Love and Petnames


I let the dog in from the back porch, and told her with all affection that she is a filthy animal. Which she is. Earlier this year she began a long project of excavating an impressive wallow in my back flower garden (coffweedbedcoff) and she had been rolling in the dust. I then carried my laptop out to the front porch, where the dog is not allowed (there are too many ways for her to escape) and curled up in the hammock chair to write this. I pulled my back last week, and this is one of the few spots where I can sit for any length of time and not hurt. 

It’s been a long weekend, and I have not gotten much of my list done. Which both bothers me, and doesn’t. I have stuff that *needs* to get finished. I have deadlines, both external and internal. But my back hurt, and I was tired, and my dear husband has been urging me to sit here in the comfy chair and do very little. He’s been bringing me food and drink and fussing at me… and now I have foiled him by dragging the laptop out so I can work and relax! 

I don’t really have a petname for my husband. You all know him as the First Reader, which he is. I don’t think I’d have written as much, or some of the projects I have, if not for him. Amusingly, we’ve learned that some people think he wrote Pixie Noir, but no. That was me, writing to make him laugh. And succeeding! In person, if I call him anything, it’s to tell him he is a Bad Man, which is usually received with mirth on his part, and often buffing his nails on his shirt with a quip of ‘I know.’ 

My kids, on the other hand… my son just walked out here to tell me that he’d given the Inktail, Too! file (with permission!) to three friends as beta-readers for the activity book. Him, I call Dude, Little Man, my Dear Son… and he reciprocates by calling me “Mother,” with a precocious intonation. Of course, I also call his sisters Dude, but that’s because it’s not exactly a gendered term! The cat is Dude, the dog is Dude… when she isn’t Miss Fuzzybritches. 

We all have names for those we love. Some more respectful than others. I know people who refer to their husbands as ‘hubby’ which always made me cringe a little. As do ‘old man’ or it’s reciprocal ‘old woman.’ I don’t know. Probably part of my upbringing. Mom would liked for us to not have used any slang, but it still slipped in somehow, despite not watching TV or hanging out with our peers in a school setting. We did still have peers we played with. And I for one picked up a lot of slang from my reading, which is how I got away with ‘bloody hell’ and ‘bugger’ all through high school in a very tight-laced environment. 

And I’m sitting here on the porch enjoying the breeze and smelling rain coming. I think I’ll segue from writing this warm-up free association blog into working on a story. Probably Hatrack, because I need to finish this segment by Tuesday. And I need to figure out who the villain is in that story. Sigh. I really need to figure out how to plot and outline so I know what I’m doing while I am working on these novels! I may also work on Tanager’s Flight because I’ve got story bits in my head. Including introducing an important character who I need to carefully choose a name for. 

And maybe talk my husband into making dinner for us so I can stay in my hammock and be useless some more. 



8 responses to “Love and Petnames”

  1. I’ve got blog-names for all my family, they’ve all got nicknames, and Full Names (of doooooom), and a bunch of general nicknames for family, friends, random animals that aren’t moving quickly enough….. (Goobers! Because they’re my little peanut….)

    No single nickname for Elf, though. Not IRL.

    1. My husband’s family all call him a diminutive if his first name, but I find I prefer the dignity of his full name. And mine has never lent itself well to nicknames – it’s already short enough!

      1. Which my brain, of course, took as a challenge.

        Cedar=> CD!



        1. Sanford Begley Avatar
          Sanford Begley

          Foxifier , I’ll have you know you can’t call my wife Seedy 😀

          1. Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard Avatar
            Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

            That’s your privilege? [Very Big Crazy Grin While Flying Away Very Very Fast]

  2. John in Philly Avatar
    John in Philly

    I had to think about this for a little bit.
    We tend to use the very generic “Honey” as our pet names but mostly we just use our names.
    My insistence that she address me using the name, “Most Revered and Respected Lord and Master of the Household” has so far fallen on deaf ears.

  3. Family has, in general, avoided nicknames and such. Two exceptions. Mother did NOT respond to her given name, even as an infant, so variants were tried until one that worked was found. Thus she is known by almost everyone by that name, but legal documents have another. The other is an uncle who had the same first name as his father and “junior” (in ANY form) out by everybody’s agreement. Thus most known him by what it is really his middle name.

    I am also reminded of the Amateur Radio convention that ALL males, no matter how young are “Old Man” (OM) and ALL females, no matter what age, are “Young Lady” (YL)… the one perverse exception is the known-married woman gets called “Ex-Young-Lady” or “XYL.” More than one married woman got a radio license just to be referred to by callsign or callsign suffix (KB9CKS would be just CKS, for example) rather than “XYL.”