Have thought about this a couple of times lately… our little man has had a LOT of nicknames, not just since he was born, but ever since he was conceived! So I thought I should start a blog post on that topic so that we can remember in a few years the Many Names of Zane. There are already a lot and we aren’t even through the first year!
The first nickname he ever had was given to him by Auntie Carolyn when we first announced that we were expecting. We knew we were going to find out the gender of our little one, but we didn’t know yet… and when we had an ultrasound at six weeks on which he was sort of peanut-shaped, Auntie Carolyn started calling him “Peanut”. She said she needed something to call the baby that was gender-neutral and not just Baby. So Peanut he was, for the first several months!
The second nickname originated from a comment that I made when I was around 30 weeks along. Zane was so active… he would sleep maybe a couple hours a day and I’m sure he was moving the other 21 or 22 hours. This might be a small exaggeration, but that’s how I remember it. One day, I told Rickie that it felt like there was a starfish inside me – because I was sure he was pushing out with both arms, both legs and his head all at once. So for the rest of my pregnancy, Zane was “Starfish”. We were sure (or at least, I was sure) that this name would stick once he was born, but it didn’t!
One of the first names he received after being born was “mini-man”. I can’t remember entirely, but I think that one came from me… and there was no comment or other cause for it, I just called him mini-man one day and kept doing it. It sounded cute and seemed to suit him… and it stuck because Auntie Melina used to call William the same name when he was a baby so she took to using it for Zane too!
This is where the degeneration of current nicknames started. One day, I sang to Zane “mini mini mini mini man” to the tune of the Strawberry Mini-Wheats jingle, and Rickie overheard me… and got the jingle stuck in his head (we do that to each other a lot). So he started calling Zane “mini-wheats” – I think it just seemed like the natural thing to do. That name didn’t last too long though, it seemed to disappear about the same time he grew out of his first clothing size, whereas “mini-man” is still around. A couple other variations on this were “miniature” and just “mini”.
Around this stage as well, we were joking with friends of ours about how our dog Charlie has a Latin name (Chewimus Maximus Stupidus Extremus) and we decided Zane should have a Latin name too. So his Latin name was given as “Cute-imus Maximus Adorable-us Extremus” and immediately shortened to “Cute-imus Maximus”. We still call him that from time to time.
So far, the longest-lasting nickname – and the one with the most variations – is “Manimal”. This one came about around the time he started eating his first solid meals. We couldn’t believe how much he was eating, and someone commented that he was like a little animal. Rickie said “No… he’s a MANIMAL!” and that stuck immediately. A little later, Rickie saw the Homer Simpson rendition of “Animal House” and started calling Zane the “Manimal House”.
Most of the nicknames we’ve given Zane since then are variations and degenerations of Manimal House. Sometimes we call him just “the House” or “House”. Or we convert the “al” to an “o” and call him “Manimo”, or shorten it even more to just “Man-mo”. We’ve called him “mini-mo” which is a combination with a past nickname. And the first time I saw Rickie type “Manimo” on messenger, I said it looked like it should be pronounced the same way as the word nanaimo… and coined the name “my Manaimo bar”.
We have also come up with many, many nicknames based on Zane’s current mood or behavior at any given time. It started out as just calling him “Crankapotamus” when he was a bit moody, or “Crankasaurus Rex” when he was really mad. We called him Cuteapotamus whenever he was cute (which is always). And we reverted back to the “Manimo” nickname for just about EVERYTHING – a few that come immediately to mind are Cute-imo, Mad-imo, Sad-imo, Tired-imo, Bad-imo, Hungr-imo, Weird-imo, Crawl-imo, Stand-imo, (EDIT: Eat-imo, Nap-imo, Bed-imo, Crazy-mo) and well you get the idea. Take any word describing Zane and add “imo” to the end of it. We even went so far as to call ourselves the “Mom-imo” and “Dad-imo”. EDIT: And sometimes we just call him “The Imo”.
So what are the chances of our son not knowing his real name, not knowing what to call his parents, or developing some kind of multiple personality disorder?
EDIT 2014: More nicknames: since he constantly said “ahh beeee” when he first started talking, and we never knew what it meant; one day on a whim, we Googled it and found out there was something in Manitoba called the “Manito Ah Bee Festival”. This gave rise to two more nicknames, “Manito Ahh Beee” and just “Manito”.