadly I’ve never had a nickname. Okay, not so sadly. I grew up with 2 parents who hated nicknames. I now wonder why … maybe they were traumatized with them as kids, I dunno! LOL But no nicknames for anyone in the family.

  • holly

    far and wide i am known as ‘oh wise one’ which is *longer* than holly, but you know, more truthful.

    okay, so my best friend calls me that with a little tiny bit of sarcasm in her voice. she’s allowed.

    holl, thanks. holls occasionally. (yeah, it’s really really different.) hollster in college. hollydolly on the golf course. and some parts of the blogiverse.

    and sometimes…

    just sometimes…
    i get ‘hey dumba**’

  • Melisa

    My sister is the only one who still calls me Missy. My mom calls me Mel. The people at the salon where I work sometimes call me "MoHo" (as in "the salon B&^$h") (yeah, I know: pretty talk). I think that's about it…I'm pretty lucky in this regard, I think!

  • The Laundress

    We used to have a landscaper that I dubbed “momo”…that was way before I ‘knew’ you.

    My dad calls me “Bob” short for Bobba-Booey…(A Howard Stern reference)

    My husband calls me “Jan” or “Babe” Which I like much better.

    My family Calls me Janet Marie…not much of a stretch there…and my daughter calls me Mamma.

    Everyone else just calls me whatever…Janet, JJ, Jan…whatever they decide at that moment.

  • Natalie

    now i am just nat. but when i was in high school i had a teacher who called me nat…then gnat because gnats were annoying and buzzed around his ears, then it morphed into buzz, buzzy, and finally buzzard. i moved after that year. i can’t imagine what it would have been if i had stayed any longer!

  • Dapoppins

    I like Moomah…

    but in school I was Moose.

    I didn’t like it.

  • Jenny from Mommin' it Up!

    My daughter’s name is Sophia Diane! I love the name Diane, because it is my mother’s name and she is pretty much the most wonderful person EVER. I’m sure you live up to it!

    AS for me, my name is Jenny – just Jenny,, no “ifer” which is a pain. My middle name is Michelle and my dad always called me Shelly. My mom always called me (and still does call me) Scooby Doo cause that was my fave cartoon. Whaaat?? Thanks Mom!

  • Jared

    My last name is easily mis-spelled and I was always announced in little league, wrestling, etc., as Jared HolyMan. So my nickname was always HolyMan.

  • DysFUNctional Mom

    You reminded me of a time in middle school when my friends and I gave ourselves flower nicknames. We has a Chrysanthemum (“Chryssy”), a Daisy, and a Rose.
    Gag. LOL
    My grandma called me Cinderella. My mom’s cousin was always known as Peanut. We still call my niece “Reh-roh” because that’s what my Princess called her when she was first talking and couldn’t pronounce ‘Heather’.
    Fun topic!

  • Kimmylyn

    Aunt Kimmy

    I used to hate being called Kimmy until my 2 year old nephew said it to me one day.. now I adore it.. 🙂

  • Mimi aka pz5wjj

    My nickname is Mimi (given name is Marian but it got shortened to Mimi when I was a baby — older brother couldn’t say my name)

    I have also gone by Mez, Mezzie, and Mezmerelda.

    My DH calls me either “Dude” (how romantic!) or Meems.

    I also get called Meemers by some friends.

    Funny, but I only let some groups of people call me by specific nicknames.

  • O My Blog!

    My nickname at home is Doo (not a potty joke) but grew up with Wunkin and My sister, Jamie E up there ^ was Putz as she stated but she failed to mention Punkin. Together we were Punkin and Wunkin-the most unstopable force!

    My oldest daughter is Pook and my youngest daughter is Goo. Keep in mind that in MN, we have the elongated o sound when we speak.

  • Darrin

    I’ve got a huge “MOMO” vinyl sticker applied on the back of my car, on a chrome license plate frame, and on the gear shift knob. No joke! MOMO is an Italian brand of automotive styling and race gear. Heh Heh.

  • Sarah, Goon Squad Sarah

    In the past I have answered to:


    I should probably just stop there.

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