16 December 2010

Pet Names

The firm where I work was originally founded by hard-drinking WASPs in New York City with predilection for squash racquets and Tweed. They also bestowed nick-names on one another; or rather, they used the names by which they were known at school. At least that is the story still circulating around the orifice.

At school I was given at least four nick-names; maybe there were more, but that is all I can recall right now. The first was Aloysius, initially used by my French instructor Mme. Delphine, whose feminine charms still occupy signficant areas of my recollections. I suspect she picked Aloysius because I seemed such a good little Roman Catholic boy: sweet, quiet, innocent, solitary yet affable (but far from saintly then as now!) and fully prepared of course to die for the Faith. Or maybe my cuddly nature and good scarf sense reminded her of the actor Aloysius (pictured above) who starred in Brideshead Revisited.

Later, in upper school, the names Codger and Codworth attached themselves to me, a reference, I think, to my fogey habits and Bohemian Tory views, as well as to my ancestral family name. Such terms were subsequently replaced with more assertive names by complete strangers of liberal and bolshevik persuasion who found contrary views quite shocking and grounds for verbal abuse and physical assault in the streets, much to their disadvantage. In London several girlfriends came up with Tweedy, due to my numerous Tweed jackets acquired in vintage stalls at Kensington Market, and typically paired with dress shirt, rugby shirt with popped collar, denim trousers, Gucci loafers, or brown brogues. I am smiling when I tell you that I even carried a hip flask of Tweed in which I kept the contents of a lovingly brewed pot of PG Tips.

Over the years of course I have received dozens of other nick-names and pet names, most of them loving and sweet, some of a private or sexual nature that I can not reveal here. There have been other names, however, that were not so sweet, such as: wanker, arsehole, bastard, complete and utter shit, etc.; I am sure my parents used other terms, but those are the ones I can still pluck from fading memory. Today, happily, it is another matter: I can report that I have been given several proper nick-names by chums and besuited colleagues in the orcface, but I will keep quiet on the topic for reasons of privacy.

Do remember to deck your loved ones with terms of affection.

9 comments:

Reggie Darling said...

I'm all for pet names (we call them nick-names old chap), and have at least four that I know of. I've been known to bestow them here and there, too. Reggie

Richard said...

I too have garnered many nicknames in life, and I have been blessed with many more since I began blogging.

John Wesley said...

One of your most charming posts.
--JW

Tabitha said...

"The actor Alyosious" Utterly hikarious - hmm, let me see his equity card.

A.E.F. said...

Admiral, a lovely post. May be Mme Delphine was a Betjeman scholar and was thinking of Archibald - doleful, patient and constant ? To be given nicknames I rather think one has to be the sort of person who inspires affection and fond regard of sorts. To that end, I have none.

Belle de Ville said...

I don't know about the other nicknames but somehow Codworth seems to fit you.

Tabitha said...

A.E.F. : I'm going to call you possum from
now on. I can hear your knuckles crunching from here

Simon said...

I Like nick names how about Codpiece

Anonymous said...

My favorite nickname was given to me by my grandfather. My name is Deborah. He jokingly claimed that I was too clumsy to be called a ballerina therefore he decided to call me Deborina.