“Hi Dot. It’s been too long. Stop by again–sometime.” Mom’s given name was Dorothy. Her friends called her “Dot” or “Dottie” before me and my siblings came along. Nicknames, that were logical extensions of Dorothy. It seemed weird at the time.
My given name was William, or William, middle name Arthur. Nobody called me William or Willie–there was the normal Billy, when I was younger, and then Bill. My closest friends called me “Wild Bill,” after I reached adulthood. My middle name was left untouched.
Public school kids were cruel. Nicknames intended as put downs, emphasized worst qualities. “Four eyes,” for glasses wearers; “gimpy,” or “gimp,” named anyone with hitches in their get-a-longs.
In our little town, several residents had unusual nicknames. There was “Peachy” Leach, “Push” Banks, “Silver” Scroggins, “Punk” Dowland; sometimes Floyd Rands was called “Slats.” Never figured the last one out–unless it related to the “Abby And Slats” cartoon.
In high school, I was saddled with “Ice Blue,” because of excess perspiration. I was also nicknamed “shaky” because of excessive nervousness. Neither nickname stuck with me–thank goodness.
Why couldn’t I have had one of the cool nicknames–like, Scooter, Skip, Buzz, Zip, Biff? All of which signified action–toughness. It was just as well, none fit my personality. None except “Wild Bill.” I’ll leave everyone to figure that one out.