We see that you have javascript disabled. Please enable javascript and refresh the page to continue reading local news. If you feel you have received this message in error, please contact the customer support team at 1-833-248-7801.



Oh look! A shiny thing: What's in a nickname? Usually, confusion

Now age 8, William sometimes goes by “Will,” and as someone who has known him since before he was born, I sometimes still call him “Willy.”

Community Editor Kari Lucin's nephew William has an unusual nickname.
Community Editor Kari Lucin's nephew William has an unusual nickname.
Submitted by Theresa Lucin
We are part of The Trust Project.

According to my dad, who ought to know, my nephew William has a brand-new nickname, and I have to admit, I envy him a little bit. My name is only four letters long, and as such, I haven't had many nicknames in my life.

Students from Adrian, Edgerton, Murray County Central and Luverne schools attended the event.
All current, new or future Minnesota West students are invited to apply for scholarships for the Spring 2023 semester.
The Foundation also awarded six $2,000 Health Care Professional scholarships.

As a very little girl, I had trouble pronouncing my own middle name, so my family liked to tease me by calling me "Littabit," something which never failed to spark the incandescent rage only a toddler can properly express. That's what they tell me, anyway.

When I got older, bullies used to try to make fun of me by rhyming my first name, but it's really difficult to give "Ferrari" a negative connotation, so it always confused me more than anything. "Safari" made even less sense, and my age group was too young to have seen "Hatari!" so the whole rhyming thing was basically a non-starter.

Occasionally I pondered switching my middle name, Elizabeth, with my first name, which would have given me a whole host of nickname options, from Beth to Liz to Lizzie to Lisbet, Betty or even just B. I don't think it ever would have felt like my real name, though, and besides, I actually do like my first name, even though people almost never pronounce it correctly on the first try.

Nicknames in comic books are always cool, like “Wolverine” or “She-Hulk,” but in real life you’re a lot more likely to meet a “Butch,” a “Bob” or a “Tina.” And while it would be great to be called “Phoenix” even superheroes end up saddled with a name like “Matter-Eater Lad” or “The Whizzer.”


Now age 8, William sometimes goes by “Will,” and as someone who has known him since before he was born, I sometimes still call him “Willy.” At some point he’ll probably ask me to stop doing that, and I’ll do my best but can’t make any promises on that score; I might be the only person on earth who still calls his dad “Mikey,” after all.

William, who has always loved counting things and playing with figures, has a vast array of nicknames to choose from, including the obvious Bill and Billy, and the less-obvious but equally sensible Liam. He could trim it down to “Lee” or even go a little wild and try “Yam” some day.

His teacher doesn’t call him any of those things, though. Sometimes she calls him “William” or “Will,” like the rest of us, but sometimes she calls him “Cal.”

Now that seems like a strange nickname for someone named “William,” but it really isn’t much stranger than “Peggy” being a nickname for “Margaret,” and it makes total sense for someone like my math-loving nephew.

It’s short for “Calculator.”

A 1999 graduate of Jackson County Central and a 2003 graduate of Augsburg College, Kari Lucin started writing for newspapers in Minnesota and North Dakota in 2006. During her time as a reporter, she covered beats including education, watershed, county and agriculture, and frequently wrote about health and science. She has also served as an online content coordinator and an engagement specialist at various Forum Communications properties. She was a marketing assistant at Iowa Lakes Community College in Estherville for two years, where she did design work in addition to writing and social media management.

Lucin is currently a community editor with the Globe of Worthington.

Email: klucin@dglobe.com
Phone: (507) 376-7319
What to read next
One step in the Osceola County Child Care Strategic Plan is to “Establish a county-wide child care initiative fund.” That fund is now ready to go.
Janie Becker, a 1972 graduate of Heron Lake High School, will deliver a “Piano Inspirations” concert at MAPAC at 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 16.
I love the accessibility of streaming as much as anyone, but I won't be getting rid of my movie collection any time soon, and neither should you.
Follow the Globe Minute, our twice-weekly Worthington news and weather podcast, on Apple, Spotify, or Google Podcasts!