Nicknames can tell a lot about a person. The names can describe a person’s history, character, personality, looks or talents, for example. Even when they are shortened versions of a longer name, it can tell you a lot about a person.
I know I’m not a sociologist or a linguist, so my examples aren’t an exact science, I admit…But take the name Timothy, for instance. When I hear the name Timmy I think of a child or adolescent. On the other hand, if I hear the name Tim or Timothy, I think of an adult. I have a friend who has the nickname of “my lovely” because of her kindness and beauty. And many other people in my life have nicknames that I call them by based on their roles in my life, like: husband, best friend, and brother.
In the Bible, nicknames are also used. Simon’s real name is Simon, but everyone calls him Peter because that is Jesus’ nickname for him. Peter, by the way, means stone. It’s a fitting nickname because later on Peter is called the “rock” that the Church will be built on. Even James and John are given nicknames, though you may pass right by it. They are called the sons of Zebedee, which is translated as sons of Thunder.
One thing that makes nicknames special is that they show you that there is a close relationship between people—the one saying the nickname, and the one with the nickname. I know that it is not quite the same thing, but I like to think that praying to Jesus, for instance, as the Most Sacred Heart, or as the Good Shepherd, makes me closer to Him as well.
What do you think about nicknames? Also, do you have one? Please share!