Funny, odd, or strange nicknames that you use

Inspired by the Spanish nickname thread currently in MPSIMS.

What nicknames have you heard or used that seem normal to you because you’ve used them so often? Unusual monikers for grandparents are perfectly welcome. (I’m Papi.)

Example: I had an uncle named Glen. When my older brother was 2-3, they tried to get him to say “Uncle Glen” but he mangled it and it came out “Dunkie Dunk.” So my entire life, I knew my uncle Glen as Dunkie Dunk. It seemed perfectly normal to me since I had grown up with it.

My Dad, being the youngest in a large family, was about the same age as the nephews that he grew up with so everyone called him “Unk” but that’s quite a bit more understandable.

A great uncle of mine lived with his wife in the same house like my family and my paternal grandparents. His name was Josef, but one of his grand-nieces couldn’t pronounce “Josef” and it came out as “Sese” (pronounced ze-ze). This name stuck for the rest of his life, and we still refer to him as Sese in our family to this day.

ETA: funny nicknames are a dime a dozen where I live, and I could post a lot more examples. One of the more colorful was an acquaintance of my father, who used to be a heavy alcoholic. So everybody called him “Flasche”, which means bottle. Not very flattering .

My mom was raised by one of her aunts, who was referred to as “Grammie”. Like the award, only spelled different.

I have another one, a friend of mine is called Heidi. He’s a man, so it’s a bit like the story of “A Boy Named Sue”. The reason is simple: his last name is Heidemann, so he has been called Heidi since childhood. He’s a very tall and big guy with an intimidating physique, big beard and has been the lead singer of several hardcore metal and stoner rock bands.

My granddaughter refers to her paternal grandfather as Yaya. Supposedly, she couldn’t say grandpa. But she calls my husband Grandpa, so I’m guessing there’s another story.

One of my 2 grand daughters has called me Grampy since she could talk. She is about to give birth to my first great grandchild, a girl. She wants Winnie to call me Grampy too. Told her I would be honored.

What’s weird to me is that’s the Greek word for grandmother, not grandfather.

The Greek word is γιαγια (giagia, pronounced yaya). We called my grandmother that because she was Greek. Literally. She was from a small town called Μαυροματα (Mavromata) in central Greece and moved to the U.S. with my grandfather in the mid 1920s.

Her nickname for me was κούκλα (koukla) which literally means doll, but in the context of referring to a child means “little friend”.

FYI the Greek word for grandfather is παππους (pappous).

Ever since I got my first machine to trim the grass at the edges of the lawn, (probably a Weedwacker) I’ve called them “zazzers.” That’s the sound the whirling plastic string makes when it cuts the grass. The verb form is zazzing.

I recently found out Dr. Suess’s ABC book has a similar sounding word on its last page. I didn’t know that at the time.

A young nephew called me “Uncle Ree” because he could not pronounce my name. Same nephew, when asked his name in kindergarten, he repeated what he heard most often, “Mikey No No”.

One of the youngest of my generation, I was an uncle many times just by being born and a great uncle before my teens. My niece with the first great nephew has called me “Gruncle” ever since.

If I interact with any animal whose name I do not know, it’s name is “Stinky”.

My paternal grandparents were Nee-Nee and Pop-Pop. Nee-Nee told me once that she’d tried to get me to call her “Grandmama” at a young age, but I insisted on Nee-Nee for some reason. (My maternal grandmother was already Grandma.)

She calls me Busi (pronounced bushy) which is Polish for Grandma. But sometimes it comes out as “butchy”. I’m sure her preschool teachers have no idea what she’s saying.

My great grand mother was “Gaga.” I never learned where that came from, it was firmly established by the time I became aware of things.

@motu Any large-ish dog I meet is “Wolfgang.”

My gf’s best friend calls me “Skippy”. She always has, and is the only one who does.

Back in high school, three friends got kicked out of an “Adults Only” movie. They were so mad, they wanted to go back in and yell at the manager and show him their fake IDs. Until another friend got them laughing with “Look, you guys have such babyfaces, who’s going to believe that Snap, Crackle and Pop are grown-ups?”

So… we called them by their new nicknames for a week or so. But one of the names stuck, and people wondered why this kid was called “Pop”… by everyone, forever (he’s in his 60s now, when it at least makes sense).


I was the first grandchild. When I tried to pronounce grandpa it came out as Bup. So both of my grandpas were forever Bups. I called my paternal grandma - Ma and my paternal great-grandma - Old Ma!

My niece couldn’t pronounce my name (which is very basic!). She called/calls me Auntie Hodie and is now teaching her little girl to call me that.

Come to think of it, one of my middle school classmates tried to get me referred to as “Crusty”. It didn’t stick.

On one side of my family, my grandfather, to us grandkids, was never adresses grandpa/grandad/ or whatever, it was always the initials of his first and middle name, and was used by other family members when referring to him to us kids. I have no idea of how that ball got rolling.

When I lived in a rooming house in college, I came down with a bad virus. Within days, all my housemates had it. From then on, my name was “Germ.”