Saturday, August 13, 2011

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy: Nicknames (or Not)

My mother, Daisy Schwartz Burk, purposely gave her children names that weren't easily shortened or transformed into a popular nickname.

Maybe Mom's aversion to nicknames stemmed from her twin sister's dislike of her nickname: Dorothy Schwartz was often called "Dot" or "Dotty" by family and friends, an affectionate name but not one appreciated by either twin, apparently. When this aunt sent her nieces (me and my sisters) a postcard or greeting card, she signed it "Aunt Dorothy" or "Auntie."

Of course, I yearned for a nickname because "everybody else has one." One summer when my twin and I were in day camp--in different groups--I decided to take the plunge.

When the other campers asked my name, I said Cricket.* The girls accepted this nickname and used it for the few weeks we were at camp together.

Then Mom visited on Parents' Day. Counselors were puzzled when she mentioned her daughters' names. Marian Burk? Oh, you mean Cricket Burk?? Mom gave me an amused/annoyed look but said nothing. That was the one and only summer I had a nickname.

My sister loves her nickname Izzi and collects widgets with Izzi on it... :)

*Who knows why I came up with that nickname? The Shadow knows---bwaa ha ha!

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