Terms of Endearment

When I was about 10 years old,  I remember  hanging out with my best friend Jennie and talking to her mother one day.

At the end of the conversation, as we walked away, Jennie’s Mom said, “Have fun Muffin.”

“Muffin?” I thought,  “she called her Muffin?”

I loved it! At that moment, I vowed I would call my kids a cutesie name like that.

Something about a term of endearment – or even a nickname. It’s like a little package of love sent along in a name. It’s a word that says “I love you. I know you. You are mine (in a non possessive way). You are in my mind and my heart. I admire you. You are special to me. You are unique. You belong in my life.” To me, it carries so much weight.

In fact, my husband has a couple of nicknames for me. If I hear him call me “Leah”, I don’t like it. I mean, it’s acceptable if we are in more formal situations with other people. But at home? He better call me “sex kitten”.

Just kidding.

He calls me “Meski” or “Motor” or “Motor Rad”.

Meski – because one day early on in our relationship he asked me if I skied. He’s a huge skier. I said “Yes” (haha). He asked me if my friend skied. I said “Yes” (even bigger haha). He asked how well she skied. I just answered that “she skies as well as me – ski”.  In the lie I was telling, my mind couldn’t make up whether I should say “She skies as well as me” or “She skies as well as I ski”. So, it came out as “Meski.”

He laughed. It stuck. The kids know I will even be Grandma Meski.

Motor came along after he really got to know me and saw that I didn’t stop.

Motor Rad is when I’m not stopping to the point he thinks I’m gonna blow.

But I love these names. I just feel so loved.

I was then thinking of all the names I call my kids.

My Dad died 10 years ago. Last year I had a bit of panic when I couldn’t remember what he used to call me when Rob asked (I talked about it here). So I thought it would be fun to document the special names we have running through out house (you know, for legacy reasons!)

Boy do we have a lot of them!

Firstly, every one of my kids is either “Bunny” or “Sweetie.” That’s kind of the generic “I love you” term I give. Even Reggie is now starting to be called “Bunny” by a few of us. Not sure a dog likes being called Bunny, but he is…

Rob – That is his formal name. NEVER Robert. Who is Robert, anyway? But, in my books, he’s always “Robbie” or “McHottie” or “Babe”. He is also “Da-yi-o” to the kids – said in a funny high pitched way. Zandra even has a bird call for him. I can’t even write what it sounds like – but it’s recorded on my iphone:) I have heard him be called Robster and Robson too, along with RooooobbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbBBBBBBB.

Gabriel – Gabe is his name, unless he is in trouble with his father then “Gabriel” gets used. Gabey-O is the other term he goes by, and I tend to call him “Sweetie”:)  He is just so sweet. I think Gabe escaped a lot of my gushy names because he was 9 when I met him and I wanted to be cool, and calling him a cutie name seemed like it would decrease my coolness factor. But, since I’m not concerned with being cool anymore (we have come so far!) I think I’ll have to come up with a cutie name for him. At 15, I know he’ll love it!

Alexandra: Zandra is the standard, although some friends call her Alex (and I’m always wondering, who are they talking to?) I even heard Lexie has been started! Variations at home are Zandra Barnacle, Zandra B, Zoo-Zoo, Zoo-Zoo B, or just Zoo.  Of course Zandra can be said with all sorts of stress levels on it too: Zannnnnnnnnnnndra (think whiny little brother) is what I often hear. Sweet Pea is my special term for her too. She also gets Sweetie:)

Zachary: When he was little he insisted on Zachary. Now that he is older, he insists on Zach. I insist I gave him life and will call him whatever I want to call him. I call him Bunny most often, I think (him and Reggie). But, we also call him Zachariah, or Zachariah Schmidt, Zacaroni and Cheese (he LOVES that one. Not.), The Zachster, The ZachMeister, Zachman, and the occasional Zachy or Zachydoodles (you can imagine how he feels about that.) Whew. He has a lot of names!

I love how our “family twins”, as we refer to them both, are “Z”s. Zandra was Zandra when I met her. And Zach was obviously Zach. Doesn’t that just scream “meant to be??”

Joshua: I am notorious in calling this guy by his full name, especially when he is on the soccer field, or when he is in trouble. But to all, he is Josh. When he was little (up until about 4 ), he was BabyJosh. To me, he is Barbaloot man (he was a Barbaloot (The Lorax) in a play in Junior Kindergarten and was seriously cute so the name stuck). I call him Bunny too sometimes, and occasionally Pal. He is also known as Joshman, Joshy, Joshella, Joshmeister, Josharama,  Little Man or Monkey.  Zach can often be heard calling him Josh – it (careful spelling that one!) and of course Zandra calls him Birdie.

Samuel: I’m not sure anyone has ever called him Samuel, even when he’s in trouble. A strong “SAM” usually does the trick. But he is also Sammy, Sammy Bear, Sam and my dog Finnegan (or sometimes just Finnegan – his middle name is Finnian), Sam the Man, Samster, Sammy the noodle, Sammy the Lambie,  or Zach’s notorious “Sammit”.

Our newest addition has slowly taken on new names too as we are becoming more and more attached to this little monkey. Reggie is often called Bunny, Reginald (was supposed to be his full name but there wasn’t enough space on his birth certificate), Regeesh, Reg, Turkey Puppy, Bubby, and my fave, Regimite.

We also tend to lump our kids into categories (for scheduling purposes….to answer the “who’s with us tonight?” question):
“The Kids” means Gabe, Zandra and Sam
“The Boys” means Zach and Josh
“The big kids” means Gabe, Zandra and Zach
“The little kids/guys” or “the littles” means Josh and Sam
“Everyone” means all 5 monkeys.

Finally, we have 3 last names going in our home (Rob and his 3 kids have 1 name, I always kept my maiden name (and it’s the boys middle name too) and the boys have their Dad’s last name) – so early on we just took the initials of our 3 names and called ourselves “The CDF’s.” It’s our own little term of endearment for our family.

Phew. I think I’m glad we didn’t have more kids. I’m not sure I could keep all the names straight!

Do you have special names or terms of endearment that you use with your family or friends?


Terms of Endearment — 13 Comments

  1. I loved hearing all the fun names for your family members! My favorite is your last name with the initials – great idea!!!
    I mostly call my husband Babe and often call the boys that, too.
    My husband calls me Sweets a lot.

  2. We have two sets of last names in our family and both begin with the letter C, so we often refer to ourselves as the 5 Cs. 🙂

    I accidentally first left this comment under my husband’s google profile and removed it when I realized what had happened. Oops! LOL.

    • Love the 5 C’s! I think it’s so important to create that new identity when you are blending families – the initials are the perfect way to do it!

  3. Yes! I love these.

    Scarlet is “Pumpkin Butter” or even just “Butters.” No one has any idea how that started. When she was a baby she was “Doozer” (from Fraggle Rock) because she totally looked like one. The turned into “Doozie” or “Doozle”.

    My dog (passed away at 16) was always “G” nicknames. Her real name was Stormy but we called her “Goober”, “Gargamel” (smurfs), and “Gozer.” (Ghostbusters, I think?)

    Des is often “Big D.” I call him “Gush” and “Gushy Boy” and my favorite that he will simply LOVE when he’s 18 – “Gushy boy from Gushy Boy Lane.” Who knows?!

  4. Awesome family picture! Love the pet names 🙂 They made me smile. I call my Mom “Ma”…. my brother calls me “Brit”.. ok the story on that is… he used to call me “Brat” – and I would answer to that even into my college years until one time I turned around and said, “That’s just awful, you know” and it changed it to Brit. Lol. My husband and I exchange “sweethearts and honeys” 🙂 Our son is a Junior and we have started calling him “lil G”

  5. Hahahahaha. I LOVE THIS!! We do the same thing. We call each other the most random names. My husband IS Robert, but I call him Bunny when I want to be sweet. I used to call him Bobby in college and one day it came out Bunny. That’s been his name ever since. He even signs my birthday cards with just a picture of a bunny.

    I call my son, Bobby, Puppy. I shorten it sometimes to Pup. (But never in front of his friends. He’d kill me) Lucy has the most nicknames of any person I know. We call her about 12 different things and she answers to all of them. Bless her. 🙂
    Love the picture of your beautiful family!! It makes me smile!! –Lisa

    • I love randomness of the names! I love puppy/Pup too. So sweet – I’m sure he’d love to hear you yell it out the car window when you drop him at school one day!

  6. WOW! I LOVE this post! I love terms of endearment and can so identify with not really liking being called Joi by a significant other. The names are so cute. Totally identify with those breakdowns. I think everyone probably has those. You all’s are cute1

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