This is all about the big reveal. Don’t get too excited, I’m just talking about my nickname. But first things first.
The Back Story
I’m not sure if the habit of adding a “y” on names is native to a small community or if it happens everywhere. Here, if you were given a name that could possibly hold a “y” at the end, it became your name. For example, Jimmy. Ricky. Danny. Billy. Donny. My mom had a cousin she called Bradie and he’s now a grandpa. Even my dad still gets the “y” from his little sister. He doesn’t appreciate it. My brother politely grins when old-timers use his nickname with a “y.” Unless it’s me, then he scowls. But I confess, as his younger sister I usually have ulterior motives when I pull out the “y.”
The Build Up
My brother found a nickname for me toward the end of my grade school career. The new moniker was even replete with the coveted small town “y.” Because up until then, sadly I was sans y (Corina-y breaks the number one nickname rule: it’s harder to say than the original). Depending who you asked, my name sounded too formal. It just wasn’t small town. Sure, I could have gone by Corey but I didn’t like the spelling. Later, I discovered Cori and the “i” changed everything. But at that time, my name was still three syllables with a very uncool “a” at the end. Then my brother stumbled upon a nickname for me. Suddenly, I fit in. It was a whole new world in my small town.
It was an added boon that my older brother (aka hero) gave it to me. I wore it well. I wore it proud. All summer long I tried out my nickname with a “y.” It fit me. It was the perfect nickname. School started in the fall and I impatiently waited for the teacher to ask if anyone preferred a nickname. I’ll say I did.
Finally she asked the question I’d been waiting for all summer. I raised my hand quickly and announced my new name. Snickers broke out among my classmates. They didn’t dig my new name. The teacher smiled and said, “Oh.” She never called me by my nickname. From that day on, the only person who was allowed to refer to me with that now sullied name was my brother. I refused to tell anyone my once proud nickname.
The Wrap Up
I’ve been thinking about it. It was a perfectly good nickname. What in the world was so funny about it? There are worse nicknames. My dad tells the story of someone who goes by the name “Tird.” That came about because he’s the “Third” and when younger couldn’t say “th.” He’s a grown man and still goes by “Tird” (which proves the relatively new adage that you can call someone anything as long as the tone of voice is pleasant). Now, Tird would be a nickname to snicker at – especially in grade school.
There comes a point, at least for some, when the two-syllable “y” name becomes rather childish. My brother reached that point when he returned from his mission. He sat us down and explained his name was now monosyllabic with no more “y.” When I became an adult, I had the same talk with him. He could still call me by my nickname but no more “y.”
My two youngest nieces found out my nickname. I’m sure it wasn’t hard. Their dad told them because he does have that older brother mentality still. You know, to torment younger sisters whenever the occasion arises. They used it for the sole purpose of boiling my blood. A talent they acquired from their dad.
The Big Reveal
So, what was the name that I kept hidden for so long? Corky. But I go by the much more distinguished Cork now.