What in a Nickname?

                Thanks for reading after a long hiatus. I wanted to write about something comical, and one of things that is everywhere in life that is…nicknames. Nicknames can be funny, telling but can also be mean spirited as well but I want to talk about the fun ones, the ones that make you wonder where they came from.

                There are some nicknames in the world that need no explanation and are instantaneously recognizable; names like “The Great Bambino” “The Big Hurt” or “The Ryan Express” these are etched in the souls and minds of every baseball fan young and old. Some people might not even know the first names of these people but as soon as you mention the nickname it brings them right back into your memory. Nicknames are fun, it’s something that gives you a sense of identity just like your names do; it could be because you did something funny or dumb and you got stuck with a nickname or it could be based off your last name (which is the most common) but some could be completely out of the blue.

                I have many nicknames that come off my last name, with the most popular being ‘Tusk.’ This variation has been around with me and I honestly can’t remember exactly when it got started, but I know it was because someone couldn’t pronounce my last name properly and they just took the easiest part of it, said it and it stuck. One of the funniest nicknames I think I have is the nick name of “Tahti” this started last year when a Latin pitching coach couldn’t pronounce my name (weird I know)  and I was pitching in an extended spring training game and he kept yelling “Tahti” “Tahti” from the dugout and I have no idea who he was yelling at so I just kept pitching for about an inning. When the inning was over and I came back into the dugout he came up to me and said “When I yell at you I want you to look over here!” you can tell he was obviously upset I wasn’t looking but I guess he could tell by the look on my face that I had no clue what he was talking about. He’s how this conversation went in a roundabout way. 

“Didn’t you hear me?” he asked once me, to that I kindly replied

“I heard you yelling something, but I have zero idea what you were saying.”

“Tahti” he says “That’s you!” “Tah-Too-Sko….tahti”

“Oh, I didn’t know that was me, I’m sorry”

“Ok well from now on that’s you!”

“No problem skip, what’s up?”

                That my dear reader is a roundabout way how a nickname, that sticks till this day, was created. Nick names are fun and can come from any situation and you have no idea what will stick and what won’t. Even in everyday, family situations nicknames come into play. You have grandma, grandpa, possibly a mimi, pop, maw-maw, me-maw, papa-aw. It seems like the grandparents get to have the most fun with a nickname in the family dynamic and it seems that every family has something special they call their dear grandparents.

                Sometimes nicknames are so common that you might not even know someone’s first name, I’m pretty sure some people who know me well in this organization don’t even know my first simply because I’ve never heard anyone call me “Ryan” in the baseball world its just “Tusk” or “Tat.” Nicknames can take over your first name, I myself have been guilty of not knowing someone’s name because their nickname takes them over. No matter what name you got, embrace it and have fun with it! It is who you are after all!


I leave you with this video….http://www.cmt.com/videos/misc/724635/bayou-billionaires-meet-albert-or-carl-or-jimi.jhtml

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1 Comment

  1. This is one awesome blog, Ryan. Nice work. Maybe your teammates will read this and cook up a literary nickname for you. Shakespeare? BlogMan?


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