- 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 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.