It seems like I rarely call Finn directly by his given name. I have a variety of nicknames and terms of endearment I refer to him by:
- Bubby (which I know means something completely different in Yiddish)
- Love bug
In fact, I use these terms a lot with most people I am close to (which at times, creates some confusion).
I do have one nickname for him that is wee bit inappropriate and I’m trying to morph into something more socially acceptable. Back story: It was only after he was born and we gave him the name Finnegan that we looked up what his name actually means. Finnegan is a Gaelic name and most Finn derivatives mean “Fair” or “White.” So essentially we named our kid Whitey. His full name means “White Forest,” which I love since he was born in the middle of nowhere (home birth)…in the middle of the night…during a blizzard.
When he was around three, I saw the remake/musical movie version of Hairspray. At some point, one of the black characters uses the term Cracker to refer to one of the white characters - not maliciously or with spite, but as a term of endearment. I had heard the term before (think early Richard Prior), but never heard it used in such a ridiculous and reverent way. Ever since, I call Finn Cracker. (I blame John Waters for much of my bad misuse of humor…I was exposed to him at far too young of age. So this all just seems appropriate in some weird effed up way.)
Most of the time this isn’t an issue - I don’t think most people here in the second whitest state in the country even know its meaning. However, when we travel (like in NYC a couple weeks ago) I find myself shouting out “Cracker” in a place like the subway and no doubt a few eyebrows get raised. Also, someday he is going to figure out what it means…and probably be a little annoyed/pissed. As I said, I’m trying to morph this nickname into something else, specifically “Crackerjack” with varying degrees of success. I have to admit, it’s hard to let go of - when I think about Finn, I think about him as my little cracker.
So…what do you think about terms of endearment/nicknames for kids - either your own kids or when you hear other people use them with their kids?