I was watching an episode of Big Bang Theory last night in which Sheldon and Amy were discussing how fast a meme can spread and Sheldon mentions that “Sheldon Cooper’s a smelly pooper spread like wildfire”. Even as I laughed out loud, it got my thinking about my own childhood nickname and while I found it humiliating at the time, it really wasn’t that bad. In fact, it was very creative as nicknames given by elementary school children go.
Sheldon Cooper (the smelly pooper)
I grew up in a small town that was very sports minded. Even as a very young child I was overtly feminine. I loved my ballet class and had very feminine mannerisms. These qualities got me nicknamed Dainty. I didn’t mind being called Dainty. I wore it as a badge of honour. But then came the year I turned 10. It was the mid 1970’s and the big trend in hairstyles was the pyramid perm. All the girls were getting them. My Mom and I went out and got a Toni home perm kit and set to curling my poker straight hair. After the perm rods cam out, what I saw in the mirror wasn’t a pyramid perm. It looked more like this…
Little Orphan Annie
The next day when I went to school, Dainty officially became AFRO DAINTY. Because I was very insecure about the way my hair had turned out, I found this new add on to my existing nickname absolutely humiliating.
When I look back on it now, it was a clever double pun. The reference to the goddess of love was more complimentary than a myriad of other references I can think of. Certainly nothing to be so ashamed of. I’d rather be called Afro Dainty than Smelly Pooper any day of the week. So I guess nicknames, like so much in life, are relative.
Feel free to use the comments section to share your childhood nicknames.