Friday
Jun282013

The Anatomy of a Nickname

Working on the Ocoee River is unique in so many ways.  One of the things that continues to grow are the characters that come to work on the Ocoee each year.  Their are many that come and never leave and their are some that come just for a short stint and move on to other chapters in life but most that pass this way will be issued a nickname.  Some are endearing, some are not, but once given they seem to stick and even follow for the rest of their life.  Below is a little research on how the nick name came to be.
  • Ekename: The Origin of the Word
    "A nickname is not, as one might at first suppose, a name that has been stolen or nicked from somewhere else; it is, literally, an 'additional name.' The current form of the word, with the element as nick-, is in fact a corruption of the earlier form eke-name (with the first element aseke-). . . .

    "An eke-name, then, is orginally an additional name: your real name is eked out by having another name added to it, and in time this ekename may become a substitute for the original. But how did ekename become nickname? . . . . When the words were written down in the Middle Ages by people who had never seen them in writing, the n evidently got detached from the anand attached to the eke, giving us a nekename; and when the vowel sound in eke is subsequently shortened through fast or lazy pronunciation, we end up with today's form,nickname."
    (Tom Burton, Long Words Bother Me. Sutton, 2004)


  • Prosonomasia
    "Prosonomasia defines a person or thing by some characteristic: the Conqueror (William I of England); the dismal science (political economy); the king of beasts (the lion); the Father of Lies (Satan): the great unwashed (the populace); the Iron Duke (Wellington); the Jolly Roger (pirate flag); the Knight of the Rueful Countenance (Don Quixote); and so on."
    (Willard R. Espy, The Garden of Eloquence: A Rhetorical Bestiary. Harper & Row, 1983)

At the Outpost we have both, the Nickname and the Prosonmasia.  Last year we had a new trainee, Stuart Hickey which became Sticky, or Robert Shaneyfelt (long time river manager)was known as Shaney and still is to this day.  Other guides do things in there tenure at the Outpost and acquire a name such as Worm, who you can imagine, ate a worm one night on a dare and now is known as Worm.  One of our senior guides will always be refereed to as The Principal because of his gruff "Principal" like voice.  These names get so ingrained that at times I have a hard time coming up with their given name.  Their are a few guides that escape the nickname and then there are some that get an assigned name that cannot be discussed on these pages.  Matt Haugh is my river manager of eight years now and several years back there was an incident on the river, and he received on that day the nickname Dookie.  So if you are ever at the Outpost look him up and ask him the story behind the name, it is definitely worth your time.

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Reader Comments (4)

took a trip on 7/13/13 w/ my son Michael age 13.
had a great time, 1st time experience for my son on the Ocoee, our guide Zack was perfect, fun and experienced on the river made a good trip a tremedous experience... will do it again...

July 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterChris DeLong

Thank you for choosing OAR. I am so glad that your son had a fantastic time. I will be sure and tell Zach y'all had a great time. Look forward to seeing you and your son next year. Thanks again Rob

August 7, 2013 | Registered CommenterRob Paden

There are a few guide that flee the nick name and then there are a number of that get an assign name that cannot be talk about on these page

April 15, 2016 | Unregistered Commenterpaper writing

A nickname is a surrogate for the appropriate name of a memorable someone, position, or object, for friendliness or scoff at.

April 15, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterHirepaperwriter

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